Skinny Dip

This is what summer should look like. Toes curling in the water, hands wrapped around a slab of watermelon. Skinny Dip is two sets of falls. The first, a broad cascade, empties into a pool about 60 feet wide and just the right depth for bobbing around and keeping cool on hot August days in the Sierra. The premier feature is the second fall. It dumps 35 feet into a splendiferous container that’s distinguished by its impound, a straight-sided lip of granite six feet high that gives the hole the dimensions of a coffee cup. A lounging slab that’s maybe 120 sq. ft. occupies the left-hand side between the upper pool and the second fall. There’s room for a half dozen people, but beyond that it starts getting crowded. Water temperature is in the mid 60s.

For years Skinny Dip was a secret closely kept by locals, especially Yosemite folk who get tired of summer crowds. Confidentiality was maintained by an extremely difficult-to-find trailhead. Usership has increased recently. Although locals say it’s unusual to find 12 people here, it happens. It’s around 15 minutes downhill from the turnout. Slabs surrounding the hole are steep for small children, however Labrador retrievers and other water breeds love it here. Note: the name is somewhat misleading; not many people go buff here.

Range cattle stomping through the meadows upstream lower water quality.

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