Tom King Camp, Austin Creek State Recreation Area, CA

California’s rolling hills and desert heat will eagerly invite you to cool off in isolated swimming holes.
Austin Creek State Recreation Area

Allow wildflower gardens to escort you to the top of the Austin Creek hills, escape the heat below a pine tree to enjoy the picturesque landscape. Photo by ((brian))/ Flickr

Show up early for a crack at one of the three backcountry sites tucked among the grassy meadows and oak forests at the southern end of redwood country: Each lucky party gets a first-come, first-serve sit for itself. Tom King Camp, a 3.5- mile hike from the Austin Creek Fire Road trailhead, is the most secluded, but Mannings Flat #1 (4.8 miles) has the best access to the Austin Creek swimming holes. Info