When Tim Joyce moved from the Boston area to the Bay Area a couple of years ago, it didn’t take him long to discover the joys of hiking Northern California’s trails, especially those with places to get wet along the way. “Hikes around here can get pretty hot,” says the 44-year-old patent attorney, who lives in Mountain View but hikes all over Northern California and beyond. “With the best hikes, there’s always a good water element.”
For Joyce, a good water element might be a smooth spot in a Sierra river or a deep, black pool beneath some falls. It could be a crystalline lake you’ve got all to yourself or a granite waterslide hopping with rowdy people. By exploring Northern California’s hills and valleys, Joyce has enjoyed swimming holes hidden deep in remote corners of the mountains and many only a few steps off the road.
Best of all, he’s happy to share his knowledge—generosity that’s rarer than one might think. “Sometimes, people are reluctant to say where their favorite swimming hole is,” he says, chuckling about folks who post inaccurate directions on websites, specifically to throw visitors off course.