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Access shut to California swimming hole due to overcrowding

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Posted at 2:27 PM, Jul 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 17:27:46-04

FORESTHILL, Calif. (AP) — California park officials have shut vehicle access to a pristine swimming hole in Northern California due to an influx of visitors to the “hidden gem” that has become a popular photo backdrop on social media.

The move intended to discourage visitors to Yankee Jim's, a sliver of crystal clear water about 35 miles west of Lake Tahoe, comes as authorities struggle to control overcrowding at recreational sites as coronavirus cases continue to rise in many parts of the state.

There are just 12 parking spots near Yankee Jim’s, but last weekend authorities counted more than 300 vehicles parked near the rugged roads surrounding a one-way bridge overhead.

Placer County Sheriff’s officials said in a Facebook posting on Friday that the scenic area has exploded in popularity recently.

"This presents a huge public safety danger, and cannot allow any first responder to access Yankee Jim’s in the event of any emergency or fire," the statement said.