5 Picture Perfect Oregon Swimming Holes

It may be late August, but there’s still time to plunge into a crystal clear pool surrounded by pines and boulders. Oregon is a place rich with such places. We picked five we think you’ll enjoy should you make it to the Beaver State.

Fall Creek, Eugene

fall creek

Nothing in the summertime can be better than a nice hike through a balmy forest to a mountain oasis. Fall Creek in Eugene is such a spot. The trail runs above the creek and lets hikers find a collection of swimming holes. Importantly, there’s a trail side and a road side for the swimming areas. The hiking side affords more secluded spots. Also, the 6.4 mile round trip is along a nice wide trail, so getting there is almost as leisurely as the cool soak you’ll enjoy. There are also several campsites nearby, so you can punctuate your aquatic adventure with cozy campfires.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Three Pools, North Santiam


For maybe the grandaddy of all swimming hole experience, as well as cliff jumping options, Three Pools on the North Fork of the Santiam River, near Jefferson. It’s popular, so it will likely be crowded, but the place is large enough that you and your friends will likely have your own private spot. Be prepared to purchase a day pass to visit Three Pools, but you’ll enjoy clear turquoise water after a short hike. The tallest cliff to jump is 16-feet, which is plenty.  As for camping, there aren’t a lot of options in the Opal Wilderness, but it is possible.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

The Narrows, Clackamas River


The Clackamas River provides ample swimming wonderlands, and The Narrows, 43 miles from Portland, is one of the finest. You can jump cliffs here, and enjoy a wonderful Basalt canyon that funnels the waters into a slow moving slot, creating a series of lovely pools. There are also large rock and sand beaches for your lounging pleasure.

Photo credit: Outdoor exploring

Naked Falls

naked falls

This one’s technically not in Oregon, but just over the border in Washington, Naked Falls on the Washougal River offers cliff jumping, slide rocks and rope swings. Some say the falls got its name because of all the clothing optional fun that happened there in the 1960s. And that could happen again, but its also the second tallest falls on the Washougal.

Photo credit: Buzzfeed Pinterest

Alder Flats

alder flats

Our final offering is also on the Clackamas, but decidedly less crowded, and you can find primitive camping there as well. Alder Flats has spraying beaches, several swimming holes, and excellent seclusion. It’s just an hour from Portland and a short one mile walk in. And its also near Mount Hood, so a detour to some fine pubs might also be in order.

Photo credit: Swimmingholes.com