Alder Flat - Clackamas River

• Alder Flat offers hiking and swimming in the Mt Hood National Forest
• Deep swimming holes on the bend of the Clackamas River

Alder Flat

Alder Flat

Alder Flat - Mount Hood Forest

Alder Flat - Clackamas River

Alder Flat in the Mount Hood National Forest is one of the best remote destinations on a bend of the Clackamas River, just 50 miles away from Portland. The site offers swimming, picnicking, fishing, and camping in the beautiful serene forest setting.

The only way to access this place is an easy mile-long hike along Alder Flat Trail. The trail starts from Alder Flat Trailhead at Highway 224, 0.2 miles off the historic Ripplebrook Guard Station, now the Ripplebrook Camp Store. The parking area is for 4-5 vehicles, with limited overflow on the highway. The trailhead is located on the left side of the parking area.

The swimming hole is absolutely stunning with crystal-clear turquoise water, sand and rock beach, and midstream rock formation that is used for jumping. The pool is deep and the current is relatively slow along the river's bend when the water level is low. Be sure you have moderate or advance swim skills for safe swimming in the Clackamas River. You should be careful if the river runs high and the current is fast. There are rapids upstream and downstream.

There are six primitive campsites with picnic tables and fire pits. Every campsite is completely enclosed by a grove of red alder. Fishing for steelhead, chinook and coho salmon is available.

No restroom, no drinking water, no garbage service on the site. Please keep this place clean, pick up all trash and carry it out.


Alder Flat | General Description

Open: Year-round
Managed by: US Forest Service
Location: Mt. Hood National Forest

Services: No services are available
Activities: Camping, swimming, hiking, cliff jumping, fishing, and rockhounding

Distance from the parking: 1 mile
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Dogs: Allowed
Popularity: Low to moderate

Accommodations: Campground open year-round

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay at Salem

Elevation: 1,311 ft (400 m)

Alder Flat is located:

  • 25 miles southeast of Estacada
  • 56 miles southeast of Portland
  • 77 miles northeast of Salem.

Remote swimming spot on the Clackamas River

Swimming hole rating: 4 out of 5
Body of Water: River
Water quality: Clear & transparent
Current: Moderate
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Rocks and rock formation
Water T° (summer): Cool

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Alder Flat

From Portland,

  • Drive on Highway 26 East to Sandy
  • Turn right on Highway 211 and follow for about 6 miles to Highway 224
  • Turn left onto Highway 224 East (HWY 211S) and continue 29.9 miles to the trailhead on the right.

From Salem & Eugene,

  • From I-5, take Exit 271 for Highway 214, and turn right onto Highway 214 toward Woodburn
  • Continue on Highway 211 North for 33.2 miles to Highway 224 East
  • Turn left onto Highway 224 East and continue 29.9 miles to the trailhead on the right.

The Alder Flat trailhead is located on the left of the parking area. Hike for about 0.35 miles to the trail's intersection. Bear right and continue hiking for 0.65 miles to the Clackamas River.

Phone: 503-668-1700

GPS: N 45°5.036', W 122°3.691' | 45.083938, -122.06152

GPS (Trailhead): N 45°4.835', W 122°3.370' | 45.080582, -122.056166

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