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
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Mt. Hood National Forest
Services: No services are available
Activities: Camping, swimming, hiking, cliff jumping, fishing, and rockhounding
Accommodations: Campground open year-round
Distance from the parking: 1 mile
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Low to moderate
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
- 125 miles northwest of Bend
- 140 miles northeast of Eugene.