Alsea River Swimming & Crayfishing – Coast Range

Alsea River Swimming

• Water of the Alsea River heats up quickly to comfort level for swimming
• The river attracts swimmers, boaters, and crayfish lovers




The Alsea River originates from the confluence of the North Fork and South Fork of the Alsea River near the Alsea town. Snaking down approximately 50 miles west on its way to the Pacific Ocean, the Alsea River, also, receives its water from other Coast Range creeks. The river was named after Alsi (Alsea) Indians, people who lived at the mouth of the Alsea River, before the first Europeans arrived.

Alsea Highway 34 follows 43 miles along the river from the city of Waldport, providing convenient access to the river via numerous recreation sites and turnouts.

Accented by plenty of swimming holes, the Alsea River is relatively safe for swimming in the summer; thanks to its warmer water and slow current. Like other coastal Oregon rivers, the water heats up quickly to comfort temperatures for refreshing dips.

During the summer months, the Alsea River attracts swimmers, boaters, and crayfish lovers. A few spots along the river, which are suitable for many water activities including swimming, tubing, boating, and angling, are listed below.



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Alsea River Swimming at Tidewater

One of the best swimming, tubing, and sunbathing spots is located between milepost 12 and 13 on Highway 34, about 12.9 miles east of Waldport. A short easy trail from the roadside turnout will take you to the river.

Punched with a lot of holes, flat rock ledges line the bank of the river. This flat bedrock outcrop serves as a platform for sunbathing and picnicking. There is a long cleft between underwater rock ledges, creating a brisk current and loads of fun for children.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 18 ft (5.5 m)

GPS: N 44°23.997' W 123°51.547' | 44.3999, -123.8591



Alsea River Swimming at Hellion Rapids

Travel a next couple miles east along Alsea Highway to the excellent swimming spot at Hellion Rapids.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Managed: Siuslaw National Forest
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 136 ft (41.5 m)

GPS: N 44°23.574' W 123°49.839' | 44.3929, -123.83065



Alsea River Swimming at Mike Bauer Wayside

Between milepost 16 and 17, just before the bridge, there is a parking area at Mike Bauer Wayside. You'll not miss it. A large turnout with the great view of the river. A short hike takes you down to the beautiful river.

This spot features wide underwater ledges and deep pool on the opposite side of the river. Mike Bauer Wayside is an accessible fishing site with a boat ramp and fishing platform.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: Vault toilet
Day-use fees: None
Managed: Siuslaw National Forest
Elevation: 140 ft (43 m)

GPS: N 44°23.227' W 123°49.908' | 44.3871, -123.8318

Blackberry Boat Ramp & Day Use | Campground

This site is located roughly 18 miles east of Waldport. Swimming and tubing are popular in the summer when the water level is low. Anglers will enjoy the river from the end of August through March. There is a boat ramp.

Service: Flush restrooms, potable water
Day-use fees: Yes
Passes: Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Managed: Siuslaw National Forest
Elevation: 164 ft (50 m)

GPS: N 44°22.370' W 123°50.163' | 44.37283, -123.83605



Ermie Walter Boat Ramp

A small picnic site with a boat ramp, located between milepost 19 and 20 on Highway 34. A great place for wading and crawfishing. Large parking area.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Day-use fees: None
Managed: Siuslaw National Forest
Elevation: 164 ft (50 m)

GPS: N 44°21.057' W 123°50.159' | 44.350944, -123.835986



River Edge Recreation Site

The River Edge Recreation Site and Campground are located 23 miles east of Waldport. The site features an accessible group campground for 100 guests, playfield, large sheltered picnic area, campfire ring and grills, drinking water, electricity and four vault toilets. Firewood may be purchased.

The site is excellent for a variety of water activities including swimming, wading, boating, and angling.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: Vault toilets, potable water
Day-use fees: Yes
Passes: Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Managed: Siuslaw National Forest
Elevation: 212 ft (65 m)

GPS: N 44°22.596' W 123°48.030' | 44.3766, -123.8005

Missouri Bend Recreation Area

Missouri Bend Recreation Area can be found on Highway 34 between mileposts 31 and 32, about 7 miles west of the town of Alsea. A sturdy wooden staircase and wooden boat slide lead down from the parking area to the bank river.

The river is lined by rock ledges. Wading, swimming, sunbathing and crawfishing is available during the summer months. The day-use recreation area offers picnic tables.

Alsea River Swimming

Service: Vault toilet
Day-use fees: None
Managed: BLM
Elevation: 290 ft (88 m)

GPS: N 44°20.582' W 123°43.307' | 44.343, -123.7218



Alsea Falls on the South Fork of the Alsea River

Alsea FallsThe scenic 30-foot Alsea Falls in the old-growth lush forest is a must-visit attraction for those who love the sound of cascading waterfalls and tranquility of wild nature. The Alsea Falls Recreation Site is popular among campers, hikers, and all others who enjoy the beauty of wild nature.

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Fishing

Alsea River is home to wild runs of coastal cutthroat trout, steelhead, chinook and coho salmon. The fish trout hatchery is located on the North Fork Alsea River; Oregon Hatchery Research Center is on the Fall Creek.







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