Cantrall Buckley County Park

• Applegate River swimming is an excellent way to cool down in summer!
• The area offers camping, hiking, fishing, and rock collecting opportunities

SwimmingFishing OregonAgate HuntingCamping Oregon

Applegate River is a tributary of the Rogue River, originating in northern California's Siskiyou Mountains. The river collects spring water and snow melt in the mountains and flows northward, crossing the Oregon border.

Applegate Dam impounds the Applegate River right after it enters Oregon, creating the Applegate Lake. Applegate Lake and Applegate River have numerous swimming holes, including well-developed and small secluded spots. The river runs for 51 miles and covers an area of 698 square miles.

The lake and the river warm up well during summer for a comfortable swim. Both shallow and deep areas have a slow current, making it perfect for many water activities.

You can enjoy swimming, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, angling, and more here. At the same time, the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest is perfect for camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and nature viewing.

Fish Hatchery Park

Fish Hatchery County ParkFish Hatchery County Park is a day-use area just a short drive from Grants Pass. This is a fantastic outdoor location for swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and biking.

Despite the name of the park, there is no fish hatchery here. However, it is still a fantastic spot to fish at the Applegate River. The park has plenty of trails; some are extensive, including the Bolt Mountain summit hike.




There are numerous pullouts for a refreshing dip along the Applegate River. The water warms nicely in the summer, with around 70° F (21° C) in August. The current is slow in warm months as well. The river bottom is sand and gravel. You can find a shallow and deep place for various water activities.

Pullout 1

Applegate River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Managed: US National Forest
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 1100 ft (335 m)

GPS : N 42°20.511' W 123°18.620' | 42.341850, -123.310333

Pullout 2

Applegate River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Managed: US National Forest
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 1300 ft (396 m)

GPS : N 42°15.311' W 123°10.310' | 42.255183, -123.171833

Pullout 3

Applegate River Swimming

Service: No service is available
Managed: US National Forest
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 1400 ft (427 m)

GPS : N 42°13.746' W 123°03.957' | 42.229100, -123.065950

Cantrall Buckley County Park

Cantrall Buckley County ParkCantrall Buckley County Park sits 15 miles southwest of Medford and has nearly two miles of river frontage, scenic nature, a campground, and a well-developed day-use area.

The park campground has 30 campsites for RVs, trailers, or tents. There is a playground for kids, a 2-lane boat launch ramp, a volleyball net, and multiple picnic tables.


McKee Bridge Recreation Area

McKee Bridge Day Use AreaMcKee Bridge Day-Use Area and Community Kitchen sits near McKee Covered Bridge, just a short drive from Medford. It is a fantastic spot for a refreshing dip, picnicking, swimming, and even an Oregon country-style wedding!

The swimming hole is just down the river from the bridge, and you can access it by taking a short set of rocks and steps.


Applegate Lake Hart-Tish Park

Hart-Tish ParkHart-Tish Park is a well-developed location on the bank of the Applegate Lake. This is a perfect base camp to explore the lake and the surrounding area, as well as take a refreshing dip! It has a separate area for swimming and a boat ramp.

The park includes several acres of beautifully groomed lawn slopping down to the beach.


Carberry Swim Area

Carberry Swim AreaCarberry Swim Area is a primitive swimming hole on Applegate Lake. It is fantastic for many water activities, including kids splashing, paddle boarding, and more.

Carberry is a sandy beach with big rocks on it and in the water. Here, you can see the bridge with forested hills and rocky formations. Carberry Creek falls into the lake, creating a small waterfall.



Applegate River and Lake are all-season places for fishing!

Applegate Lake is productive for trout and Chinook in deep areas and largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and crappie in shallow areas.

Applegate River is the most famous for hatchery and wild steelhead. Trout fishing is excellent too. Sometimes, you can catch the bass in the river, but odds are, it is a random washdown from the lake.


Applegate Reservoir and Applegate Lake area have many trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians.

The lake has a total of 18 miles of shoreline hiking trails. Trail bikes are permitted only on 1 trail leading to Stein Butte. Horses are allowed on 3 routes, including the Stein Butte, Collings Mountain, and Da-Ku-Be-Te-De.

The Fish Hatchery County Park is another excellent place for hiking. The main attraction is a trail to the Bolt Mountain summit. This is a challenging 6.6 mile (10.6 km) out-and-back path. Extended trails can take you all the way to Stringer Gap Road and beyond.


Applegate River RockhoundingRock collection is allowed on the river, but you cannot collect rocks below the dam. The best season is summer and early fall when the river level is low. Serpentine, jade, agate, jasper, and quartz are the most common minerals here.

Camping & Lodging

There are multiple places to stay around the Applegate River and Lake.

Hart-Tish Park is a perfect base camp on Applegate Reservoir with 7 tent sites, 8 RV spots, a day-use park, and multiple amenities.

Carberry Creek Campground is near Carberry Swim Area and has 10 tent sites, vault toilets, and drinking water.

Applegate Lake also has multiple undeveloped campsites like Tipsu Tyee Campground, Watkins Campground, The French Gulch, and Harr Point Campground.

Cantrall Buckley County Park campground on Applegate River has 30 campsites for RVs, trailers, or tents. Available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Jacksonville

Lodging in Grant Pass

Lodging in Medford

Adventures Nearby

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