Bear Creek Park – Little North Fork Santiam River

Bear Creek

One of a series swimming holes along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River
Rocky wading and swimming spots



Located 29 miles east of Salem and 7 miles from Highway 22 on the Little North Fork of the Santiam River, Bear Creek is the beautiful day-use park and the first Marion County's campground. Surrounded by old-growth Douglas fir, hemlock, and other conifer trees, Bear Creek offers an excellent picnicking, hiking, fishing and swimming opportunities.

There are hiking trails through the park and down to the river including a stairway. The small swimming but beautiful pool situated downstream of the trail. The bank is packed with boulders and river rocks.

Each site of the 15-site campground has a fire ring and picnic table, three of them are handicap accessible.




Bear Creek Park | General Description

Open: May - October; Day use from 6am to 10pm
Managed: Marion County
Location: Little North Santiam Recreation Area

Services: Potable water, restrooms, picnic sites, fire pits, and garbage service
Activities: Camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing
Accommodations: 15 campsites

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Annual parking pass
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Usage: Moderate to heavy

Elevation: 1,200 ft (366 m)

Bear Creek Park is located:

  • 10 miles northeast of Lyons
  • 33 miles east of Salem
  • 78 miles southeast of Portland
  • 81 miles northeast of Eugene.

Swimming spot rating: 3 out of 5
Water body: River
Water quality: Transparent
Current: Light to moderate
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Boulders and river rocks
Water T° (summer): Cool

Directions to Bear Creek County Park

From I-5,

  • Take exit 253 in Salem toward Detroit and drive approximately 24 miles east on State Highway 22 to North Fork Road/Little North Fork
  • Turn left onto North Fork Road, and continue for about 7.5 miles to the destination on the left.

Phone: 503-588-5036
GPS: 44°48.008' W 122°28.166' | 44.8001, -122.4694



Points of Interest




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.