As summer begins to roll onto its fag end, the temperatures continue to soar and everyone needs a spot to take refuge from the heat. The final major waterfall along the Washougal River, the Dougan Falls can be sighted from a multitude of roadside stops. The falls are created as the Washougal River widens to more than a 100 feet and suddenly crashed sideways, down 19 feet, into a narrow trough. At the base of the falls is an immensely deep pool of pristine clear water which is perfect for a nice swim on a hot summer day.
Amongst the best swimming holes located along the Pacific Northwest, the Dougan Falls are often ignored by Oregonians. Nestled towards the end of the winding paved river road, Dougan Falls offers visitors the opportunity to engage in myriad activities. Besides wading in the giant pool of water, visitors could also choose to relax in the shallow waters at the top of the falls or lay out a large towel on the sandy beach just below the bridge.
If you time your visit right, it is not uncommon to see many kayakers testing the waters. There are picnic tables in the day use area as well, making Dougan Falls a good spot for a family outing. Furthermore, the Dougan Creek Campground is located hardly 100 yards away from the falls affording visitors the opportunity to lounge along the river banks for more than just a day.
As one may expect, throngs of crowds visit these falls making it a pain for those desiring a more secluded destination. That being said, a well-timed visit around the middle of the week ensures that you give large crowds a miss.
Dougan Falls Recreation Day Use site is a fee area. You are able to buy Discover Pass where hunting and fishing licenses are sold, via online on the site discoverpass.wa.gov, or over phone 866-320-9933. The annual pass is $30 and a day-use pass is $10.
Cautions: Cliff jumping and slippery rocks are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.
Access allowed: All year, 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour before sunset
Walking distance: Short
Day-use fees: Yes
Passes: Discover Pass
Usage: Moderate to heavy
Accommodations: Dougan Creek Campground
Location: Scamania County, Washington
GPS coordinates: 45.6726, -122.1553
Elevation: 650 ft (198 m)
Dougan Falls Recreation Day Use site is located:
- 41 miles north of Portland (downtown)
- 87 miles north of Salem
- 150 miles north of Eugene.
Body of water: River, falls
Water quality: Clear and transparent
Beach: River rocks and rock formation
Water T° (summer): Cool to warm
Directions to Dougan Falls
Travel I-205 North to Exit 27 in Washington State. Take exit 27 toward Camas and merge onto WA-14, follow 9.1 miles east to Washougal River Road to the destination.