Shady Cove - Little North Fork Santiam River

Due to wildfires, Little North Santiam River Area is temporally closed

• A rugged watershed of Little North Santiam River displays the geologic history of the area
• There are numerous recreation areas and parks

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Little North Santiam River originates in the Opal Creek Wilderness from the confluence of Battle Ax and Opal Creeks in the Willamette National Forest. Little North Santiam snakes down approximately 27 miles east on its way to the North Santiam River. The rugged river watershed is a reflection of volcanic events that occurred millions of years ago.

Occasional waterfalls, rapids, deep swimming holes, cliffs, basalt and andesite volcanic rocks. Nearly every part of the river and surrounding area brings its geologic history to life.

There are numerous recreation areas and parks along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Three of them including North Fork, Salmon Falls, and Bear Creek are managed by Marion County. Canyon Creek and Elkhorn Valley are BLM land. All areas located within the boundaries of the Willamette National Forest are managed by US National Forest.

All areas along the river are popular among those who enjoy summer activities including picnicking, hiking, swimming, rock and cliff jumping.

The water of the Little North Santiam River warms up quickly during the summer months. Beautiful swimming holes and close proximity to Salem make the river extremely popular.

A 4.5-mile trail from Elkhorn Valley Campground to Shady Cove Campground provides a great hike along the river. Several cascading waterfalls, deep emerald pools, and a spectacular gorge with towering rock walls can be seen along the trail. There are a few rustic log footbridges along the trail.


Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are present in Little North Santiam. Trout fishing is catch and release only. The steelhead runs from February to March. Hatchery steelhead allowed to be retained. Rules are a subject to change. Check Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife website for updates.

North Fork County Park

North Fork Park - Little North Santiam RiverNorth Fork County Park is a popular destination on a hot summer day with a broad sandy and pebble beach, wide rock ledges, and a large swimming pool.

Day-use area only.


Little North Fork Swimming Spot

Little North Fork Swimming Spot Little North Fork swimming spot with its clear swimming hole offers a great recreational experience. The hike down to the river is short but steep.

This is the day-use area only.


Lomkers Bridge Day-Use Area

Lomkers Bridge across the Little North Fork is located 4 miles east of the North Fork County Park. If you travel east, a parking area is on the left side of the road, just before the bridge. The swimming area can be accessed from both sides of the bridge. The deep stretch of the river is enclosed by rock formations. A current is slow.

Lomkers bridge - Little North Fork Swimming

Open: May 1st - October 31 from 8 am to 8 pm
Managed: Marion County
Services: None
Day-use fees: Yes

GPS: N 44°47.614' W 122°29.556' | 44.79357, -122.4926

Canyon Creek Recreation Site

Canyon Creek - Little North Santiam RiverCanyon Creek is a large swimming area with sand and pebble beach.

This is the day-use area only.


Bear Creek Marion County

Bear CreekBear Creek is a great destination for summer outdoor activities with rocky wading and swimming spots.

Campground and day-use county park.


Elkhorn Valley Recreation Site

Elkhorn Valley Little North Santiam RiverAn excellent summer destination with camping. Features the deep section of the river, rocky slopes, and vertical cliffs.

Campground and day-use county park.


Salmon Falls County Park

Salmon Falls ParkSalmon Falls County Park along the Little North Santiam River is a popular destination during the summer months.

This is the day-use area only.


Three Pools Day Use Area

Three PoolsThree Pools is a scenic river that flows over ancient volcanic basalt rocks. Features a series of fantastic emerald pools, waterfalls, cliffs, and the rock pillar.

This is the day-use area only.


Shady Cove Campground & Day Use Area

Tucked away in the lush forest of the Cascade Mountains, Shady Cove is a secluded campground 1 mile away from Three Pools Day Use Area. There are 13 primitive first-come, first-served campsites with picnic tables.

This site is a great base for exploring Opal Creek Ancient Forest and it is the only campground within the Opal Creek Wilderness. Trailheads of Santiam River, Opal Creek, Henline Falls, Henline Mountain, and Nasty Rock trails are located nearby.
Shady Cove - Little North Fork Santiam River

Open: Year-round depending on road conditions and weather
Managed: US National Forest
Services: Toilets
Day-use fees: Yes

GPS: N 44°50.751' W 122°17.892' | 44.84585, -122.2982

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