Discover a beautiful swimming hole on the Rock Creek, hidden deep in the ancient Santiam State Forest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Surrounded by old-growth Douglas-fir, hemlock, red alder, and big leaf maple trees, the Rock Creek Recreation and three campsites offer secluded camping, picnicking, hiking, and swimming opportunities. You will drive in wilderness roughly 3 miles along the creek on unpaved and gravel roads before you reach this amazing swimming spot.
The hole is located below a footbridge. A beautiful waterfall cascades off basalt cliffs and pour into a small but deep pool with clear green-emerald water. You can access the swimming area either climbing down the cliffs or use a trail on the left side of the bridge (a little longer but easy!).
The recreation area and campsites that are spread out along the creek offer seasonal restrooms, picnic tables, trash service, and fire rings. The gate is open for vehicles from May to September. The rest of the year walk-in access is allowed beyond the gate. Nightly camping fees is applied. Day-use is free.
Rock Creek Swimming Hole | General Description
Open: May - September
Managed: Oregon Department of Forestry
Location: Santiam State Forest
Services: Portable toilets, no water, garbage service, picnic sites
Activities: Swimming, hiking, picnicking, camping
Accommodations: No camping allowed near the swimming hole, 3 rustic campsites along the Rock Creek
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 1,496 ft (456 m)
Rock Creek Swimming Hole is located:
- 5.7 miles southeast of Mill City
- 38 miles east of Salem
- 84 miles southeast of Portland
- 84 miles northeast of Eugene.