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 the 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 the basalt cliff and pours into a small but deep pool with clear green-emerald water. You can access the swimming area either climbing down the cliff 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, a garbage service, and fire rings. The gate is open for vehicles from May to September. For the rest of the year walk-in access is allowed beyond the gate. Nightly camping fees are applied. A day-use option 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.