The Central Oregon region is a transition from the high desert on the east to the Cascades wilderness on the west. There is an abundance of swimming holes near Bend including high-altitude natural lakes, man-made reservoirs, swimming spots, and waterfalls on the Deschutes, Metolius, and Crooked Rivers.
You might ask, what are the best swimming holes near Bend? It depends on what kind of place and type of activities you're looking for. The Deschutes River is popular for inner tubing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. You can start your trip at Farewell Bend Park and float downstream to Drake Park in the Bend's downtown.
Because molten rock underneath is acting like a huge sponge, the Deschutes River has a unique even flow year-round. Originated at Little Lava Lake, the river winds its way across Oregon to the Columbia River, creating impressive scenic beauty and providing unlimited recreational opportunities.
There are a plethora of beautiful blue lakes surrounded by pine and fur forests on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains. High in elevation, Cascade Lakes attract visitors who love to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking.
Each of the two crater lakes in the Newberry Caldera, Paulina and East Lakes, have its own hot springs. So, in addition to swimming, you can enjoy a healing soaking in Paulina Hot Springs and East Lake Hot Springs.
Cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous. Variations in water levels, rocks that are not immediately visible, and shifts in river bottoms due to strong currents can lead to serious injury and even death. It is very important to check your swimming spot conditions and take all associated risks into account. Make safe decisions!