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, paddle boarding, and kayaking. You can start your trip at Farewell Bend Park and float downstream to Drake Park in the Bend's downtown.

Because of the lava underneath is acting as 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 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.

Jefferson County

Scout Lake SwimmingScout Lake

Excellent opportunities for swimming in the scenic natural lake...

Lake Billy Chinook SwimmingLake Billy Chinook

Popular destination for swimming, fishing, water-skiing, picnicking...

Steelhead Falls - Cliff JumpingSteelhead Falls

A popular summer destination with swimming and cliff jumping opportunities...

Deschutes County

Farewell Bend Park OregonFarewell Bend Park

A stretch of the river provides opportunities for paddling, floating, tubing...

Elk Lake - Sunset View Day Use AreaElk Lake

Sand-and-pebble beaches and blue crystal-clear water...

Sparks Lake - Cascade Lakes HighwaySparks Lake

A beautiful natural lake located in a broken volcanic rock...

Cultus Lake SwimmingCultus Lake

A natural lake was formed by melted glacier water...

Tumalo State Park OregonTumalo State Park

The park is a popular swimming and fishing destination...

Crane Prairie Reservoir

Reservoir is a relatively shallow lake...

Wickiup Reservoir - Cascade LakesWickiup Reservoir

A great place for wildlife viewing, fishing, boating, and swimming...

Paulina LakePaulina Lake

Swimming is available on the southwest shore of Paulina Lake...

Linn County

Trail BridgeTrail Bridge Reservoir & Smith Reservoir

Features hiking trails and day-use sites with great fishing, swimming and boating opportunities..

Swimming holes associated with cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous. Variations in water levels, rocks that are not immediately visible or even shift in river bottoms due to strong currents can all lead to undesirable consequences. It is, therefore, very important to check current conditions and all associated risks and concerns. Make safe decisions!

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