The Cascade Mountains and Willamette Valley are defined with a patterned symmetry of freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and creeks, that offer great summer swimming and other water activities within reasonable proximity of one of the largest in Oregon - the Salem Metropolitan Area.

Favorite summer destinations of the Salem residents are the North and South Santiam Rivers and their tributaries, as well as the tributary of Willamette River. Numerous sites offer opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with activities such as swimming, boating, paddleboarding, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and camping. Some sites are extremely popular and can be crowded on hot summer weekends. There are a few less-known places in the Salem vicinity but they are still great to spend your time around water.

Because rivers and creeks are located at a higher elevation and fed by water from the Cascade Mountains, the swimming holes are likely going to be cold. Before you check the list of the swimming spots that are below, be aware that there are inherited dangers associated with swimming and other water activities. Please, make safe decisions.




Marion County

Scotts Mills FallsScotts Mills Falls

A waterfall cascades through the rocky cliff into the large plunge pool..

Blowout Creek SwimmingBlowout Creek - Detroit Lake

A deep and calm pool in the narrow deep canyon beneath a suspension footbridge...

Shady Cove - Little North Fork Santiam River Little North Santiam Area

A rugged watershed of Little North Santiam River displays the geologic history of the area with numerous recreation areas and parks...

North Fork Park SwimmingNorth Fork Park

Popular large swimming hole with a broad beach, and wide rock ledges...

Bear CreekBear Creek 

One of a series swimming holes along the Little North Fork...

Salmon Falls ParkSalmon Falls Park

Shallow water on the top of the waterfall and deep pool at the cliff base...

Silver Falls State Park SwimmingSilver Falls Park Swimming

The park is extremely popular for its scenery, gorgeous waterfalls, and Ten Falls Trail...

Detroit Lake SwimmingDetroit Lake Swimming

Plenty of water activities including swimming, fishing, paddling, and boating...

Elkhorn Valley - Little North Santiam SwimmingElkhorn Valley

Deep section of the river with rocky slopes and vertical cliffs...

Three PoolsThree Pools

A series of fantastic emerald pools, waterfalls, cliffs, grottoes, and the rock pillar...

Canyon Creek - Little North Santiam RiverCanyon Creek

A large swimming area with sand and pebble beach, rock jumping opportunity...

Little North ForkLittle North Fork

The scenic river landscape, excellent hiking, and refreshing swimming...



Linn County

Rock Creek Swimming Hole Rock Creek

Secluded swimming hole in the Santiam State Forest features the waterfall and deep pool...

Pioneer Park Swimming BrownswilleCalapooia River - Pioneer Park

Tranquil waters of the river make this location great for Families with kids...

McKercher County Park SwimmingCalapooia River - McKercher Park

Scenic river with unique rocky banks with a series of swimming holes...

Foster Lake Foster Lake – Lewis Creek Park

Sandy beach, great for families with kids, water sports. Crowded in a peak season.

Sunnyside County ParkFoster Lake - Sunnyside County Park

Sandy beach, great for families with kids, water sports, camping, picnic sites.

Quartzville Creek SwimmingQuartzville Creek

Beautiful swimming holes along the Quartzville Creek...

Quartzville CreekYellowbottom – Quartzville Creek

A big natural pool with emerald cold water in the beautiful scenery...

Larwood Covered Bridge Swimming Larwood Covered Bridge

A lovely park features a covered bridge and swimming hole...

Hannah Bridge Fishing Hannah Covered Bridge

The site offers swimming, fishing, and rockhounding opportunities...

Gilkey Covered Bridge - Thomas Creek Gilkey Covered Bridge

This is a great site to swim, fish, and rockhound...

Hoffman Covered Bridge - Swimming Hoffman Covered Bridge

Swimming under the bridge is relaxing and enjoyable...

Jordan Bridge Thomas Creek Swimming Broken Dam

A scenic swimming area at the Jordan Bridge...

Larwood Covered Bridge Swimming Thomas Creek

Warm and calm water of the creek is ideal for summer swimming...

Cascadia State Park - SwimmingCascadia State Park

A beautiful place is popular among swimmers, hikers, campers, and anglers...

Cascadia Day-Use Area - Short BridgeCascadia Day-Use Area

A great swimming, rockhounding, fishing, and picnicking destination...



Clackamas County

Three bears - Molalla RiverThree Bears Site

Cobble beach, beautiful lucid green and relatively warm water...

Molalla River Day-Use Site Molalla River Site 2

A secluded swimming spot with large rock ledges and deep pool...

Molalla River Day Use Site 4Molalla River Site 4

A secluded deep swimming spot for experienced swimmers...

Alder Flat - Clackamas River Alder Flat

Features deep emerald swimming holes on the Clackamas River...

Metzler River ParkMetzler River Park

Secluded shallow swimming hole, friendly for families with small kids...

Feyrer ParkFeyrer Park

Plenty of activities including camping, picnicking, and swimming...



Disclaimer
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!

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