Swimming Holes near Salem

The Cascade Mountains and Willamette Valley offer a great summer swimming and diving opportunities in natural waters within reasonable proximity of one of the largest in Oregon - Salem metropolitan area.

The favorite summer destinations of the Salem residents are the Detroit Lake, North Santiam River, and Little North Fork Santiam River. There are more than 20 pools along the North Santiam, Little North Fork, and Detroit Lake area. Here you can swim, fish, picnic, hike, and camp. However, some spots are extremely popular and can be crowdy at hot summer weekends. There are less known but still amazing swimming holes you can explore in the Salem vicinity.

Before you check the list of the swimming spots that are listed below, be aware the swimming holes can be dangerous.

Because of some water located on the higher elevation and fed by water from the Cascade Mountains slopes, the swimming holes are likely going to be cold. The water level in the swimming holes changes year to year, strong currents can bring big rocks. Before you decide to jump, scout the spot and make a safe decision.

Below you will find a variety of swimming locations in the Salem vicinity.

Marion County

North Fork Park SwimmingNorth Fork Park

Popular large swimming hole with a broad beach, and wide rock ledges. Friendly for families with kids.

Bear CreekBear Creek 

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

Salmon Falls ParkSalmon Falls Park

The flat ledges and shallow water on the top of the waterfall and deep pool at the cliff base.

Canyon CreekCanyon Creek

A large swimming area with sand and pebble beach, rock jumping opportunity. Friendly for families with kids.

Elkhorn Valley - Santiam SwimmingElkhorn Valley

Deep section of the Little North Santiam River with rocky slopes and vertical cliffs.

Three PoolsThree Pools

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

Blowout Creek SwimmingBlowout Creek - Detroit Lake

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

Detroit LakeDetroit Lake

A beautiful reservoir with warm water in the summer. Plenty of water activities including swimming, fishing, paddling, and boating.

Scotts Mills FallsScotts Mills Falls

A waterfall cascades through the rocky cliff into the large plunge pool. Warm creek water spurs activities such as wading, swimming, and craw fishing.

Linn County

Rock Creek Bridge Rock Creek

Secluded swimming hole in the Santiam State Forest features the waterfall and deep pool with clear green-emerald water.

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 CreekQuartzville Creek

Beautiful swimming holes along the Quartzville Creek.

Quartzville CreekYellowbottom – Quartzville Creek

A big natural pool with emerald cold water in the beautiful scenery along the scenic coridor of the Quartzville Creek.

McKercher County Park SwimmingCalapooia River - McKercher Park

Scenic river with unique rocky banks with a series of swimming holes in the rocky pockets and channels.

Pioneer Park SwimmingCalapooia River - Pioneer Park

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

Larwood Covered Bridge Swimming Larwood Covered Bridge

A lovely park features a covered bridge and swimming hole. Great for families with kids.

Hannah Bridge Fishing Hannah Covered Bridge

A historic covered bridge over the Thomas Creek, the section of the river is peaceful with clear warm water in the summer months.

Clackamas County

Three BearsThree Bears Site

Cobble beach, beautiful lucid green and relatively warm waters, picnic sites. Family with small children friendly.

Molalla River Day Use Site 2 Molalla River Site 2

A secluded swimming spot with large rock ledges and deep pool within Molalla Recreation Area.

Molalla River Day Use Site 4Molalla River Site 4

A secluded deep swimming spot for experienced swimmers.

Alder Flat - Clackamas River Alder Flat

Remote location in the Mt Hood National Forest features deep emerald swimming holes on the Clackamas River.

Metzler River ParkMetzler River Park

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

Feyrer ParkFeyrer Park

Plenty of activities including camping, picnicking, and swimming with two beautiful swimming holes along the river.

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