Three Pools | Opal Creek Wilderness – Cascades

Three Pools

Three Pools

Three Pools

Three Pools

Pillars at Three Pools

One of the best swimming holes features aquamarine pools, waterfalls, cliffs and pillar

The really amazing destination on this list of summer water fun is Three Pools along the Little North Santiam River, known for the excellent swimming and cliff jumping opportunities. This trifecta of aquamarine pools along a beautiful pebbled beach is perfect for hours of laying on your towel soaking up the summer sun create an offering worthy of the gods.

For all of you adventure seekers, in addition to the phenomenal jumping prospects, further upstream two stunningly clear pools squeeze in to form a natural water slide. Of course as with any location so striking, large crowds are to be expected; however, the area is large enough for everyone to get their own little space, and quite honestly, it is quite a small price to pay for its spectacular beauty.

When parking is full, vehicles can't park along the Forest Road 2207 within 1/2 mile.

Cautions: Cliff jumping and slippery rocks are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.


Three Pools | General Description

Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Willamette National Forest

Services: Vault toilets, garbage service, picnic sites, no water, no cell service
Activities: Swimming, cliff jumping, fishing, hiking
Accommodations: Shady Cove Campground - 1.1 miles

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: High
Restrictions: No glass bottles; No parking along FR 2207 within 1/2 mile

Elevation: 1,600 ft (488 m)

Three Pools Area is located:

  • 42 miles east of Salem
  • 88 miles southeast of Portland
  • 90 miles northeast of Eugene.

Swimming hole rating: 5 out of 5
Water body: River
Water quality: Transparent
Current: Moderate
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: River rocks, bedrock, and cliffs
Water T° (summer): Cool

Three Pools

Three Pools

Three Pools

Three Pools

Directions to Three Pools

From Salem,

  • Follow east on State Highway 22 to Mehama
  • At milepost 23, turn left onto North Fork Road and drive 15.3 miles to the Forest Boundary
  • Continue 1.3 miles on gravel FS Road 2209 to the intersection of FS Road 2207
  • Turn right and follow another 0.8 miles to Three Pools Day Use Area.


GPS: N 44°50.378' W 122°18.678' | 44.8405, -122.314

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