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“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” 

                                                     Sam Keen

The temps are up and I think it is safe to say that most of us are embracing this sun-laden-season with a renewed vengeance this year. It feels like time to let loose, linger, take naps in the hammock, sunbathe, stroll, gather with loved ones, take the trip and soak up every moment of it.

For me, summer is not summer without water and lots of it. Growing up I spent as many of my waking hours as possible in either the river or someone’s pool until I was forced to get back on land. Not much has changed except that these days I prefer to be surrounded by nature and purity as I plunge. These are some of the top swimming holes hear Portland.

 The Narrows Swimming Hole  43 Miles from Portland. Deep pools. Cliff Jumping. Campsites nearby.
 Beaver Falls  57 Miles from Portland. Waterfall. Beautiful swimming pool. Dog and kid friendly.
 Wilson River Footbridge Day Use Area  52 Miles from Portland. Ideal swimming hole. Sun-bathing beach. Cliff jumping. Fishing.
 Fall Creek Trail Hike  136 Miles from Portland. Think mini-road trip. 6-Mile Hike In and Out. Several quiet spots in the creek to linger, soak and swim.
 Moulton Falls  39 Miles from Portland. Deep pools. Cliff jumping. Cool clean water.
 Lewis River Falls  90 Miles from Portland. Gorgeous waterfall and crystal-clear water swimming holes. Multiple access points from trailhead. Beautiful hike.
 Big Eddy Picnic Area  42 Miles from Portland. Beautiful water. Great picnic area. Be sure to stay upstream to avoid the rapids.
 Naked Falls on the Washougal  43 Miles from Portland. Cliff jumping. Second largest waterfall on the Washougal River.
Punchbowl Falls in Eagle Creek  41 Miles from Portland. Quintessential Columbia Gorge deep plunge. Great hike as well!
 Brice Creek  150 Miles from Portland. Beautiful hike through old growth forest to multiple swimming holes with crystal clear pool. Camping available.Caution! Be Safe.

Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.

Leave No TraceThe Forest Service and other local management agencies are considering closing access to many of these sensitive locations due to excessive trampling of plants, large amounts of garbage, cans and glass bottles, human waste, and toilet paper left behind.  They simply do not have the staff or the funding to attend to these issues.  If you want to continue enjoying these areas, pack out all garbage and toilet paper and dispose of it properly, use vault toilets and other restroom facilities when provided, and stay on established paths.  Using these areas responsibly will increase the chance that people can continue to enjoy them.

Nature is a gift to us. May we treat it with respect and reverence as we enjoy Her Beauty!


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