Whether you prefer lake or river, you have plenty of close-in options to choose for swimming around Portland when the mercury rises. While some watering holes will require a short hike, others allow you to practically drive right in. All are family friendly, so pack a picnic and bring plenty of cool drinks for a fun afternoon in the sun. Here are 9 amazing swimming holes near Portland.
1. Blue Lake
Blue Lake, located in Fairview, is a family friendly swim spot, that along with the lake, features a large water splash pad, picnic areas, and frisbee golf course. Admission is $5 per vehicle.
2. Glenn Otto Community Park
Just 20 minutes from Portland, this spot on the Sandy River is perfect for a quick cool off. Admission is free.
3. Vancouver Lake Park
Just across the Columbia lies Vancouver Lake, a picturesque park with a sandy beach and shady picnic areas. The area is also a great location for kayaking and canoeing. Admission is free.
4. Alder Flat
Located on the Clackamas River, this swim spot requires a 3/4-mile hike in, but it is well worth it. A stone and sand beach and primitive campground are about all that's here, making it a great low key swim spot. There is no fee.
5. Henry Hagg Lake
Located near Forest Grove, this scenic lake is a great getaway for a day of swimming, fishing, and boating. Day use fee is $7 per vehicle.
6. Lost Lake
Situated at the end of over 20 miles of winding roads, this lake is secluded at 3,100 feet up Mt Hood. Besides stunning view of the mountain, you can camp and rent paddleboats or canoes from the lodge here. Day use fee is $7 per vehicle.
7. Trillium Lake
Close to Government Camp, this pristine lake is a great place for a summer adventure. Enjoy swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boating on this picturesque lake with a great Mt. Hood view. Day use fee is $5 per vehicle.
8. Sauvie Island
Head to the island, and pick up some fresh fruit from a farm along the way for lunch. Located on the Columbia River, there are both traditional beaches and clothing optional ones here. Day use fee is $10 per vehicle.
9. Wildwood Recreation Area
There are several places along the Salmon River to dip your toes in, and a couple to have a full afternoon of swimming. Try the small beach near the underwater viewing area for one of the deepest, least rocky swimming areas along the park's impressive trail. Day use fee is $5.