When the weather heats up in our little corner of the PNW, there’s nothing quite like visiting one of the beautiful lakes near Portland to cool off. While we are surrounded by rivers, there are also plenty of great lakes within reach, and these are some of the best. Whether you want to stay local, or head to Mt Hood or beyond, check out some of these beautiful lakes around Portland to spend a lazy summer afternoon in the sun.

Have you visited these beautiful lakes near Portland before? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Want to explore more water? Check out these gorgeous waterfalls near Portland.

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Beautiful lakes in Portland

What are some beautiful places to swim in Portland?

Aside from lakes near Portland, there are some other great places to swim in Portland.

  • One of our favorite places to go for a dip near PDX is Hood River Waterfront Park. It's about an hour's drive from Portland, making it a wonderful day trip near the Rose City during the summertime! If you’re looking for a good, old-fashioned Oregon beach day, you’ll find it at Hood River Waterfront Park. This picturesque park features a sandy beach and swimming hole (with access to the Columbia River), plus an innovative playground, picnic shelters, and lots of open green space. Hood River Waterfront Park in Oregon is a throwback to a simpler, more wholesome time when families gathered on the beach for unplugged fun in the sun, and that's something we could all use from time to time!
  • Of course, if you're looking for more of a bare-bones swimming hole near Portland, Buck Lake (included in the above list) is one of our favorite hidden gems. Buck Lake is a beautiful hidden gem located in the Mt Hood National Forest. It's a perfect place for an afternoon swim, and it's relatively easy to access from Portland if you don't mind driving along winding gravel roads. The lake itself is only a half-mile walk from the parking area, making it super easy to access, too!