Nature July 28, 2016
These 11 Swimming Spots Have The Clearest, Most Pristine Water In Oregon
From turquoise lakes to secluded forest creeks, there are gorgeous swimming holes tucked away in every corner of Oregon. This summer, experience the pristine beauty of the Beaver State by taking a dip in one of these clear, breathtaking swimming spots.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
11. Opal Creek
Located in the Cascade Mountain wilderness, Opal Creek is dotted with many stunning, pristine swimming holes. One of the best is Opal Pool, a gorgeous swimming spot that reaches 25 feet deep and can only be accessed by a scenic 3.5 mile hike.
10. Clear Lake
This ancient lake serves as the headwaters of the McKenzie River, and it's absolutely beautiful. Beneath the impossibly clear water, you may be able to see the petrified forest that still (partially) stands at the bottom of the 120-feet deep lake. The lake is quite cold, but it's a great spot to beat the heat on a blistering day or to float along in a boat.
9. Three Pools
Located on the Little North Fork Santiam River, Three Pools is made up of three amazingly pristine swimming holes that are perfect for a sunny day's swim. Bring along a beach towel and set up camp on one of the pebbly beaches for an unforgettable summer day trip.
8. Crater Lake
Did you know there are parts of Crater Lake that you can swim in? Located in the caldera of Mount Mazama in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake is one of Oregon's most amazing crown jewels, beloved for its incredible beauty, impossible depths (it's the deepest lake in the country), and the amazing purity of its waters.
7. Quartzville Creek
This lovely tributary of the Santiam River is speckled with amazingly clear, turquoise swimming holes.
6. Waldo Lake
This beloved lake in the Cascade Mountains is one of the largest lakes in Oregon, and it's impeccably pristine. It's a perfect summer destination.
5. Tamolitch Pool
Tamolich Pool, also known as the "Blue Pool", is a stunning hidden gem located along the McKenzie River. The pure water has a vibrant blue hue, and it's a great place for sightseeing as well as taking a refreshing dip - if you can brave the cold water.
4. Brice Creek
Located on the Brice Creek Trail near Cottage Grove, Brice Creek is speckled with amazing swimming spots.
3. Ice Lake
This breathtaking lake is one of Oregon's amazing, remote alpine lakes - and it's not easy to get to. The stunning, serene lake is surrounded by mountain peaks and rugged hills and can be reached on a hike that begins at the Wallowa Lake Trailhead and ascends a steep 8 miles to Ice Lake. If you're feeling adventurous, you can then continue on to the summit of Matterhorn, the tallest point of the Wallowa Mountains.
2. Buck Lake
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.
1. Wallowa Lake
This gorgeous lake is nestled into the foothills of the stunning Wallowa Mountains near Joseph, and it's a perfect place to spend a hot summer day.
Want to find out about some more great places to beat the heat in Oregon? Check out
these 8 swimming holes in Oregon that will make your summer unforgettable.