Best Swimming Holes near Salem, OR

Whether you need to escape the house for a day while the painters do their thing, or you just have a free day to enjoy the outdoors, Salem has tons of swimming to offer locals and visitors alike.

Swimming holes are a great way to pass a warm sunny day in Oregon. Swimming holes are great because of their clear waters and intricate relationship with nature that they provide. You can see the rocks and swim under the trees while enjoying fresh air.

You can dive from a cliff or hang from the roots and branches of huge overhanging trees like Tarzan. Here are some great swimming holes near Salem that you can explore:

Top 4 Swimming Holes to Explore near Salem

1. Three Pools – Opal Creek Wilderness

This is one of the best places you can go to for hole swimming near Salem. The pools are located 42 miles west of Salem on the North Santiam River. The first hole offers a good swimming space and a 16 foot high cliff for those that are seeking thrill.

Along the pools are pebbled beaches where you can rest and soak in the sun as you watch people not afraid or tired yet of cliff jumping. The other two holes are a little upstream and squeezed up together to form a natural water slide. The water is crystal clear in the holes.

Entry, however, is not allowed if the parking is full because vehicles cannot park along the road. The area is a spectacle sight and thus large crowds are expected.

2. Canyon Creek – Little North Fork Santiam River

Located 33 miles east of Salem, Canyon creek is another popular swimming hole. It is also a perfect place for a family day out because there are some small pools, feeding into the bigger hole; they are used by kids. The water currents aren’t strong and the area is not deep.

There is a big rock used for jumping into the water. The beach is broad, sandy and pebbled because the area is located on the bend of the river. There are also camping and picnicking sites available. It is easy to get to the swimming hole from the parking area.

3. Rock Creek Swimming Hole

It is located 38 miles from Salem and deep in the Santiam State Forest. Therefore, you have to drive three miles on unpaved roads to reach the swimming hole. It is surrounded by old trees, fir and other types of vegetation and cliffs.

It is under a bridge and the only way to access it is by climbing down the cliffs or by using a longer trail. Camping and picnic tables are available.

4. North Fork Park

This is the park of the Little North Fork of the Santiam River located 27 miles east of Salem. The swimming hole here is fed by beautiful rapid streams that can be used as water slides.

The swimming hole is large and has big sandy and pebbled beaches. Picnicking, fishing (catch and release), and hiking trails are available. You can even bring the dog!

There is so much joy that comes from swimming in holes surrounded by nature. However, care should be taken because there is a lot of risks involved in diving from cliffs and walking on river rocks.