Looking for ways to cool off in Portland? Follow the locals, and check out some of the best Portland watering holes. You can escape the hustle, bustle and heat with a quick drive out to one of Oregon’s many lush swimming spots.

Lewisville Park

We recommend heading to the Larch area of this park on the shores of the Lewis River. There, you’ll find a small sand-and-pebble beach for wading and swimming. Pack a picnic and enjoy it on the little grass clearing right behind the beach.

Opal Creek Pool

paytonnicolle Portland watering hole

This popular swimming spot near Portland is 2 hours from downtown, but well worth the drive. A 25-foot-deep turquoise pool at the base of Opal Creek, it’s perhaps Oregon’s most scenic swim. Hike 3.5 miles down an old logging road and take a victorious leap from a 25-foot cliff into the sparkling pool below. Photo courtesy of @paytonnicolle_ on Instagram.

Oxbow Regional Park

behanthere Portland watering hole

This 1,000 acre nature preserve is just ten miles east of Troutdale on the Sandy River. Take a little day trip and swim, fish, boat, or hike along the 15-miles of lush hiking trails of Oxbow Regional ParkPhoto courtesy of @behanthere on Instagram.

Rooster Rock State Park

Just 30 minutes from downtown Portland, Rooster Rock State Park offers a three-mile long stretch of beach on the south side of the Columbia River Gorge. The eastern portion of the park is designated as a clothing-optional beach—it was the first officially designated clothing-optional beach in the U.S. Photo courtesy of @pmorgan_io on Instagram.

Oneonta Gorge

these_legs_climb Portland watering hole

If you have friends that have visited Portland, chances are they’ve posted their adventure in the Oneonta Gorge on Instagram. Hike through a mossy canyon, wade through bone-chilling waters and hop over log jams for 0.6 miles until you reach Lower Oneonta Falls. In this case, the destination is just as fun as the journey.  Photo courtesy of @these_legs_climb on Instagram.

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