Marion County Swimming Holes

Three Pools
Three Pools
Rating: 10
Location: Willamette National Forest
Water quality: Excellent; transparent to bottom
Vital statistics: 60' wide; at least 11' deep; moderate current; 64' F (July); light algae; sand and gravel on bedrock bottom; heavy use
Setting: Forested valley at 1360'; heavy litter
Swim skill: Moderate
Amenities: No drinking water; pit toilets
Entry fee: No
Topo: Elkhorn 7-1/2'

Wow! An eye-popper of a place, Three Pools is really a legion of green-hued pools and streams that shift and chute through volcanic walls and sedimentary layers. This is the grandest swimming hole complex on a superlative swimming stream. Unfortunately, the place is oftentimes hopelessly trashed by mindless users. The Forest Service has tried to spruce up the area, only to see improvements vandalized. It is a pity that such a truly wonderful place is so badly treated. Watch out for slippery rocks, and take care if jumping from the rocks. There have been many accidents here.

Driving Instructions

Three Pools is 39.7 miles east of Salem. Follow the driving instructions for Swimming Hole #133 to the recreation-area turnoff. Turn left and continue as for Swimming Hole #135 to the fork of Forest Roads 2209 and 2207. Go right to the Three Pools turnoff, 0.9 mile, on the right. Take the turnoff and drive to parking, 0.2 mile.

Hiking Instructions

The trail from parking down to the pool is a short but steep and slippery 250 feet.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 27 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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