Continue straight through the town of Westfir onto North Fork Road for 3.5 miles to find this pair of swimming holes that are sure to keep you cool on a hot summer day. Note that, because none of the pullouts along NF-19 are signed, visitors should reset their odometer at the covered bridge in Westfir to be sure of the distance. At 3.5 miles you’ll see a large turnout and a trail heading down toward the river. This trail continues for a few hundred yards before ending at a rubble and reed-choked section that clearly becomes submerged at high water. The trail becomes difficult to spot at this point, but continuing in the direction of the river will get you to the right spot: a deep, clear, cool pool below a small rapid. Stay on the river-left bank if you can find a comfortable spot on the boulders, or swim to the river-right side for a better view from a flatter rock bench.
A second pool sits just upstream from the rapid and is best accessed from the road, from which another trail drops just upstream from the parking area, though reaching this second pool from the downstream pool works as well. This upstream pool is broader, deeper, and has more options for perching yourself for the day. Again, the rocks across the river beckon as the best areas to enjoy this wonderful place. The road is just above this pool, but the infrequent traffic is really unnoticeable from the water level.
Rivers like this are unusual and uniquely vulnerable to damage from inconsiderate users. Please do your part to protect this place; as you’re packing out what you pack in, grab any other litter you see lying around, and stick to established trails to avoid damaging the soil and vegetation.
If this area is a little too busy when you arrive or you are looking for more swimming opportunities, check out