Three Pools on the North Fork of the Santiam River is among the best swimming and cliff-jumping locations in Oregon. The unique combination of basalt outcroppings and emerald pools have helped to establish Three Pools as a favorite summer getaway. You will almost certainly see some crowds here on a sunny day, but the area is large enough to provide a little space for anyone who looks.
Options are limited if you would like to stay overnight in the area. Shady Cove Campground has 12 campsites, there are campsites along NF-2207, and there are campsites surrounding the Three Pools day-use area. These latter sites fill up quickly, so a Thursday or Friday arrival for a weekend stay may be in order.
Note: Significant crowding, vandalism, and disruptive behavior have resulted in several new regulations. The implementation of these regulations follows an extensive public comment period. Effective May 26, 2017:
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.