The list of northern Oregon and southwest Washington rivers that are suitable for swimming is long. Whether you are on the Molalla, Sandy, Washougal, Clackamas, Lewis or Lower Deschutes, the opportunities for basking in the sun and cooling off in crystal clear waters are many. With its exposed basalt canyons and banks, however, the Wilson River's short run from Portland to the coast just might offer the highest concentration of deep water pools in the area.
The roughly 20-foot cliff adjacent to the bridge along Cedar Bridge Road is just one of the many cliff jumping opportunities on this picturesque river. When you are hopping from destination to destination along the Wilson, be sure to take the plunge here to cool off on those scorching mid-summer days.
Note: Jumping from the bridge or congestion on bridge is not permitted.
The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests are 45 minutes outside of Portland’s backdoor and one of the state’s best keep secrets. But these forests also have a fraught history with logging, fires and more logging. They are now 50 to 70 years into the recovery process and offer prime habitat for vibrant communities of fish and wildlife, as well as an immense array of recreational opportunities. The Wilson and Kilchis rivers host globally important runs of Chinook, chum, coho and steelhead. Both forests provide camping, biking, fishing, hunting and hiking grounds for thousands of Oregonians, and they also provide over 400,000 people with clean drinking water.
Wild Salmon Center is a founding member of the North Coast State Forest Coalition, a diverse group of over 100 businesses, governing bodies and nonprofits working to leverage public support to increase forest and streamside protection along the North Coast. These popular and biologically important areas deserve real protection. That’s why we’re asking state and federal leaders to protect 33,000 acres of land around the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers and another 8,000 acres around Kings Mountain. It’s no easy task ensuring a future for these forests but this is where you can help.
Learn more about the North Coast State Forest Coalition, on their website. Join in the coalition by signing up for their newsletter and signing on to the latest action alerts to protect the Wilson/Kilchis and Kings Mountain.
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.
Wild Salmon Center is an international organization committed to the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim. From northern California up to British Columbia, Alaska and across the Pacific to Russia, WSC partners with local communities, governments, businesses, and other key stakeholders in a shared commitment to long-term stewardship of salmon and their home rivers. WSC has been working to protect wild rivers for over 20 years and we are excited to join them in exploring and protecting these amazing places.