Originally only a marshy area at the bottom of Rowland and Coyote Walls, this fantastic summer swimming hole was created by the construction of the Bonneville Dam in the 1930s. The lake stays unusually warm because it is separated from the Columbia River by both the railroad and by Highway 14. In this area (only a few miles east of Bingen, Washington), the key attraction is the warm summer sun exposure in the eastern Gorge, but the 40-foot basalt pinnacle that rises from the middle of the lake's deep waters is a close second. It is perfect for cliff jumping!
Before cooling off in the lake’s fresh waters, work up a sweat at some of the nearby hiking spots: Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek are close, and Tom McCall Point and Bald Butte are both on the Oregon side of the river.
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.