Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Just outside of the little commercial junction known as Washougal, a stretch of river with the same name hosts swimming holes that are ideal for escaping the mid-summer heat.  If you hit Washougal River Road heading north on a weekend, you will find car after car parked alongside this scenic and windy road.  Between mile markers 3 and 5 is a 2-mile run of the Washougal River that provides numerous sun-drenched rocky outcroppings, small pebbly beaches, and clear, turquois pools of cool mountain water.  In fact, when the water level is still high, this stretch of river is great for breaking out the inner tube and enjoying a lazy float.

Note: Be sure to have your Washington State Discovery Pass before heading out.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Close to Portland. Receives plenty of sun.


Fewer deep pools than other area swimming holes.

Pets allowed



Sensitive Habitat


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


Keep in mind most, if not all of the area you are Guiding people to is private property and is posted as such. Parking on the road and hiking down the slope to the river between mile markers 3-5 is basically trespassing. Please respect the homeowners privacy and go to the many public swimming holes on this beautiful river.
I bought land about 3.5 miles south of Doughan Falls on the Washougal River. I'm interesting in inner tubing and kayaking in the area.
A great spot to beat the heat on a hot day. These spots don't have the waterfalls and cliff jumps that are prevalent just upstream, but can still provide a nice spot to take a quick dip and relax by the river's edge. There are a few pullouts along the way, and getting there early helps beat the crowds that seemed to appear in the mid afternoon. Noticing more and more glass bottles, so I try to pick some up and take them out with me-- but the area could use a little TLC to pick up litter.
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