The 5 best swimming spots in and around Portland

Published On 07/12/2013 Published On 07/12/2013

In the Summer, there's nothing better than living in a city bisected by a huge river… that you totally shouldn't swim in unless you want 15 strains of hepatitis. Luckily, Portland also has lakes, clean rivers, and other awesomeness to cool you down. That's why we've power-ranked the best nearby wet spots for your enjoyment (your doctor can thank us later).

5. Hagg Lake

50250 SW Scoggins Valley Rd; Gaston; 503.846.8715
Thankfully not named for some old crone who guards its gates and prophesies doom, Hagg Lake out in Washington County's the closest actual lake near Portland (well, aside from Oswego, which we're not allowed in), making it the go-to spot for boating, swimming, and suburban MILF-hunting.

Outdoor Parks' Tyson Gillard

4. High Rocks

Chief Charles Ames Memorial Park; Gladstone
The go-to spot for amateur cliff-divers, High Rocks on the Clackamas just South of PDX offers a huge spot for casual swimming and daredevilry. The place actually has lifeguards, too, though they're not qualified to judge your triple-lindy.

3. Portland Meadows' Pop-Up Pool Party

1001 N Schmeer Rd; 503.285.9144
Held in August, local paper Willamette Week turns the midway of PDX's ultra-dope horse track into a boozy sea of shallow pools and slip-n-slides, where you can bet all day on your favorite steed, get down on Summertime snowball fights, and engage in Kentucky Derby-caliber levels of decadence and depravity without overheating in the KY sun. Bet on bikinis to show.

2. Glenn Otto Park

1106 E Historic Columbia River Hwy; Troutdale; 503.665.5175
A gigantic, usually warm hole at the mouth of the Sandy River, Glen Otto's the go-to spot after a tubin' trip down the Sandy. Even better, before you land at the rocky area, de-board your tube at various Sandy beaches along the way, where topless parties sporadically pop up and totally need help w/ suntan lotioning and beer-drinking.

1. Oneonta Gorge

E Historic Columbia River Hwy; Mt. Hood National Forest
One of the coolest and shortest hikes in the Gorge has two swimming options: either 1) hike through the cracks in the rocks, wade chest-deep for a quarter mile, and pop out in a gigantic swimming hole w/ cliff-diving and waterfalls, or 2) be sneaky and trudge under the scary-ass holes underneath the I-84 bridge and emerge on a sandy, secluded beach right on the Columbia, which has been proven to have considerably less hepatitis than the Willamette.