Here is one of those things that makes me obviously not a Northwesterner. I don't swim in rivers. No. Do Not. Every summer, indeed, every season, Portlanders drown in area rivers. It's not just kids & the inebriated, who drown in a couple inches of water; Portland area rivers claim careful and strong swimmers too.
Still, I understand that some of you will swim in rivers. Just know that some rivers are more dangerous than others. The Sandy River seems harmless, but with its cold water, strong current, and its predilection towards change, it's not.
by body of water:
Blue Lake Park
Blue Lake Dr. in Gresham?Fairview?East County?
(just south of Marine Drive, west of 238th)
this is practically a swimming pool, and it will be as crowded on sunny days. No pets. There is a per-vehicle charge. Call 797-1850 for more information.
SE 44th & Powell
Newly renovated, heated, outdoor, slides! Phone: 823-3672.
Elk Rock Island
SE Sparrow & 19th in Milwaukie
Cool name, huh? No facilities, but no crowds either. For more information, call 823-2223
George Rogers Park
S. State Street & Ladd Avenue, Lake Oswego
The water is slow here, and warms up quickly, and, a sandy beach! Call 636-9673 for more information
Grant Park Pool
2300 NE 33rd
Outdoor, heated swimming pool. Telephone: 823-3674.
Lake Oswego Swim Park
SW Ridgeway Rd
Limited hours (last I checked, 12-6) but it also has a lifeguard, shady areas, is free, and has snacks! Call 636-9673 for more information
8219 NE Glisan
Outdoors. Phone: 823-3675.
North Clackamas Aquatic Park
7300 SE Harmony, Milwaukie
Okay, this is indoors, and pricey if you aren't a Clackmas County resident. Out-of-district fees bring the cost up to $10 for an adult. But, damn, it's a wave pool, Oregon's only one, and not surprisingly our largest aquatic center. And of course there are slides (four!), a whirlpool for adults only, a snackbar and all the other goodies you would expect from a pricey new entertainment complex, I mean, county facility.
6400 N Albina & Portland Blvd.
This outdoor pool is no great shakes appearance-wise, but it is one of the most interesting Portland pools historywise. Acquired in 1913, the Peninsula Pool was built on Liverpool Liz's Place, along with Portland's first public rose garden. The pool was built in part to replace the closed bathhouses that had been in use on the increasingly polluted Willamette River (sound familiar?). Peninsula also housed Humboldt penguins in 1957, while the Washington Park Zoo finished its penguin facilities, to the delight of Albina residents. Phone: 823-3677.
N Seneca & St. Johns
Outdoor pool. Phone: 823-3678.
Powers Marine Park
Just south of the Sellwood Bridge on the west end
There is a barbecue pit, but the restrooms are usually locked. I think that makes it free! For more information call 823-2223.
Take I-84 to exit 25 (Rooster Rock State Park)
-- yes, this makes Blue Lake seem right in town, and yes, you will be swimming in the Columbia (hint: Hanford's tanks are leaking and they are within feet of the Columbia. Just a few years ago it was rated the most radioactive river in the world), but this is a favorite place to see and be seen, and since it is always windy, chances are it will be cooler than the city. It's a state park, so there is a park fee... For information call 695-2261.
Sandy east on US 26, turn left on TenEcyk Rd, left on Thomas, and follow the signs
There is a per-vehicle charge. A peaceful shady lake with picnic areas, concessions and paddle-boat rentals(!!).
Collins Beach, Sauvie Island
take the road the runs along the southside of the Island until it dead-ends.
Primitive and lovely. Clothed and unclothed.The Cracker Barrel Grocery, just across the bridge on the island, or the Linnton Feed & Seed in Linnton have more information, and sell the requisite parking permits.
SE 7th & Miller, Sellwood
Outdoors, heated. Another old pool built to replace the Willamette river bathhouses (in particular, a floating municipal bathhouse with a slat bottom!) at the foot of Jefferson Street. The Sellwood pool has been in continuous use since 1910 and was the first structure of its kind in the city. It's a cool pool, too. Phone: 823-3679
Vancouver Lake Park
from I-5, exit onto Fourth Plain in Vancouver, head west (left) and stay on Lower River Rd all the way there
There is a parking fee, and they have everything but lifeguards: concessions, picnic areas, shade, volleyball courts. The water is warm, too. For more information call 360/696-8171.
with open swim
(you can get more information at the frustrating City Parks & Rec page
Wilson High School, 1151 SW Vermont
There are two pools here with a giant slide & a diving board, concessions, and more.
Columbia Park Pool
7701 N Chautauqua, just north of Lombard
A rundown indoor pool. Columbia Pool Phone: 823-3669.
77 NE Knott, between Williams & MLK Jr. Blvd.
The swankiest indoor pool in town. Or at least in the city limits. Woo hoo! Telephone: 823-3673.
Mt. Scott Pool
5530 SE 72nd & Harold
Indoor, heated swimming pool. Phone: 823-3676.