Does Labor Day mean the last weekend of summer? We hope not. Just in case, we put together a quick list of weekend water escapes to motivate you to pack up and get out the door! These are a few of our favorites from the Northwest, but we’d love to hear about the best swimming hole in your neck of the woods.
Called the “jewel” of southeastern Washington, Palouse Falls is tucked away along the Palouse River, about four miles upstream from the Snake River. If you start to feel a little lost on your way out, don’t be concerned: the falls appear practically out of nowhere. Admire the view of these impressive falls, which reach nearly 200 feet (30 feet higher than Niagara Falls) from the surrounding basalt rocks. Wander up river to explore the refreshing swimming holes.
Coming from Portland? Make a weekend trip out of it. The drive along the Columbia River Gorge takes about five hours, but it’s absolutely stunning. Spend an afternoon at the falls and then stay in the small town of Walla Walla, known for its rolling hills and charming wine country.
Ancient old-growth forest, unspoiled views, and crystal-clear water. Did we mention the average water temperature is 72 degrees? An afternoon at Buck Lake sounds just about right. Located about two hours from Portland, this is an ideal escape from the city. The hike to the lake can only be accessed by foot so pack light. On the way up the hill you’ll get a beautiful view of Timothy Lake before heading down to Buck Lake.
The most serene lake in Oregon? We think so.