Take a Dip in Bend


Few things feel finer than dog-paddling in a mountain lake on a hot summer day as shimmering peaks dance on the water. Or maybe you like your swim time supervised by lifeguards in a resort pool?

The good news is, there’s more than one way to relish swimming in Bend, Oregon.

With cool sparkling alpine lakes dotting the Cascade mountains, swimming holes along the Deschutes River, and public swimming pools in town, there are oodles of options for taking a dip in Bend.

Nothing is better than diving into cool open water on a hot summer day surrounded by spectacular mountain views with room to swim, splash, and giggle. And what better place to enjoy this than at one of the many lakes along Cascade Lakes Highway. Elk Lake offers long stretches of beach, cool water, and even a restaurant serving frozen snacks and cold beverages. Cultus Lake is perfect for the kiddos with shallower water and a lovely beach at its day-use area, and a resort for cool treats. Sparks Lake is ideal for the whole family and boasts some of the best views around. It also has shallow water, making it a good option for the little ones.

The Deschutes River runs fast and mighty, but now and then, it slows and eddies, making for a few sweet swimming holes. Farewell Bend Park has a couple of small beaches and mild currents, making it a great spot to take a quick dip on a hot summer day. Or how about a float by inner tube, kayak, or paddleboard? What better way to spend a hot August afternoon than lazily drifting along the cool waters of the Deschutes.

Suit up, grab your goggles, and get ready to make a splash at one of Bend’s community pools. Juniper Swim and Fitness Center has two pools, a 25-meter indoor pool and a 50-meter pool that’s covered in winter but open-air in warmer months. Larkspur Community Center has a 5,000 square-foot warm water pool featuring a current channel, bubble benches, and a hot tub. Both centers are perfect for laps, lessons, and laughing it up poolside!

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