Oregon’s Best Off-The-Grid Spots to Escape to this Summer

The top five secret, (sometimes not so secret) get-aways to explore with loved ones this summer


Danielle Evans, Staff Writer

Summer in Oregon is the best season for outdoor escapades. Aside from the heat and busy crowds of tourists, a day trip to one of these locations will be exactly the kind of get-away spot you’re looking for. Whether it’s a short hike to a breathtaking waterfall, a high rock to jump into clear water, or a vibrant blue natural pool to cool down in, these top five places are guaranteed to be a summer hit.

Tamolitch Blue Pool, OR

National Forest Road 2672-655, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413


This gorgeous gem-like body of water is located at the base of Tamolitch Falls. This is a fairly busy trail, since it’s just a short four-mile round trip. The trail is scenic and a forested setting. Dog friendly, kid friendly, how much better could it get? The colors of the astonishing blue pool with frigid waters awaits. 


High Rock, OR

48675-48715 Santiam Hwy, Foster, OR 97345


Just a few hours away from Bend is a secret swimming hole spot called High Rock. The drive there is slightly windy, but the green scenery outside of your car window makes it hard to get bored. Once you arrive, there is a small half-mile hike downhill to the swimming spot. Rock slabs are along the bank, which makes for a good place to hangout. Like almost everywhere on the South Santiam River, High Rock’s waters are a bit cold. There are plenty of spots to jump into clear blue-greenish waters, and a rope swing which makes for a great place to daytrip.


Koosah Falls, OR

McKenzie Hwy, Blue River, OR 97413


Located in the heart of the Willamette National Forest, Koosah Falls is the second major waterfall out of the three of the McKenzie River. Just a short, moderate hike to a 70-foot-tall waterfall dropping into a deep pool, ringed by ferns & moss. There are many different viewing points, including several pools on top of the waterfall that you can take a short dip in. Don’t be lured to stay in by the vibrancy of the blue waters, it is always cold! 


Chush Falls, OR

Chush Falls, Oregon 97413


This waterfall is guaranteed to take your breath away. The trail is moderately difficult terrain for a distance of just roughly two and a half miles. The scenery is a mixed burned pine forest and has many opportunities to see tons of different types of wildlife and vegetation. By the end, there’s an overlook where you can see the falls through the trees. Though, if you really want to see it closer up, you’ll need to do an additional steep decline down to the base of the falls. No, don’t worry, no butt-scooting required. This trail also features bonus views of South Sister.


Umpqua Hot Springs, OR

NF-3401, Idleyld Park, OR 97447


Looking for a place to warm up a little with phenomenal views? Check out Umpqua Hot Springs near Clearwater, Oregon. This mile out-and-back trail is considered a moderately challenging route, since it takes about an average of 28 minutes to complete. 

Camping, trail running, walking, and dogs are welcome. This is a not so secret spot, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring.