If you've caught sight of all the hopeful trees bursting into bloom, it's 'cause warmer weather is right around the corner. Like us, if you've got summer on your mind, it's never too early to start rounding up those swimming holes in Washington. Our new favorite is a sun-kissed waterfall that cascades into a giant emerald pool for all your wading needs. It'll make you feel like you're in Maui! 

Nestled in Skamania County's Yacolt Burn State Forest, the Washougal River pours into the gorgeous, 19-foot Dougan Falls, one of Pacific Northwest's favorite summer retreats. 

You'll need a $10/day Discovery Pass to park here and to avoid steep fines. 

Although this doesn't require you to break into a sweaty hike (you can just drive along Washougal River Road to get here), what makes this a perfect summer adventure is that camping is allowed just a few yards away from this legendary pool.

Meaning, you can hop right into its welcoming waters whenever you please.

Dogs are allowed on leashes too, so your pooch can tag along.

These camping grounds need a permit though and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. So you'll want to arrive early and pick a day mid-week to claim your spot. 

Even as you make your way here, there are at least a dozen blue pools and fun rocks that locals love diving off of. 

There are also several trails nearby that all meander down to pebbled beaches, perfect for sunning on the rocks.

Dougan Falls exists because the over 100-foot wide river crashes through a narrow trench, cascading into a clear, deep pool below.

Depending on the volume of water, you'll also be able to see adrenaline junkies attempting to kayak down the falls! 

There are several rustic tables dotting the area so you can pack a picnic and tuck into it after your swim works up an appetite for you. 

If you're someone that loves chasing waterfalls, you'll feel right at home here.

Several rapids like Hard Scramble Falls, Naked Falls, Docs Drop, Reeder, Railcar, Apron, and Mad Dog Falls are all within five miles of this spot, affirming our point that this is perhaps one of those bucket-list summer traditions you need to get started on asap. 

Dougan Falls

Price: $10/day Discover Pass

Location: Dougan Falls, WA

Why You Should Go: You can swim in a giant emerald pool created by a 19-foot waterfall!


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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