The weather is heating up and the Vancouver area has the perfect spots for you to cool down on the water. Choose your favorite activity and head out on a refreshing aquatic adventure. There are no lifeguards on duty at any of the outdoor swimming areas so, be cautious when visiting local rivers and lakes.
SWIM AT MOULTON FALLS
Surrounded by trees and current-carved rocks, Moulton Falls offers deep pools surrounded by cliffs to safely jump from. Cool off on a hot day, but be sure to test the water before diving in—the falls are fed by the East Fork Lewis River and temps warm up slowly through the season.
RELATED ARTICLE: Your Guide to Swimming Holes in Vancouver USA
KAYAK IN RIDGEFIELD
Rent a floating vessel and put in at Ridgefield Kayak’s boathouse on the Lake River. A tributary of the Columbia River and located adjacent to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, choose a water trail for its birding opportunities or book a guided tour of Bachelor Island.
RELATED EVENT: Birdfest and Bluegrass
PADDLEBOARD AT LACAMAS LAKE
The SUP (standup paddleboard) trend is still going strong and can be learned right here in the Pacific Northwest! Head just east of Vancouver WA to Lacamas Lake in Camas to find Sweetwater SUP Rentals at Heritage Park. Learn the ways of the water while enjoying the sunshine and relaxing in the calm environment.
ROW AT VANCOUVER LAKE
Some locals may argue that Vancouver Lake offers the best sunsets in the city. The lake hosts regional regattas every year with a picture-perfect view of three different mountains on a bluebird day.
Splash AT Wintler Park
Just down the way from the Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail, Wintler Park has beach vibes and plenty of room for lounging in the sand. Grab a friend or furry pal and head out for a relaxing afternoon at the beach (but be careful of the current)!
FISH AT BATTLE GROUND LAKE
Bring your fishing pole for a day at Battle Ground Lake State Park—or make a weekend out of it by staying at one of the 50 campsites. Be sure to purchase a Discover Pass for vehicle access and reap the benefits of the trout-stocked waters.
WATERFALL HIKE IN THE GORGE
Prefer to watch the water from afar, or satisfied with a little mist on your face? Head to the Columbia River Gorge to fulfill your waterfall wonder. Panther Creek Falls and Spirit Falls are both short out-and-back hikes to see the most impressive cascades—well worth the drive (about 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver). Falls Creek Falls is in the same area, featuring a dramatic 335-foot plunge in three stages, at the end of a 1.7-mile each-way hike. Closer to Vancouver, find Hardy Falls and Rodney Falls on the Hamilton Mountain trail. (Make sure to check for any road closures before you start your journey).
*Check the water conditions and possible park closures before you go. Be aware that most swimming areas do not have lifeguards on duty. Keep in mind the river waters will still be very cold and possibly dangerous. Be safe and use good judgment.