Three Pools, North Santiam River
Opal Creek Recreation Area, Willamette National Forest
Three Pools is an enchanting group of colorful swimming holes along the North Fork of the Santiam River. This magical series of opal colored pools is accentuated by basalt rock formations, waterfalls, and old growth trees. However, during summer months it is BUSY! It is not uncommon for the parking area which includes 90 spaces to be completely full. No parking is allowed along the access road, so if the parking area is full, you can expect at least a 1/2 mile walk to get to the swimming holes. You will not find solitude in strolling range of this busy area. During shoulder seasons, this special place, near( but not in) the Opal Creek Wilderness Area can be wonderful for exploration. Not far from this area, I captured a fine art print titled, Zen pool.