Dougan Falls Swimming Hole is located in Washougal, Washington, Google reports the trip takes 1 hour and six minutes from Popina Swimwear Portland. Interestingly, the mileage is only about 35 miles, but the drive did take just about that amount of time.
I have lived in Portland twelve years now and I guess I don’t get out as much as I thought because I really had no idea where Washougal was before Pam, Cassis (our dog) and I went to visit Dougan. Turns out Washougal is just past Camas accessed via Highway 14 which hugs the Columbia in Washington State. Google recommends two routes one through Washougal (via Washougal River Road), and one route which stays on Highway 14 longer then heads north. We did a loop taking highway 14 there and taking Washougal River Road home. Next time we plan to take Washougal River Road, we must have passed 4-5 turnouts on the way back to Washougal after visiting Dougan where people were swimming. As Pam pointed out Washougal River Road just might be the Portland Metro’s closest equivalent to the Road to Hana in Maui, where you drive along a windy road hitting awesome swimming hole after awesome swimming hole until you hit the grand mamma of all swimming holes, Seven Sacred Pools. Anyway I digress.
Approaching Dougan Falls
Dougan Falls has a lot going for it very scenic, not too far a drive from Popina in Northeast Portland. Dougan Falls has a waterfall feature which earns this swimming hole points on the style scale. The falls are over 100 feet wide, crashing sideways into a deep narrow hole. There are opportunities to swim in the main pool shown above, below the bridge shown below, or you can even swim right beside the waterfalls where they crash into a narrow pool which is pretty exhilarating, the sound of the waterfalls is engulfing. If you like a swimming hole where you can jump in off rocks, Dougan has some higher rocks by the waterfalls where I saw people jumping in.
Downstream from the swimming hole (under the bridge)
The one draw back is that the water is COLD. I am no lightweight when it comes to sucking it up to swim, this was easily the coldest water I swam in this summer and the temperature was 93 degrees when we went yesterday. That said, I must say kudos to Pam for taking a quick dip because that was pretty tough of her and I would have been a tad disappointed if it was only me and the dog that got in. Also bear in mind that despite the fact that it was very cold, there were a lot of other people swimming. So if you love to swim you will get over it, this spot is just too inviting.
I will go back to Dougan for sure, next time I am going to reserve it for a 100+ degree day, I am going to start my trip from Portland around 11am and I will hit at least one or two other falls on Dougan Falls Road before hitting Dougan Falls which according to the Waterfalls of the Northwest,”….is the final major waterfall along the Washougal River (not counting 8-foot tall Salmon Falls). Picnic tables and pit toilets are provided in the day use area on the far side of the bridge. If you are lucky, and come at the right time of the year, you may see kayakers running the falls.” - that would be something to see. I provided a list of close by waterfalls as well below provided by Waterfalls of the Northwest.
The highlight of the day was two Popina Swimsuit sightings. One gal was wearing a Red Frieda Halter Top and One other gal was wearing an Espresso Retro Sadie!
Finally a short video taken from under the bridge which frames in this 8 out of 10 swimming hole, one points taken off due to the cold temperature (this would hopefully be a 9 on a 100+ degree day). View all my Dougan Falls Swimming Photos.
Favorite Free iPhone Apps You can not really understand how fun an iPhone is until you own one. iPhone is an amazing hand held fun machine beyond anything my imagination ever could have dreamed of. When I got one initially, it just seemed like a cool, fun, hip thing to purchase (don’t call me a sheep). Please understand, I am a cheap person and for my last couple of cell phone purchases, I just went with the phone that was covered by the contract. Most people realize cheaping out is not always the best route. I soon realized after my last phone purchase that a cell phone is now a very important day to day tool and not being able to say tell the time while you are on the phone is a serious con (discovered that weakness of my phone a week later after purchase - whoops). The cell phone is now part of the new big three of Wallet, Keys and Cell, leave any of these at home and we feel lost and disoriented.
With a little simple math, I considered if I buy the $299 iPhone and hold it the term of the contract that is costing me $12.50 a month for a phone which will allow me to check e-mail and surf the web. So I made the leap. So if you are lucky enough to either have the brains to have purchased an iPhone and you are not cheap. Or you are cheap and you had my math epithany, I would like to share with you my Free Favorite iPhone Apps (in no particular order because I am too lazy to rank). Please let me know if you have other great free apps to share with the universe!
SHAZAM - worthy of the super hero name. I can not believe this app is free, it is a complete mind blower. Just hold your iPhone next to the radio if you want to identify a song and Shazam will take in the sound and tell you the name and who it is from. UNREAL
PANDORA Very cool app that lets you create a radio station based on your favorite musicians. This is also available on the web, virtually commercial free radio.
THE WEATHER CHANNEL Great nuts and bolts weather program, much better than the default program I wish I could delete.
iTIP FREE Simple Tip Calculator, nice to have.
PUBLIC RADIO PLAYER Choose live streams from featured shows. You can search by program name, state or local. Very fun, watch out radios, the internet took down newspapers, next stop the radio as soon as internet tuners get into cars. I predict MAJOR change to radio as we know it in cars by 2011.
GOOGLE MOBILE APP makes searching Google even easier
GOOGLE EARTH I am sure you get the picture, cool program.
URBAN SPOON find restaurants close to you based on location. Restaurants are also sorted by neighborhood, type of food and price with user ratings. Very sweet tool when traveling.
PLANETS 1.4 Unreal program, gives you hope in the positive uses of technology to enlighten. Just check it out and give a collective WOW.
FAKE CONVERSATION FREE This app allows you to generate a fake phone call for fun or practical purposes. Generates what looks like an incoming call then feeds you what to say to either look important, get out of a place you don’t want to be or have fun with friends. PRICELESS
PDXBUS Lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon? This is a kick ass app if you are a transit rider. Even if you are not, you never know when you might need to catch a bus, with this app you will have Tri-Met wired.
There you go, that is my list of my Favorite Iphone Apps and I am sticking to it. Hopefully there are at least a few there you didn’t think of getting already. If you are on the fence about getting an Iphone do it, yes the service is not as good as Verizon, but you shouldn’t be on the phone so much anyway. Enjoy the momentary peace.
Clackamas River Tubing is one of my favorite summer activities, so close to Portland, so relaxing, such good people watching. . Below are my tips to having a great day Inner Tubing on the Clackamas River including Directions, Shuttling, Time on the Water, and General Tips, highlighted by a great day on the water with Pam, Danny, JJ, Benjamin, Kobe and Jen.
To get to the “take out” (see shuttling below) you need to start at Carver State Park. Surprisingly it is not so straightforward to find Carver Park on Google. I was able to get pretty close by doing a Google Map Search on Carver, Oregon. Carver Park the “take out” (where you end your tubing ride), is located 19 miles (30 minutes) from the Popina Swimwear Shop in Portland.
When tubing you need a way to get back to your car after your ride. There are really three viable options for shuttling. The Take out is Carver State Park, the Put In is Barton Park which is approximately six miles from Carver.
Option 1 - Take two cars. Go with two cars, park one car at the Carver Park take out.
Danny and JJ at the Carver Parking Lot
2) Bring a Bike along. This is a great option, frankly it seems stupid to take two cars and not carpool unless you have friends who happen to live close to your tubing spot. Danny and JJ live about 10 minutes away so for this trip it made sense. Otherwise I like to meet up in Portland, carpool and bring my bike along. All you have to do is stop at Carver Park to lock up your bike before you tube then continue to Barton Park (the put in). The bike ride is pretty easy overall if you are in decent shape, total ride is approximately six miles, last time I did it it took 20-25 minutes. This option is less attractive on days that are very hot like we saw this past summer of 100+ degrees.
Kobe and Jen at the Carver Parking Lot
3) Option Three is to make a new friend after your tube ride and ask for a ride back to Barton (only the car driver needs to do this). This final method requires a little gumption and requires a high degree of judgment, but can often add a little color to a trip. So if you ever have extra space on your shuttle ride back to Barton, you may consider giving a ride to someone who asks you - good for the karma (but again use judgment).
Time on the Water
You can tube the Clackamas as quickly as 2.5 hours or you can stretch it out for 4+. If you go tubing during the week there is not a fee for parking at Barton Park, there are fees on the weekend. I recommend getting a pump to inflate your tubes. Why kill yourself, at Popina Swimwear we sell tube pumps that plug into your car for $30.
Once you have inflated your tubes basically walk South with your tube until you hit water. Sit on your tube and float.
1) Wear Sunscreen - chemical free sunscreens are available at Popina Swimwear
2) Grab an extra tube for a cooler for drinks.
3) Don’t be in a rush, take your time to take in the many fun swimming spots. Just take the cue from other tubers, if you see a group of people pulled over somewhere, it is probably a decent place to stop.
4) Consider packing a lunch or BBQ at Carver Park after the float. Very fun people watching to see people getting out of the river and Carver Park is a really beautiful shaded park.
5) Do not get separated from your tube on the river. This may seem really obvious, but if you do happen to fall off, swim after your tube.
End of the Ride
You will know you got to the end of the ride when you see the Bridge to Carver Park.
The take out
Deflating Tubes - Danny’s best side
So there you go, everything you need for a great day on the Clack. I am happy to give tubing tips at our store. You are welcome to call the shop as well for advice but please consider that we are running a swimwear shop first, we basically just sell Inner Tubes in Portland for fun. Our advice is free and we are often busy in the summer so please be considerate of our time.
Moulton Falls is a one of a kind kiss ass Swimming Hole located in Yacolt, Washington, which is less than an hours drive from Popina’s Portland Swimwear Boutique in NE Portland. The State of Washington Web Site states that it is “Located at the confluence of the Lewis River and Big Tree Creek, you can see two stunning waterfalls and an arch bridge over three stories high. Boasting volcanic rock formations from early lava flows, historic Indian meeting grounds, and over two miles of scenic hiking, it’s a must see”
Will and Cassis at Moulton Falls
I guess I will have to see the Waterfalls, Indian Meeting Grounds and hiking trails next time, this is the second time I have gone. The first time was with my niece Olivia and my trusted River Dog Cassis on one of the record heat days of mid July (105 I believe was the temperature). Yesterday I went with Popina’s very own Pamela and Cassis for a hearty day of swimwear product testing, actually we only were able to stay for a couple hours, but note to self, next summer, I will go early check out the waterfalls, hiking trails, etc. Yesterday the temperature was just a paultry mid 90’s so the water felt good, but not nearly as refreshing as on my first trip in Mid-July. If the weather was in the 80’s the water might feel cold (but there would probably also be less people). I definately recommend saving this trip for at least a 90 degree day, my sense is that we will be getting these days regularly in the years to come, so you will have your chances.
Cassis the River Dog
The Moulton Falls Swimming Hole is very easy to find, just do a Google Map search on Moulton Falls. From there once you get close you will see a ton of cars parking all around if it is a good hot day. I reccomend going during the week, I went during the week the two times I went and it was packed with people, I can not imagine how busy it would be on the weekend. Of course in the summer, most people can not break away for a swim so the two times I went Moulton Falls was crouded with teen agers, this is a rural local though so most if these children were very polite.
Moulton Falls is probably the closest I have felt like being in a great Hawaii swimming hole without being in Hawaii. The Moulton Falls Swimming Hole is in a bit of a george with walled rocks on either side, every 20 seconds or so you hear a crash from one of the kids jumping in the water from varying heights. On my first trip when it was off the charts crouded there were kids lined up on this bridge below, taking turns to jump off.
It may be a little hard to get a sense of how high this bridge is but I would definitely not jump off, it is high and interspersed with the periodic 20 second crashes of kids jumping in, every five minutes or so there is a collective gasp of some one not hitting the water quite right from the high height. Seems like most people who are regulars have a story of how someone hurt themselves jumping off the bridge.
I was very surprised to receive my Swimsuit, and Swim Skirt today (Friday, Aug 15). I just ordered it yesterday and did not expect it in time for my trip this weekend. I was willing to wear my faded old speedo to the hotel pool. I want to thank you for making my day… and, excited to wear my new Swimsuit this weekend! Thanks for the excellent service!