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Hiking Oregon's Blue Pool

Tamolitch blue pool is one of the most popular hikes in Oregon, and for a good reason! It's easy and stunning. The water is purified from the rocks and sediment underneath the surface of the Earth and then rises through the porous lava; this makes it very cold (~around 37 degrees F).

There's nothing I love more than a colorful blue lake on a hike. I'm always searching for the bluest water, like the ones in Colorado and Washington.

This hike is pretty easy and easily accessible, unlike some of the other blue lakes I love. I consider this an easy hike:

  • Duration: ~4.5 miles roundtrip, when adding going down to the actual lake. The hike itself takes under 2 hours, but you will want to add time for photos and relaxing by the water.

  • Dog-friendly? Yes!

  • Drones allowed? Yes.

Getting There

I recommend fitting this into a roadtrip while you're on your way from Portland to Bend Oregon or vice versa. I made the day-trip from Bend Oregon; it's about an hour and a half drive from Bend. I love staying at the instagrammable and pet-friendly Campfire Hotel and i've also stayed at the Fairfield Inn. Both were safe and great places to stay during both of my cross country moves to/from Seattle and Denver.

When to Go

I went in early June on a weekday and we maybe saw 7 other people total that day! Only one other couple was at the lake while we were there. You should aim to visit in the summer, sometime between late May and September to avoid snow.

Let's get to the hike...

So the hike itself was pretty short! The beginning of the hike feels like you're in a rainforest and there's plenty of tree coverage, so even if it's pouring rain you'll be okay. I did this in early June and it was still very lush and green. I loved the sound of the river as we made our way to the lake. The fast-flowing river runs along most of the trail, and you eventually get to the pool, above a mini waterfall. It was raining on the way to the blue pool, but by the time I reached it, the rain stopped for a little bit and the sun came out randomly.

Once the sun came out, I took that opportunity to fly my drone and get a few shots! I flew my DJI Mavic Air when it was empty. I couldn't fly for too long as others started to show up and I didn't want to disturb them. I loved the contrast of blue and green and the cool tones!

This had to be some of the bluest water i've ever seen (and the coldest!). Apparently people have died here from cliff jumping and just swimming in the water due to the shock from the cold. It really is freezing cold.

To swim or not to swim?

I brought my swimsuit and changed into it, but then after getting my feet in the water, I realized it was just not worth the risk! The water was as cold as people market it to be. I saw a guy go for it and he looked like he was about to lose consciousness and he quickly got out. If you really want to swim, then try and pack a dry suit, or you could bring your paddleboard since the hike is pretty flat!


1. I wish i brought my gopro on this hike! I saw another person put his under the water for a really cool shot (since it's so clear) and i was immediately regretful that i didn't have mine. Also the drone can help you capture shots from the water (like above!).

2. Don't let the weather discourage you! This is a hike you can do with or without the rain! The overcast actually made the water look so clear, and when the sun came out it made it a brighter hue which was cool to see!

3. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. The main trail is well maintained and easy to navigate, but it got slippery as we found our way down to the lake; there's an unofficial trail, but it's not that easy to get down to the water, you kind of have to make your own trail! It was pretty slippery since it was raining.


Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

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