Places To Swim


There are so many family-friendly places to swim in and around Sunriver.  Here are a few of our favorites.

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Cardinal Landing Foot Bridge

One of our favorite places to swim is just across Cardinal Landing Foot Bridge in Sunriver.  There is no parking so this is a fun biking and swimming adventure. Most of the great swimming spots are on the National Forest side, just across the bridge. Cardinal Landing Foot Bridge is just off Circle 5.

Besson Day Use Area

Besson Day Use Area is a great place to put bodies, kayaks or innertubes in the water and just play.  The water is moving so we recommend young kids play in life jackets.  Directions to Besson Day Use Area.

Big River Campground

Another great place to put bodies, kayaks or innertubes in the water and just play.  Directions from Sunriver.  The water is moving so we recommend young kids play in life jackets.

Cultus Lake

Cultus Lake is one of the most popular of the high Cascade Lakes because it is one of the few that allows waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, and jet skiing.  There is a large public beach right next to Cultus Lake Resort.  Day permits are required.  Directions from Sunriver.

Kayaks, SUPs, and Jet-ski for rent.  Reservations recommended.

South twin lake

South Twin Lake has a beautiful beach and day use area with picnic tables, a small grocery store and restaurant.  Get there early for the best spot on the beach.  Day permits are required.  Directions from Sunriver.

Kayaks and SUPs available to rent.  Reservations recommended.

Elk Lake

Elk Lake has two wonderful beaches with shallow areas to swim at.  South Beach Picnic Area and Elk Lake's Sunset View Day Use Area.

Directions from Sunriver - South Beach

Directions from Sunriver - Sunset View

Float the Deschutes

We recommend the following float trips.

  1. Tetherow Boat Launch to LaPine State Park (2 Hours) - Recommended only for the true adventurer (see notes below)
  2. Lapine State Park to Big River Boating Site (5 Hours)
  3. Big River Boating Site to Harper Bridge (4 Hours)
  4. Harper Bridge to Besson Day Use (1 Hour)
  5. Besson Day Use to Sunriver Canoe Take Out (5 Hours)

Note re: Tetherow Boat Launch: To get to Tetherow Boat Launch, follow these directions until you see the small sign on the right for Tetherow Boat Launch.  Turn right on NF 4330 and travel 2.5 miles on the gravel road until you come to a junction (gravel road is rough ride, so only recommended for high clearance vehicles, like trucks or SUVs).  Turn left onto the dirt road and follow all the way to Tetherow Boat Launch.

Steps To Float The Deschutes

Requires at least 2 vehicles

  1. Load kayaks, canoe, or innertubes onto/into two cars.
  2. Drive both cars to your final destination.
  3. Leave car #1 parked at final destination
  4. Drive car #2 to launch site.  
  5. Enjoy a leisurely float down the river.
  6. Beach boats at final destination.
  7. Load people and boats into car #1 and go and retrieve car #2.


Harper Bridge

Juniper Swim & Fitness

Located in Bend, Juniper Swim and Fitness has both an indoor and outdoor pool (Summers only) and is a great place to take the whole family.  Reservation required for some activities.  Directions from Sunriver to Juniper Swim & Fitness.

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