Swimming, wading and playing in the water are great ways to cool off on hot summer days, but there are ever-present risks in lakes and rivers. Swift currents, abrupt drop-offs and cold water all create dangers, even for experienced swimmers.

Klineline Pond, July 2018.

Public swim area at Klineline Pond.

Swimming in Clark County parks

Swimming is allowed in most Clark County parks that have water access. 

Clark County parks on the Columbia River, namely Captain William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach and Frenchman's Bar Regional Park are not safe for swimming because of strong currents and sudden drop-offs.

In addition, swimming is not allowed at Lucia Falls Regional Park because areas near the falls are sensitive fish spawning grounds.

The following Clark County facilities have water access but do not have lifeguards on duty. Park users swim at their own risk. 

There are other public swimming areas or pools in the county that are not operated by Clark County Parks:

Klineline Pond at Salmon Creek Regional Park will not have lifeguards this summer. As with water recreation in all county parks, visitors are responsible for ensuring their safety and the safety of minor children in their care. Safe Kids Clark County will be increasing the number of life jackets available to borrow at Klineline Pond.

Swim safety

To safely enjoy water recreation this summer, visitors should:

  • Wear a life jacket. Children, teens and adults should wear life jackets while boating, using personal watercraft, inner tubing or while using other water sports equipment. Life jackets should be worn while swimming in lakes and rivers. Make sure the life jacket fits properly. Inner tubes, air mattresses and other floatation devices are not a substitute for a well-fitting life jacket.
  • Closely supervise children. Children should be supervised by adults anytime they’re in or around water. Supervision requires complete attention, even if another adult is present. Avoid distractions when kids are swimming or around water.
  • Do not use any substance, including alcohol and cannabis, that could impair your ability to swim, respond to or be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never dive into shallow water or off bridges, cliffs or ledges.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Avoid fast-flowing waters.

Safe Kids Clark County provides life jackets for visitors to borrow at Klineline Pond (Salmon Creek Regional Park). Availability of life jackets to borrow at these locations cannot be guaranteed. Visitors who are planning to enter the water are encouraged to bring a life jacket with them.

Clark County Code 9.05.080 prohibits adults from leaving children unaccompanied in or near a lake, pond or other waterway.

Splash pad at Klineline Pond at Salmon Creek Regional Park

Spray feature at Klineline Pond.

The splash pad water-play feature at Klineline Pond will be open this summer. The opening date for the splash pad is weather dependent, but usually no later than June 15. Operating hours are typically 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The splash pad may close occasionally during the summer due to inclement weather or for maintenance. The closing date for the splash pad is weather dependent but typically around Labor Day.

Salmon Creek Regional Park/Klineline Pond is one of four large parks where parking fees are collected. 

Water quality

To report a water quality concern, contact Clark County Public Health at 564.397.8428 or DLCntyHealthWaterRec@clark.wa.gov.

Public Health posts current health advisories for Battle Ground Lake, Klineline Pond and Vancouver Lake on its public beaches webpage.

Water safety documents

Water safety links

Clark County Public Health - Public Beaches
Seattle Children’s/Washington State Drowning Prevention Network
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention