15 Best Oregon Hot Springs — I immerse my painful, swollen body in the turquoise blue water. As I feel my muscles soften and relax, the steam from the pool coats my skin. I lean against the slick granite stones, peering up at the old-growth forest set against a bright June sky.
My most recent excursion to these Oregon hot springs was far from relaxing. Instead, I recall a rowdy group blasting music from their speakers and leaving cases of empty beer cans and fast food wrappers in their wake.
During a morning dip, I’m lucky enough to have the pool to myself. As the steamy air mixes with the cool river breeze, I am reminded of how relaxing and lovely Oregon’s hot springs can be when properly maintained.
In Oregon, there are two types of hot springs: public and private. The public springs are rustic in appearance, usually free (with the exception of parking passes), and mostly maintained by users or volunteers. When visiting public hot springs, stewardship, Leave No Trace practises, and polite use are essential.
Also, be aware that some public hot springs in Oregon do not require clothing. During your visit, you might notice a couple moons.
A variety of hot springs can be found throughout Oregon, strewn about in picturesque surroundings. These thermal attractions help define the attractiveness of the Pacific Northwest, from popular hot sites like Umpqua Hot Springs to more secluded soaking pools like Ritter.
A long list of Oregon hot springs provides lots of options for curious explorers. The optimal soaking location is determined by the type of hot springs experience desired. Hot springs like those at Hart Mountain National Elk Refuge offer more remote settings and colourful night skies, while popular options like Bagby Hot Springs draw larger crowds on weekends.
Other facilities are added to the mix by privately owned hot springs. Belknap and Breitenbush, for example, provide lodging and programmed programmes to promote multi-day visitation. Reservations are not required for primitive hot springs like Bigelow Hot Springs (or clothing).
Hot springs are sensitive landscapes all throughout the country. It’s critical to stay on established routes, minimise effect on soaking areas, and pack out all rubbish when visiting. While hot springing in Oregon is a family-friendly activity, expect to meet like-minded people while visiting popular hot springs on weekends and throughout the summer.
The rough, mountainous environment of Oregon is one of the state’s most distinguishing qualities. Those peaks, shaped in part by volcanic activity and intersecting fault lines, have contributed to the formation of one of the West’s most enticing — and elusive — attractions: hot springs.
Visitors and Oregonians alike may relax and rejuvenate in some of the state’s finest mineral-rich water, whether naturally created or piped into opulent private spas. Many claim that these waters have therapeutic effects for aching joints, bodies, and minds dating back to the region’s first Native tribes.
15 Best Oregon Hot Springs
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A visit to the Alvord Hot Springs in Oregon’s southeastern region would be incompleted without a relaxing bath. At roughly 170 degrees Fahrenheit, water emerges from the ground and mixes with colder water in two solitary concrete ponds.
You’ll find yourself in the magnificent scenery of Alvord Hot Springs if you cross over to the eastern base of the Steens Mountains. Although the water in these Oregon hot springs is 184 degrees, the hot springs have been designed to keep a temperature of 100-110 degrees. Expansive views, crisp desert air, and a rustic building with a wooden terrace for reclining are all features of the soaking pools.
The pools are located on Alvord Ranch’s private land, however they can be accessible for a modest day-use fee. A modest restroom and change space are located next to the visitors’ office.
For a cost, overnight parking and car camping are permitted at Alvord Ranch, or you can pitch your tent in South Steens Campground for a more quiet night’s sleep.
The campground, which is located in the middle of the Steens Mountains, offers 36 sites for $6 per night and has vault bathrooms and drinking water. On a first-come, first-served basis, sites are available.
The Davis family owns and operates the springs, which provide near-infinite views of Steens Mountain at the mouth of the namesake desert. A general shop provides basic essentials to day visitors as well as overnight campers and bunkhouse guests.
2. Umpqua Hot Springs
The Umpqua Hot Springs are a prominent pair of hot springs that offer a beautiful soak all year. It has three cascading soaking pools, each of which gets hotter as you get higher up from the river. A tub covered by a rustic wooden building is also available at the hot spring.
At this day-use area, clothing is permissible, however parking at the trailhead requires a NW Forest Pass or comparable hangtag. The springs are reached through a short but steep quarter-mile hike from the parking area. At the trailhead, there is a vault toilet, and all users must carry out any rubbish they may acquire.
On weekends, expect more people to visit the hot springs. The Toketee Campground, which is only four miles away, is the closest place to pitch a tent for a few days. The hot spring is located near Crater Lake National Park and may be reached via dirt roads with some difficulty. In the winter, travel at a slower pace.
Bagby offers developed hot springs in an undeveloped landscape. Thanks to volunteer work and coordination with the US Forest Service, this popular bathing location now has three unique bathhouses with a variety of soaking opportunities. The five private stalls at Bagby, which include hand-carved cedar log tubs with hot water piped straight from the source, are among the most prized.
Six-foot-round community tubs under hand-built awnings are among the other soaking areas at Bagby. Because this is such a popular spot in the evenings and on weekends, visitors are asked to limit their soaking time while others wait for tubs.
To get to Bagby, you’ll need to drive over gravel and forest roads, thus comprehensive directions and a map are recommended. The 1.5-mile route that leads to the hot springs follows the Collawash River’s picturesque banks. The climb is well-graded and offers a delightful stroll through a lush woodland.
Because camping is not permitted near the hot springs, the Bagby Hot Springs Campground, which is adjacent to the trailhead, provides a place to stay the night. A $5 fee for using the hot springs is collected by an attendant at the trailhead or put in a pay box.
4. McCredie Hot Springs
McCredie Hot Springs, once the site of an early twentieth-century resort, is now a simple roadside hot spring. The springs can be found on both sides of Salt Creek and offer a range of soaking locations. McCredie is an hour’s drive from Eugene and 12 miles from Salt Creek Falls, one of Oregon’s largest and most beautiful waterfalls.
The water temperature near the source of these clothing-optional and day-use only hot springs can reach 130 degrees (use caution when dipping in toes). A variety of soaking locations combine with the surrounding cold-running water to provide pleasant temperatures. It’s entertaining to tour the pools, which include cold-water dives in Salt Creek nearby.
The hot springs are a famous tourist attraction. There are nine parking spots and one RV pullout in the nearby parking area. When visiting, a single parking space is usually accessible. The most typical period for the springs to be full is on weekends.
5. Paulina Hot Springs
Paulina Hot Springs is a beautiful lakeside soaking location located within the Deschutes National Forest and Newberry National Volcanic Monument (one of the top attractions near Bend).
A two-mile stroll along the shoreline of Paulina Lake leads to this remarkable hot spring. Part of the trail passes through rock outcroppings, affording spectacular views of the countryside. After the picturesque hike, visitors will find little soaking areas built out of the rocky shoreline.
The hot water seeping in from deep beneath is cooled by little waves from Paulina Lake. A view of the landscape, including the towering Paulina Peak, from any of the hand-dug soaking sites on the shore, contributes to the calming character of the hot springs.
The trailhead for Paulina Hot Springs lies at the end of one of Oregon’s top campgrounds, and overnight guests at Little Crater Campground have easy access to the water as well. During the summer, the hot springs are quite popular, although you can get a solo dip on weekdays and early mornings.
Hart Mountain Hot Springs is part of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is located in a remote area of southern Oregon. The main hot spring has sculpted rocks that provide a comfortable sitting, while another tiny pool adjacent provides views of the surrounding large and open countryside.
The pools are moderate in size, comfortably accommodating a group of four, however due to their secluded position, these hot springs are significantly less crowded. At night, the distant area provides a spectacular starscape that mixes well with a soak.
The nearby Hot Springs Campground has thirty primitive campsites. Day and overnight visitors should bring their own drinking water.
7. Crystal Crane Hot Springs
Crystal Crane Hot Springs, a hot springs resort south of Burns, has been a popular Eastern Oregon soaking destination for more than 20 years.
Visitors can either relax in the spacious, 7-foot-deep outdoor pond or upgrade to a private, cedar-enclosed tub, which is available to both day-use and overnight guests (reservations highly recommended).
8. Belknap Hot Springs
Belknap, an hour east of Eugene on the McKenzie River, represents a comprehensive hot springs getaway. A resort, campground, and an excellent collection of gardens are all part of this commercial business. Belknap also has two private natural hot spring pools with patios and sun chairs.
The upper and lower pools are available to overnight guests at Belknap, while day-use tourists can use the lower pool with an hourly or all-day fee. The natural splendour of the McKenzie River Valley and the well-kept gardens of Belknap surround the pools, making for a picturesque area to relax.
Tent sites, RV hookups, and cottages can all be reserved ahead of time. Belknap is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During the winter, icy conditions can make driving difficult. Before driving, make sure to check the weather in your area.
9. Terwilliger Hot Springs
Terwilliger Hot Springs, located near Bigelow and Belknap Hot Springs, is one of the most popular soaking locations in the Willamette National Forest. A small cave near Terwilliger, known as Cougar Hot Springs, discharges hot water into the McKenzie River below, filling five natural basins along the way.
The pools are a quarter-mile walk away, and you can typically expect to see other people enjoying the water. At this national forest hotspot, clothing is optional, and a day-use fee is paid at the trailhead.
Due to wildfires and rockslides in recent years, access to Terwilliger Hot Springs has been compromised from time to time. To see current conditions, check out the official U.S. Forest Service webpage.
10. Breitenbush Hot Springs
Breitenbush Retreat and Conference Center is located 70 miles east of Salem. The stunning hot springs at the resort are just one aspect of this remote wilderness sanctuary’s allure.
Three tubs at Breitenbush are furnished with smooth river rocks and range in temperature from warm to hot, with great views of the surrounding forest meadows. One of the three tubs is designated for quiet soaking.
Breitenbush is available for day trips, overnight stays, and multi-day retreats. Wellness programmes, hiking trails, massage therapy, and organic fresh meals are among the other relaxing and refreshing services provided by Breitenbush.
The devastating 2020 fires in Oregon had a significant impact on the facility. Almost half of the structures at this famous Oregon hot spring were destroyed. Community support quickly fueled rebuilding efforts. Before you go, check the Breitenbush website for updates.
11. Bigelow Hot Springs
This roadside soaking spot, also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, is located about sixty miles east of Eugene along the McKenzie River. The hot water at Bigelow is contained by a man-made rock circle, which serves as a small soaking pool. Bigelow can accommodate three to four people.
Summer is a terrific season to go, and although while it’s not one of the most popular hot springs in the area, you can expect to share the pool with other curious tourists. The hot springs are visible from the forest service access road, and the climb to the warm water is accessible to people of all abilities.
12. Ritter Hot Springs
Ritter Hot Springs, located in a century-old ghost town in northeast Oregon, offers one of the most distinctive hot springs settings. Ritter Hot Springs, located next to the Middle Fork of the John Day River, are housed in four partially enclosed concrete tubs that can be accessible for a day charge.
Spending the night in the adjacent old hotel is a cheap choice, but there are also cabins and camping options. The community that surrounds this privately owned hot spring is friendly, and there is also a large swimming pool to cool off in. The outdoor shower, which runs hot water down your neck and shoulders, is a suggested luxury at this distant site.
13. Summer Lake Hot Springs
Summer Lake Hot Springs resort, with its quiet and purposeful approach, is ideal for eco-conscious soakers looking to disconnect. Indoor and outdoor rock pools with smooth, silica-rich water between 106 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit are located throughout the 145-acre resort.
Day visitors can spend their days lounging in the pools, while overnight guests can take advantage of the geothermally heated floors in many of the cabins. Summer Lake is positioned 50 miles from the nearest light pollution, providing stargazers with completely dark skies in which to look upon the sky.
14. Lithia Springs Resort
When you can soak in style, why rough it? While a trip to Lithia Springs Resort is more of a vacation than a secret dip in a naturally created pool, the water is equally as relaxing.
The city’s famous mineral-rich water finds its way to your own personal soaking tub, located northwest of downtown Ashland, where you may rest in the privacy of your room. Weather permitting, there is also an outdoor saline pool and Jacuzzi, as well as a tea room, library, spa, and complimentary breakfast buffet for all overnight visitors.
15. East Lake Hot Springs
Have you caught a whiff of that powerful sulphur air? That suggests you’re probably close to East Lake Hot Springs.
These pools, which are a short 0.3-mile trek along the shore of East Lake, allow you to customise the temperature by allowing lake water to mix with the hot spring source. The pools range in temperature from 100 to 120 degrees and are less crowded than the Paulina Lake Hot Springs nearby.
East Lake Resort provides the most convenient access to the hot springs trek, as well as a variety of lodging options, including timber cabins, tent sites, and RV parking. Six basic lakeside tent sites, each with two tents and two automobiles, are available for $25 per night. Near the camping area, there is potable water and porta-potties.
The surrounding RV parks provide pay showers and flushable toilets, which are about a 5-minute walk away. During the months of May, June, and September, East Lake accepts walk-ins and accepts online bookings for tent sites.