So after nearly ten days on the road, guess what…we were tired. Shocker, I know.
That’s why we were on the hunt for some hidden forest hot springs.
The Umpqua National Forest was near the final leg of our road trip with Caravan Outfitter. At the time, we had just explored the coast and continued our journey inland through Oregon while on our way back to Seattle. We hadn’t seen the ocean in a while, but we definitely reveled in the spectacular Yosemite, and were eager for our next relaxing stop in the…
Umpqua National Forest
Before this trip began, we bought the America The Beautiful Pass. This pass lets you get into National Parks free of charge. What we didn’t know is that it also works for all National Forest, Seashore and any other Federal Recreation land! This meant that we were able to get in for free!
(We are only sharing two stops in this post of MANY you can visit in this forest. Keep reading for more suggestions on other things to do/places to see here!)
Umpqua Hot Springs
The hot springs here is a naturally occurring cluster of geothermal pools hidden away in Oregon’s national forest. We were stoked to finally be back in Oregon and check this place out!
The Umpqua Hot Springs trailhead is located down a 2.2 mile rocky, pothole-filled road. If our van could navigate the rough road, yours can too. After parking, we managed the short hike in our flip flops, and arrived at the pools about 15 minutes later.
Berty and I were looking forward to this stop since the trip began. However, after finally reaching the hot springs, it was not quite what we expected it to be. From a photographer’s perspective and with the right angle, this place is really something. When we arrived though, we noticed that previous users left garbage and beer cans strewn about, and the quality of the water was less than ideal. We were bummed to see this, and disappointed that people didn’t care about keeping this place clean for others to enjoy.
This is a great reminder to all reading that in order to enjoy a place for years to come, please pack out any garbage and leave a place better than you found it. We all play a part in preserving the earth’s beauty!
Our second stop in the Umpqua National Forest was Totekee Falls. This waterfall is conveniently located on the same forest road as Umpqua Hot Springs, so after a quick drive, we were already at the trailhead.
But first, breakfast…
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After a little more than a week of living out of our van, we had finally started to get the hang of cooking on the road! We had a pretty cool setup – Caravan Outfitter installs drawers, a pull out counter, and a fridge in the back of all their models!
Pretty much daily, we used our small jetboil, enamel coffee mugs, and this pots and pans set. We had our little refrigerator in the back of the van to keep things like milk and eggs cold, but most of our meals required boiling water and mixing stuff together. (Healthy, right? LOL)
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Like the trail to Umpqua Hot Springs, the trail to Toketee Falls was quick and easy. After a few sets of built-in stairs and a stroll beside the Clearwater river, we arrived! Toketee Falls is a two-tier waterfall that dumps over towering basalt columns. These occur naturally over time and are pretty cool to see in real life.
We loved our time visiting this national forest! We only scratched the surface during our short visit, but there are so many things to do here. Next time we return, Berty and I want to camp, and take day trips out to see all that we can! We are thinking about doing a waterfall tour here sometime – there are some pretty epic ones to explore!
Here are some other activities you can do in the Umpqua National Forest:
- Visit over 22 waterfalls
- All-season sports at Diamond Lake
- Hiking Mt. Thielsen
- Go camping in their many reserved sites
- Biking, boating, fishing, climbing, and so much more!
What parts of Oregon’s National Forest have you explored? Where should we check out next? Anywhere else in Umpqua National Forest that we missed?
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