Post Summary: The Best Oregon Hot Springs and Exactly How To Find Them
Who doesn’t love a good soak in the forest?
Berty and I have visited our fair share of gorgeous hot springs in the Pacific Northwest, but we think that Oregon hot springs are unique for their blend of forested retreats and one-of-a-kind structures. Hidden in the high desert or tucked away under a canopy of trees, there seems to be a hot spring in Oregon that fits anyone’s preferences!
In this post, we’re sharing our favorite hot springs in Oregon and exactly where to find them all. We’re also sharing essential hot springs tips like the best times to visit, potential hikes to reach them, and other useful information for your next soak.
Let’s get started, and don’t forget to pack your suit!
Cool Facts About Oregon Hot Springs
Idaho hot springs bring a lot of backcountry adventures, Montana hot springs offer plenty of relaxing soaks in historic poolhouses, but what do Oregon hot springs bring to the table?
From the fault lines in Eastern Oregon to the volcano activity hot spots in the Cascade Mountains, Oregon has a unique blend of natural hot springs that reside in the forest all the way to the desert. Here are some other cool Oregon hot springs facts:
- Indigenous communities have been using natural Oregon hot springs for thousands of years for their health benefits. Some of these include improved blood circulation, detoxification, improvement of skin conditions, and joint and muscle pain relief.
- Each of the natural hot springs in Oregon has a unique combination of minerals. They vary between pools, but the most common ones include sulfur, silica, calcium, magnesium, selenium, sodium, potassium, and silica.
What To Pack For A Trip To Oregon Hot Springs
Swimsuit – Depending on the location, Oregon hot springs may or may not have nudity allowed. Because of their popularity, you can expect to share the pools with others, so come prepared just in case you want to cover up!
Quick Dry Towel – There are plenty of high-quality, fast-drying towels on the market right now, so there is no reason to pack in bulky ones that take up unnecessary space. Our favorites are from Nomadix (with their cool national park prints) and Slowtide for their stylish Turkish rowels.
Water Sandals – Some of these Oregon hot springs require a hike in, so it’s important to come prepared with a pair of shoes that can get wet AND be able to stay on your feet comfortable during a trail. We can’t say enough about the classic Teva Hurricane sandals – they have the perfect amount of grip, and velcro straps for easy on-and-off action!
The Right Pacific Northwest Forest Pass – Depending on the hot springs you visit, there could be entry fees, passes, and/or instructions for visiting legally. Below, we’re sharing which passes you need to visit certain Oregon hot springs but read our guide to PNW Forest passes for more epic places where you can use these passes.
Gas For Your Car – Some of these Oregon hot springs are an hour’s drive from any town or community (like Alvord Hot Springs). Make sure to fill your car with gas to prevent getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Water and Snacks – Make sure to have fresh water and snacks on hand. Soaking in hot springs can be a relaxing experience, but visitors may experience adverse health effects. To understand the risks and benefits of soaking in hot springs in Oregon, read this article about Hot Springs Health Benefits.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray – Depending on the kind of exposure and climate of your prospective Oregon hot springs locations, you’ll need to come prepared. Places like Willow Creek Hot Springs are completely exposed to the sun, while other places like Bigelow Hot Springs can be a hot spot for mosquitos.
Route Directions – Several Oregon hot springs are off the main highways, deep down forest roads, and BLM land. Make sure you have a paper or digital copy of directions so you can refer to them if you lose cell service. We use these road trip apps ALL THE TIME when going on Oregon road trip routes!
Dry Bag – There are many reasons why a dry bag would be helpful when visiting Oregon hot springs. From rainy days, running streams, and deep pools, there are several reasons to keep your gear dry and within arm’s reach. We got these brightly colored dry bags from Amazon, which come in several sizes!
Oregon Hot Springs Etiquette
Don’t Add Anything To The Water
This is not your bathtub!
Shampoos, soaps, and other bath additives can affect the pools by compromising the water’s integrity. Some pools don’t have a way to filter out chemicals, so they end up sitting in the water and harming the living organisms. Leave your suds at home and enjoy the natural minerals provided in Oregon hot springs! (This includes biodegradable products, too!)
Pack it in, pack MORE out
One of the quickest ways to ruin a hot spring is by leaving trash around the pools. This can pollute the water, attract unwanted animals, and create an unsanitary environment for visitors.
The easiest way to prevent this is to set a high standard for you and other visitors. You can do this by packing out your trash, but also picking up trash that you see left behind.
People are less likely to toss garbage if it looks like they are the only one’s doing it, so if we collectively set a high standard of cleanliness and stewardship, we can change the way people treat Oregon hot springs for the better.
Be respectful of other visitors
People visit hot springs in Oregon for a plethora of different reasons. Some come to take photos (us included!), some come to relax in a forest setting, and others come to enjoy time with friends on the weekend. Respect others and their unique experience!
Be aware of pool capacity
Some Oregon hot spring pools can only hold a limited amount of people. If you are planning to visit one of these smaller pools, come prepared to wait for your turn or share the space with others. If you want to have the pool to yourself, consider coming early on a weekday for having the best chance for a solo soak!
Know your limit
The pool temperature can affect soakers in different ways. Be aware of your body’s response to the hot water, and know when it’s time to take a break and sit out on the edge. Always carry a water bottle of cool water to refresh yourself, and bring snacks if you feel lightheaded.
The Top 10 Oregon Hot Springs and Exactly How To Find Them
Umpqua Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: $5/vehicle or Northwest Forest Pass
- Nudity? Yes. Clothing optional.
- Hike Required? Yes. 0.3-mile steep trail
- Average Pool Temps: 108 degrees
Umpqua hot springs in Oregon is one of the most popular and well-photographed pools in the state. While it’s fairly far from major Oregon cities (4.5 hours from Portland, and 2.5 hours from Bend), the combination of easy trail access and beauty still make this a sought after location for adventure lovers.
Here, you can expect a series of pools along the North Umpqua River, with natural springs that cascade down into one another. The highest pool on the hillside is protected by a wooden shelter, but the rest of the pools are only partly covered by the surrounding evergreen trees. The pools have a silty bottom, which makes the water slightly cloudy when people move around in them.
Often paired with this famous Oregon Hot Springs is Toketee Falls, an incredibly easy and beautiful 0.8-mile out and back trail to see a plunging falls from a Basalt cliffside.
How To Get To Umpqua Hot Springs: Umpqua Hot Springs is located in the Umpqua National Forest. Drive on Highway 138 and turn left at milepost 59 onto Forest Road 34. Continue 2.2 miles and then turn right onto Forest Road 3401 (Basket Butte Road). Proceed 0.7 mile to a parking area on the left. The road is full of potholes and bumpy, so take it slow!
Alvord Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: $8.00 per person
- Nudity? Undetermined
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: 105 degrees
A trip to Eastern Oregon isn’t complete without the long journey to Alvord Hot Springs! This desert soak is tucked away deep in Southeast Oregon, at the foothills of the Steens Mountain and at the base of the Alvord Desert.
Alvord Hot Springs is privately owned, with a day-use fee of $8. There is a small general store with some basic supplies, and a few overnight guest options starting at $30, including bunkhouses and a campground. There are two soaking pools – both outdoors, but one with no walls and the other with them, for a bit of privacy. There is a small covered shelter on the side of the pools to keep your things dry.
This is the perfect Oregon hot springs for soakers who want seclusion, and an escape from busier hot springs that attract crowds.
While you’re out here, consider also exploring in the Steens Mountain and checking out the Alvord Desert. You can drive your car on the playa, and even camp out in the vast dry desert landscape.
How To Get To Alvord Hot Springs: The way to this Oregon hot springs in the desert is a long, monotonous one. It’s quite the drive out to the middle of nowhere! From Burns, Oregon, take Highway 78 southeast and look out for Folly Farm Road. Turn right and follow that road for 41 miles. It turns into gravel shortly after turning, so take it slow. There are also cows on the road, so keep an eye out for them!
Cougar Hot Springs (Terwilliger Hot Springs)
- Day Use Fee: $7 cash
- Nudity? Yes. Clothing optional.
- Hike Required? 0.25 mile flat trail
- Average Pool Temps: Between 85 – 112 degrees
Cougar Hot Springs (also called Terwilliger Hot Springs) is one of the most popular hot springs in Oregon. It’s an easy day trip from Eugene, Oregon, and other surrounding cities like Sisters, Bend, and Corvallis/Salem.
Park in the parking lot and pay the $7 fee before walking on the 1/4-mile trail to the hot springs. You’ll wind your way through the lush forest and find yourself entering a green oasis with six soaking pools nestled into the forest.
Each pool is separated by rock walls, with the warmest pools at the top and the lower pools gradually decreasing in temperature. The pools range from 3 feet to 12 feet across and an average of 2-3 feet deep, just enough to sit down and cover your body. You’ll find that most pool floors are formed from the bedrock, but you will also find some silt and debris from the forest, and some sand as well.
Terwilliger Hot Springs is day use only. It’s closed sundown to sunrise, which is strictly enforced. It’s also closed Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 12 noon for cleaning and maintenance. There is no alcohol allowed at this Oregon hot spring, so save that for your campsite, or a brewery visit on the way home!
How To Get To Cougar Hot Springs: Terwilliger Hot Springs is located in the Willamette National Forest, off of Highway 126 (The Mckenzie River Highway) between Eugene and Bend, Oregon. Turn onto Cougar Dam Road and continue on south Aufderheide Drive, taking a right once you encounter the Cougar Reservoir. Drive on Aufderheide Drive for 5 miles to the Cougar Hot Springs parking lot.
Hart Mountain Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: None
- Nudity? Possibly
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: Between 100 – 105 degrees
Hart Mountain Hot Springs is located in Southern Oregon, with the nearest major cities being Bend, Klamath Falls, and Burns. Located deep in the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, this rarely visited spring has two pools. One has a surrounding stone structure and the other pool is 100 yards away as a natural pool.
Both pools have their own unique features and feel, so spend some time visiting each! The stone-walled pool is nearly 4-5 feet deep, so keep an eye on little ones if you bring your kids!
How To Get To Hart Mountain Hot Springs: From Bend, drive on Highway 20 east towards Burns, Oregon. Turn south onto Highway 395 and drive over 100 miles towards the small town of Plush, OR. From Plush, drive east and take the steep gravel road up Hart Mountain to the flat high desert at the top. Pass the Visitors Center (and stop for some information!) and follow directions to Hot Springs Campground Road.
Bagby Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: $5.00 per person, paid with cash on-site or via credit card at the Ripplebrook Station.
- Nudity? No. Swimsuits are required.
- Hike Required? Just a small 1.5-mile trail to the facilities.
- Average Pool Temps: HOT! Pools average 120 degrees from the source.
Bagby Hot Springs is located in the Mount Hood National Forest, nestled among the tall fir trees for a serene escape from the city. Found in 1880 by Bob Bagby and lovingly built up by the Forest Service in 1974, these historic forest bathhouses have been loved and enjoyed by many over the years. It’s one of the closest hot springs near Portland.
Here, there are three soaking choices. The whiskey barrel tubs and hollowed-out logs are together under a partially-covered communal deck, and there is one large whiskey barrel on the Upper Deck that can hold up to 8 people.
Camping is not permitted at the actual springs, however, there are adjacent campsites at Bagby Campground and Shower Creek to stay nearby.
How To Get To Bagby Hot Springs: Bagby Hot Springs is a 2-hour drive from Portland, Oregon. Take Highway 224 East, turn right on NF-63, and a final right on NF-70 (Bagby Road). Take the short walking trail to reach the tubs in the forest.
Crane Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: $10 adult / $5 child day-use fee
- Nudity? Not in the pond, but private tubs OK
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: 101 degrees
One of the most popular Eastern Oregon hot springs, Crane Hot Springs in Burns is the perfect combination of indoor and outdoor soaking pools. Come enjoy the expansive 7-foot deep pond, holding more than 323,143 gallons of water! For a more private experience, you can enjoy their private soaking tubs. Stay as overnight guests in their several accommodation choices (they’ve got a guest house, campsites, and more!) for 24-hour access to the hot springs pond!
How To Get To Crystal Crane Hot Springs: From Burns, Oregon, drive 25 miles southeast on Highway 78 (Crane Blvd), and it will be on your left-hand side. There is plenty of parking available on site! Reminder: Parking is free but hot springs admission is from $5-$10.
Summer Lake Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: $10 per person
- Nudity? No, but in the private bathhouse is okay.
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: Between 100 – 104 degrees
Summer Lake Hot Springs is a private resort located in Eastern Oregon, near the town of Valley Falls. This historic ranch spans 125 acres, with several rustic buildings, guest cabins, a campground, and of course, pools! Established in 1988 by Duane Graham, Summer Lakes is one of the greenest examples of hot springs soaking in the state. Their goal is to provide visitors with a natural experience, with eco-friendly buildings and practices that provide an active balance with the surrounding area.
How To Get To Summer Lakes Hot Springs: Coming from Bend, Oregon, drive on Highway 97 for 37 miles to La Pine. Turn left on Highway 31 and drive from 92 miles. At mile marker 92, look for Summer Lake Hot Springs on the left side of the road.
Willow Creek Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: None
- Nudity? Possibly
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: 102 degrees
Also referred to as Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs, Willow Creek Hot Springs is located deep in the Southeastern Oregon high desert. This singular pool is split into two parts, but the pool in total stays at around 102 degrees. This is a great hot spring to visit if you want to avoid large crowds – the journey here is far enough that only the dedicated make it!
The pool is located on BLM land, with several free campsites surrounding the greater area around the hot springs. Amenities include a pit toilet and fire rings in some pull-in campsites. This place is a popular destination for elk hunters, so early commuting in-and-out of the area is frequent during the summer months.
How To Get To Willow Creek Hot Springs:
Willow Creek Hot Springs in Oregon is located in the center of Whitehorse Ranch Lane, about 26 miles west from Highway 95 and 26 miles east from the Highway 205 junction. This road is completely dirt and gravel, but is well maintained year-round. The biggest challenge is the last bit of road, 2.5 miles on soft dirt, which can be impassable after heavy rain or wet weather.
It is not recommend to visit Willow Creek Hot Springs in the winter or rainy months.
Snively Hot Springs
- Day Use Fee: No
- Nudity? Yes, but not recommended. It’s right off the road.
- Hike Required? No
- Average Pool Temps: Between 100 – 115 degrees
Snively Hot Springs and Echo Rocky Hot Springs are both located along the Owyhee River, but actually pretty far apart from one another! (Keep scrolling for Echo Rock)
Snively Hot Springs rests along the banks of the north Owyhee River, so far east in Oregon that it nearly runs into the Idaho border! The drive to this Oregon hot springs alone is a stunning spectacle. Travelers get to gawk at the gorgeous technicolored canyon walls that command the attention of anyone that visits this high desert landscape.
There is no fee to visit Snively Hot Springs, and you can park essentially right at the river’s edge. The trip down to the bank is short. These pools are primitive, with no amenities nearby, so come prepared with anything you may need. Remember to pack out all your trash, too!
This pool is best enjoyed in the late summer and fall, because high river levels in the spring can make the hot springs temporarily disappear. Similar to the Boiling River in Wyoming, this hot springs can vary greatly in temperature depending on where you sit in the pool. The water can range from 100-115 degrees.
Camping is permitted around the pool (it’s on BLM land) but remember to camp at least 500 feet away from the water!
Echo Rock Hot Springs (Hike-In)
- Day Use Fee: No
- Nudity? Allowed
- Hike Required? Yes, 3.5 miles.
- Average Pool Temps: 103 degrees
Craving lesser-known hot springs in Oregon? The long trek to Echo Rock hot springs will be an incredibly rewarding and exciting adventure!
There are two ways to reach this insane Eastern Oregon hot springs – by water or by hiking in. Each path begins at Leslie Gulch, a two-hour drive from Boise, Idaho (9-hour drive from Portland) where you will embark on the 3.5-mile journey south along the Owhyee Reservoir.
You can make this a day hike and camp back at Slocum Creek Campground, or camp near the springs (but make sure to be at least 500 feet away!). The pool is man-made with concrete walls and stands at about 103 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit Echo Rock Hot Springs is in the late summer and fall season. Springtime may offer spring runoff, cooling the temperature of the water.
Other Hot Springs In Oregon To Discover
While we have visited quite a few hot springs in Oregon, this is certainly not an exhaustive list! We’re constantly seeking out new places to soak, commercial AND natural. Here are some pools that are next on our list (and keep coming back because we will continue to update this post as we visit!):
- Fisher Hot Springs
- Belknap Hot Springs
- Austin Hot Springs
- McCredie Hot Springs (on Salt Creek)
- Bigelow Hot Springs (AKA Deer Creek Hot Springs)
- Paulina Lake Hot Springs (In Central Oregon)
- Three Forks Hot Springs
- Wall Creek Warm Springs
Oregon Hot Springs Map
We hope you enjoyed our take on some of the best Oregon hot springs in the state! For your convenience, we created a hot springs map for Oregon. We hope it helps you plan your next trip to the Pacific Northwest!
How many of these Oregon hot springs have you explored? Which one is next on your list? Let us know in the comments below!
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