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10 Top-Rated Hot Springs in Oregon

Written by Brad Lane
Nov 17, 2020

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Scattered throughout beautiful surroundings in Oregon, a variety of hot spring wait to be enjoyed. From popular hot spots such as Umpqua Hot Springs to the more remote soaking pools found at Ritter, these thermal attractions help define the Pacific Northwest's allure.

A long list of Oregon hot springs provides interested explorers plenty of places to visit. And the best soaking spot depends on the type of hot springs experience desired. Hot springs like the ones found at Hart Mountain National Elk Refuge provide more isolated settings and vibrant night skies, while popular options such as Bagby Hot Springs entertain larger crowds on the weekends.

Privately owned hot springs add other amenities to the mix. Places like Belknap or Breitenbush offer places to stay and scheduled events that encourage multi-day visits. Primitive hot springs like Bigelow Hot Springs, on the other hand, require no reservations (or clothing).

Hot springs across the country are delicate landscapes. It's imperative when visiting to stay on designated trails, minimize impact to the soaking areas, and pack out all trash. While hot springing in Oregon is a family-friendly experience, expect to make open-minded friends when visiting popular hot springs throughout summer and weekends.

Find the top spots to soak your cares away with our list of the best hot springs in Oregon.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Umpqua Hot Spring, Umpqua National Forest

Umpqua Hot Spring

Umpqua Hot Spring

Umpqua is a popular set of hot springs that provides a picturesque soak throughout the year. It features three cascading soaking pools, each increasing in temperature as you make your way up from the river. The hot spring also features a tub covered by a primitive wooden structure.

Clothing is optional at this day-use area, and a NW Forest Pass or equivalent hangtag is required to park at the trailhead. It's a short but steep quarter-mile trail from the parking area to reach the springs. A vault toilet is available at the trailhead, and all users need to pack out any trash they may accumulate.

Expect other visitors at the hot springs, particularly on the weekends. For those looking to spend a few days, the closest place to pitch a tent is the Toketee Campground, less than four miles away. The hot spring is near Crater Lake National Park and is accessible with limited driving on gravel roads. Take the roads slow in winter conditions.

2. Babgy Hot Springs, Mt. Hood National Forest

Cedar tub in private soaking stall

Cedar tub in private soaking stall | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Bagby provides developed hot springs within a primitive setting. This popular spot to soak offers three distinct bathhouses featuring various soaking options, much in thanks to volunteer efforts and coordination with the U.S. Forest Service. Perhaps the most coveted are five private stalls at Bagby, including hand-carved cedar log tubs with hot water piped directly from the source.

Other soaking spots at Bagby include six-foot-round community tubs under hand-built awnings. This is a very popular place in the evenings and weekends, and patrons are encouraged to ration their soaking time when other people are waiting for the tubs.

It's a drive on gravel and forest roads to visit Bagby, and detailed directions and a map are a good idea. The 1.5-mile trail to reach the hot springs follows the banks of the scenic Collawash River. The hike is easily graded and a pleasant trek through a thriving forest.

The Bagby Hot Springs Campground is adjacent to the trailhead offer options to spend the night, as camping is not allowed at the hot springs themselves. A $5 fee for hot spring use is collected at the trailhead by an attendant or deposited into a fee box.

3. Paulina Hot Springs, Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Paulina Hot Springs

Paulina Hot Springs | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Within the Deschutes National Forest and Newberry National Volcanic Monument (one of the top attractions near Bend), Paulina Hot Springs is a gorgeous lakeside soaking spot.

This unique hot spring is accessible with a two-mile hike on the shoreline of Paulina Lake. Part of the route navigates rock outcroppings, providing great views of the landscape along the way. Visitors will find small soaking spots dug out of the rocky shoreline after making the scenic trek.

Small waves from Paulina Lake cool off the hot water that seeps in from deep underground. Upon lying down in any of the hand-dug soaking spots on the shore, an eye-level look at the topography, including the prominent Paulina Peak, adds to the hot springs' relaxing nature.

The trailhead for Paulina Hot Springs is located at the end of one of the best campgrounds in Oregon, and overnight visitors to Little Crater Campground also enjoy easy access to the water. The hot springs remain moderately busy throughout the summer, but it's possible to get a solo soak on weekdays and early mornings.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bend

4. McCredie Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest

Large soaking pool at McCredie Hot Springs

Large soaking pool at McCredie Hot Springs | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Once the site of an early 20th-century resort, McCredie Hot Springs is now a primitive roadside hot spring. The springs span both sides of Salt Creek and provide a variety of soaking spots to enjoy. An hour's drive from Eugene, McCredie is also 12 miles from one of the largest and best waterfalls in Oregon, Salt Creek Falls.

These clothing-optional and day-use only hot springs feature water temperatures as high as 130 degrees near the source (use caution when dipping in toes). A variety of soaking spots mix with the cold-running water nearby to provide comfortable temperatures to enjoy. It's fun to tour the pools, including cold-water dips in the adjacent Salt Creek.

The hot springs are moderately popular. The adjacent parking area features nine parking spots and one RV pullout. Generally, a single parking space is available when visiting. The weekends are the most common time for the springs to be full.

5. Hart Mountain Hot Springs

Hart Mountain Hot Springs

Hart Mountain Hot Springs

As part of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Hart Mountain Hot Springs can be found in a far remote area of southern Oregon. The main hot spring to visit features landscaped rocks, which make for a comfortable seat, and another small pool nearby offers views of the surrounding vast and open landscape.

The pools are moderate in size, fitting a group of four comfortably, though thanks to the remote location, these hot springs are much less busy. The remote landscape also offers a surreal starscape at night that pairs nicely with a soak.

Thirty primitive campsites are available at the Hot Springs Campground nearby. Day and overnight users will want to pack their own drinking water.

6. Belknap Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest

Lower pool at Belknap Hot Springs

Lower pool at Belknap Hot Springs | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

On the banks of the McKenzie River, an hour east of Eugene, Belknap embodies a complete hot springs vacation. This commercial facility features a lodge, campground, and impressive collection of gardens. Belknap also provides two private hot spring mineral pools complete with decks and lounge chairs.

Overnight guests at Belknap have access to the upper and lower pools, and day-use visitors can utilize the lower pool with an hourly or all-day pass. Surrounding the pools, the natural beauty of the McKenzie River Valley and well-kept gardens of Belknap combine for a scenic spot to soak.

Tent spaces, RV hookups, and cabins are all available for advance reservations. Belknap is open 365 days of the year. Icy conditions can make the drive challenging during winter. Be sure to check local conditions before making the drive.

Address: 59296 North Belknap Springs Road, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

Official site: http://www.belknaphotsprings.com

7. Terwilliger Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest

Soaking in Terwilliger Hot Springs

Soaking in Terwilliger Hot Springs

Near Bigelow and Belknap Hot Springs, Terwilliger Hot Springs is one of the most popular soaking spots in the Willamette National Forest. Commonly referred to as Cougar Hot Springs, a small cave at Terwilliger releases hot water towards the McKenzie River below, filling five natural basins along the way.

It's a quarter-mile trail to reach the pools, where you can often expect to find other people enjoying the water. Clothing is optional at this national forest hot spot, and a day-use fee is collected 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.

8. Breitenbush Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest

Soaking tub at Breitenbush Hot Springs

Soaking tub at Breitenbush Hot Springs | Wonderlane / photo modified

Breitenbush is a full-service retreat and conference center 70 miles east of Salem. The stunning hot springs at the resort are just part of the appeal of this remote wilderness sanctuary.

Three tubs at Breitenbush, furnished with smooth river rocks, ranging from warm to hot and all provide great views of the surrounding forest meadows. One of the three tubs is specifically reserved for quiet soaking.

Breitenbush is open for day visits, overnight stays, and multi-day retreats. Other relaxing and refreshing services offered by Breitenbush include wellness programs, hiking trails, massage therapy, and organic fresh meals.

The devasting 2020 fires in Oregon severely impacted the facility. Nearly half of the structures at this iconic Oregon hot spring were destroyed. Quickly, community support spurred rebuilding efforts. Check out the Breitenbush website for updates before visiting.

9. Bigelow Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest

Bigelow Hot Springs

Bigelow Hot Springs | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, this roadside soaking destination can be found along the McKenzie River about sixty miles east of Eugene. The hot water at Bigelow is contained with a human-made rock circle to provide a small soaking pool. Capacity at Bigelow is approximately three to four people.

The summer is a great time to visit, and though it's not one of the most popular hot springs in the immediate area, expect to share the pool with some other interested visitors. The hot springs are nearly visible from the forest service access road, and the hike to the warm water is manageable for most ability levels.

10. Ritter Hot Springs, Long Creek

John Day River Valley near Ritter

John Day River Valley near Ritter

In a century-old ghost town in northeast Oregon, Ritter Hot Springs provides perhaps the most unique hot springs surroundings. Nestled next to the Middle Fork of the John Day River, Ritter Hot Springs are in four partially enclosed concrete tubs, accessed with a day fee.

Spending the night in the adjacent historic hotel is an affordable option, with cabins and camping also available. The community that surrounds this privately-owned hot spring is welcoming, and a large swimming pool is also available for cooling off. A recommended amenity at this remote attraction is the outdoor shower, which streams hot water down your neck and shoulders.

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imageOther Outdoor Adventures in Oregon: While you are discovering some of the states's best hot springs, consider seeing some of Oregon's best lakes, often located nearby. Outdoor enthusiasts should also have a look at our articles on Oregon's top-rated hiking trails and weekend trips in Oregon.

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