10 Top-Rated Hot Springs in Oregon

Written by Brad Lane

Throughout Oregon and often in beautiful surroundings, a variety of hot springs are waiting to be enjoyed, from popular hot spots such as Umpqua Hot Springs to the more remote soaking pools found at Ritter. The long list of Oregon hot springs provides interested explorers plenty of places to visit, and the pool for you depends on what you want from a soaking experience.

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 like Belknap or Breitenbush add plenty of amenities to your stay, while Bigelow Hot Springs and other primitive soaking circles require no reservations. Find the best spots to soak your cares away with our list of the top hot springs in Oregon.

1. Umpqua Hot Spring, Umpqua National Forest

Umpqua Hot Spring

Umpqua Hot Spring

A popular set of hot springs throughout the year, Umpqua provides a picturesque soak. It features three cascading soaking pools, each increasing in temperature as you make your way up from the river along a short but steep quarter-mile trail. Clothing is optional at this day-use area, and a NW Forest Pass or equivalent hangtag is required to park at the trailhead.

Expect other visitors at the hot springs, particularly on the weekends, and for those looking to spend a few days, the closest place to pitch a tent is the Toketee Campground less than four miles away. A vault toilet is available at the hot springs, and all users need to pack out any trash they may accumulate.

2. Babgy Hot Springs, Mt. Hood National Forest Editor's Pick

Cedar tub in private soaking stall

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

Bagby provides the most developed hot springs within a primitive setting. Much in thanks to volunteer efforts and coordination with the U.S. Forest Service, Bagby offers three distinct bathhouses featuring a variety of soaking options. Perhaps the most coveted, five private stalls at Bagby include 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 Bagby Hot Springs Campground adjacent to the trailhead is a good option for spending 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 can be deposited into a fee box. The 1.5-mile trail to reach the hot springs follows the banks of the scenic Collawash River and is an easily graded and pleasant trek through a thriving forest.

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, near Bend, Paulina Hot Springs is a gorgeous lakeside soaking spot. It's accessed by a two-mile hike on the shoreline of Paulina Lake. Visitors will find small soaking spots dug out of the rocky shoreline after making the scenic trek next to the water. Small waves coming off Paulina Lake add the perfect amount of cold water to the hot pools, and the eye-level view of the lake and surrounding topography add an aesthetic appeal to any soak.

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.

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 an undeveloped hot springs easily accessed from the road. Twelve miles from one of the largest and best waterfalls in Oregon, Salt Creek Falls, McCredie Hot Springs are also on the banks of Salt Creek and provide a variety of soaking spots to enjoy.

These clothing-optional and day-use only hot springs are on both sides of the creek, with water temperatures as high as 130 degrees near the source (use caution when dipping in toes). Other soaking areas at McCredie provide cooler water to enjoy, and the adjacent Salt Creek itself provides cold water for a refreshing dip.

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. Thirty primitive campsites are available at the Hot Springs Campground nearby, 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

A lodge, campground, and impressive collection of gardens, Belknap Hot Springs embodies a complete hot springs vacation. On the banks of the McKenzie River in a remote wooded setting, Belknap 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 spend the night. Tent spaces, RV hookups, and cabins are all available for advance reservation.

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 rock slides in recent years, access to Terwilliger Hot Springs has been compromised in the past. 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

A full-service retreat and conference center, the stunning hot springs found at Breitenbush are just part of the appeal of this remote wilderness sanctuary and resort. Three tubs at Brietenbush, furnished with smooth river rocks, range from warm to hot and all provide great views of the surrounding forest meadows. One of the three tubs are 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.

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. A small soaking pool, the hot water at Bigelow is contained with a man-made rock circle able to accommodate two 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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Other Outdoor Adventures in Oregon: While you are discovering some of Oregon's best hot springs, consider see some of the state's best waterfalls often located nearby. Outdoor enthusiasts should also have a look at our articles on Oregon's top-rated hiking trails, weekend trips, and awesome campgrounds.

Exploring the Oregon Coast: The many top-rated tourist attractions on the Oregon coast can have you exploring the shore all summer long, including some of the best beaches on the Oregon coast. To divvy up your Oregon coast travels over multiple days, have a look at our article on the best small towns on the Oregon coast, which make good stopping points. Campers will want to see our list of top-rated campgrounds on the Oregon coast, and those looking for a little more comfort will appreciate our list of the best resorts on the Oregon coast.

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