8 Top-Rated Hot Springs in Washington

The state of Washington is full of unique adventures of every kind, from glacier-topped peaks to underground features. One iconic Pacific Northwest attraction everyone should enjoy are the mineral-fed hot springs found throughout the state. The ease of access for these different Washington hot springs varies from backcountry hiking to resort and spa visits, and each offers its own ambiance and style, including clothing-optional policies at some. Whatever hot spring you choose and whatever attire you decide to don, if you do a little research and plan ahead, you can easily enjoy some of the nation's best geothermal attractions.

1 Goldmyer Hot Springs

Goldmyer Hot Springs
Goldmyer Hot Springs hundertmorgen_ / photo modified

Nestled amongst the ancient forests of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, just 60 miles east of Seattle, Goldmyer Hot Springs is one of the best-kept geothermal gems in the entire state of Washington. You have to work to enjoy Goldmyer Hot Springs though, and the 15-mile drive on a non-maintained, unpaved Forest Service road, plus the 4.5-mile hike into the wilderness to access the springs, helps to keep this hard to reach location in good condition. As does Northwest Wilderness Programs, the nonprofit organization that maintains the springs via an innkeeper, who enforces low-impact policies to protect the fragile environment.

Northwest Wilderness Programs limits use of Goldmyer Hot Springs to 20 people a day, and will turn people back if the space is full, making reservations a high recommendation for this geothermal attraction. Make those reservations though, and navigate the backcountry route in your vehicle and on foot, and you'll see for yourself why Goldmyer Hot Springs is on top of the list for hot springs in Washington.

Address: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Goldmyer Hot Springs Trail, North Bend, Washington

Official site: http://www.goldmyer.org/

2 Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

A bridge with a view of the Sol Duc Falls, near the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
A bridge with a view of the Sol Duc Falls, near the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park is perhaps one of the most appealing hot springs destinations in Washington. Not only is Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort easy to access and perfect for the whole family, but with the enormity of Olympic National Park surrounding the mineral pools, the hot springs are only a small part of an excellent adventure.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers cabins and campsites, as well as three different mineral hot spring soaking pools and one freshwater pool. It also lends access to iconic hikes in and around the Sol Duc Valley, including the Sol Duc Falls Trail and Lake Crescent not far away. A great place to spend the weekend, week, or perhaps the entire season, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers plenty of sightseeing and active adventures.

Address: Olympic National Park, 12076 Sol Duc Hot Springs Road, Port Angeles, Washington

Accommodation: Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

3 Doe Bay Resort and Retreat

Doe Bay Resort and Retreat
Doe Bay Resort and Retreat Chelsea Nesvig / photo modified

Doe Bay Resort and Retreat is your first-class ticket for everything the San Juan Islands has to offer. Located on Orcas Island in Olga, the waterfront soaking tubs and sauna are many people's centerpiece experience while visiting Doe Bay Resort, but the mineral baths are only a small part of the offerings. The resort also features a one-acre organic garden that supplies the ingredients for the on-site Doe Bay Cafe, a yoga studio to perfect your pose, as well as adventure opportunities like guided kayaking excursions in the Puget Sound or hiking the nearby trails in Moran State Park.

Address: 107 Doe Bay Road, Olga, Washington

Official site: https://doebay.com/

4 Olympic Hot Springs

Olympic Hot Springs
Olympic Hot Springs Robert Ashworth / photo modified

For another option of hot springs while visiting Olympic National Park, the Olympic Hot Springs add more of a wilderness experience compared to the comfortable confines of the neighboring Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. A similar resort operated on the Olympic Hot Springs until 1966, when the lease with the National Park Service (NPS) expired. Since then, the NPS has removed all man-made structures from the area, and hikers can access these natural hot springs via a 2.5-mile trail. You won't find the same amenities at Olympic Hot Springs that you'll find at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, but for many, that's exactly what makes these natural wonders worth visiting.

5 Scenic Hot Springs

Scenic Hot Springs, amid 40 acres that border the Alpine Lakes Wilderness just west of Stevens Pass, is a privately owned hot spring location with a long and continuing history in the state. First recorded interest in the hot springs by our current civilization can be linked back to the construction of the nearby Great Northern Railway, and a resort was built around the hot springs in the late 19th century. The lodge remained a commercial entity until the early 1920s and was nearly forgotten for 50 years, until new hot spring enthusiasts started seeking these soaking waters. From there, problems with overcrowding and saturating the natural environment caused issues with local law enforcement and the private owner of the property, effectively limiting access to the hot springs without illegally trespassing to get to them.

Within the past few years, new conversations and agreements have begun to open Scenic Hot Springs back up to the public, but advance permission from the landowner is required, and limited to 10 people a day. You can gain permission to Scenic Hot Springs by visiting the Scenic Hot Springs site and filling out the necessary reservation request. The history of Scenic Hot Springs is still in the making, so if you are granted permission to visit this natural attraction, be sure to pack everything out you bring along and help keep this pristine location open to visitors for years to come.

6 Gamma Hot Springs

Glacier Peak and Image Lake, near Gamma Hot Springs
Glacier Peak and Image Lake, near Gamma Hot Springs

Touted as the most remote hot springs in the state of Washington, Gamma Hot Springs isn't suited for your first ever excursion into the wilderness. Tucked amid the rugged Glacier Peak Wilderness, Gamma Hot Springs has a nearly mythic status. Even with the necessary equipment and experience in backcountry navigation to search for these geothermal diamonds in the rough, there is still no safe bet you'll find them.

However, if you do find Gamma Hot Springs, you'll most likely have it to yourself, and with the towering Gamma Peak for scenery, plus the rest of the Glacier Peak Wilderness to explore, even if you don't find the hot springs on the first try, you'll be sure to have an adventure to always remember.

7 Carson Hot Springs Resort

In the Columbia River Valley in southern Washington, Carson Hot Springs Resort takes tourists into the past and away from their present concerns. The facade of the hot springs resort and surrounding small town of Carson has received a few fresh layers of paint over the last century, but other than that and some modern renovations, not much else has changed in this rustic retreat and getaway. Carson Hot Springs Resort offers all sorts of rooms, with a few containing personal mineral-fed hot tubs for private enjoyment. But with the adventure-laden Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area as the backdrop, as well as the neighboring Elk Ridge Golf Course, you'll find plenty of other things to do beyond the resort.

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