7 of the best hot springs in Oregon 


There is something magical about a natural hot spring.

They are formed when magma forces hot water through fissures in the earth – but that explanation doesn’t make them any less special. When you’re soaking in steamy mineral water it feels as if Mother Nature created a geothermal phenomenon just for you. This is especially true in Oregon, where dozens of hot springs bubble from the ground in settings so uniquely beautiful they seem custom-made for virtually every personality and mood. From luxury spa resorts to clothing-optional pools deep in the forest, here’s where to find the best hot springs in Oregon. 

Important guidance about using hot springs on Oregon public lands 

Many of the best hot springs in Oregon are located on public lands. This means they are free or low-cost to visit, but first, here are a few things to know. 

  • Hot springs on public lands are generally considered clothing-optional
  • Plan to pack out whatever you pack in
  • Bathrooms at many public hot springs are primitive and irregularly maintained when available. Do yourself a favor and use the facilities at the trailhead
  • Bring plenty of drinking water. Beverages in glass bottles are prohibited
  • Do not use soap, shampoo, gels or any other skin products inside the hot springs

Soaking in hot springs is one of the best experiences in Oregon. Here are the other top things to do.

Umpqua Hot Springs in Southern Oregon are surrounded by beautiful forest © frankreporter via Getty Images

1. Umpqua Hot Springs 

Best hot springs in Southern Oregon

A stunning location on a travertine cliff above the North Umpqua River makes Umpqua Hot Springs one of the most Instagrammed spots in Oregon. The cliff is shaped like a giant staircase with natural tubs gracing the steps. The pools are fed by a cascading spring at the top so they grow cooler as you near the bottom. At the left side of the final ledge, a sturdy rope lowers visitors to a final, hidden pool next to the river. 

Umpqua Hot Springs is within the beautiful Umpqua National Forest in Southern Oregon. The hike is less than a half-mile from the trailhead, but it’s a steep climb to the top. The day-use fee is $5 (waived if you have a Northwest Forest Pass or an America the Beautiful Pass). 

Parking for the Umpqua Hot Springs trail is limited to 10 spots, so plan to arrive early. During heavy snow months, the trailhead gate is usually closed. The hot springs are still open but it’s about a 2-mile roundtrip hike from the gate. Check the Forest Service website for up-to-date information. 

How to get to Umpqua Hot Springs: Take OR-138 east/northeast Diamond Lake Boulevard from Roseburg, Oregon. Take a left at milepost 59 onto Forest Rd 34. Turn left at the concrete bridge at the bottom of the hill. Drive 2.2 miles and take a right onto Forest Rd 3401. Continue 0.7 miles to the parking area on the left.

2. Snively Hot Springs 

Best for visitors from Idaho

The walls of the Owyhee River Canyon rise above Snively Hot Springs to provide a dramatic backdrop for your soak. At its source, Snively Hot Springs is scalding hot. It bubbles from the ground to the Owyhee River, where it is captured in a dam-like pool created by large rocks. The mixture of thermal water and cool river water results in a pleasant temperature for a nice, hot soak. 

Sniveley Hot Springs are day-use only and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. There is no fee to visit.

How to find Snively Hot Springs: Snively Hot Springs Recreational Site is located in Eastern Oregon near the Idaho border. From Boise, take I-84 W and US-20 W to Matthews Rd for 43.4 miles. Continue on Matthews Rd and take Overstreet Rd to Owyhee Lake Rd for 19.9 miles. The last stretch of the road is bumpy, so make sure your vehicle has plenty of clearance. The hot springs are a short walk from the parking lot. 

3. McCredie Hot Springs 

Best for socializing and making new friends 

McCredie Hot Springs is only an hour’s drive from Eugene. Keep in mind the trade-off for that convenience is that you’re unlikely to have the springs to yourself. On weekends, you might even feel like you’ve stumbled onto a party.

At McCredie Hot Springs, human-made rock walls create a series of shallow soaking pools surrounded by evergreens on the banks of the Salt River. The pools get quite hot, so be sure to exercise caution before lowering yourself into the water. When water levels are high, the lower pools might not be usable. The springs are day-use only and there is no fee. 

How to find McCredie Hot Springs: From Eugene, take I-105 E to OR-58. Drive 51.8 miles. Please note that you will pass by the main McCredie Day Use Area parking lot. The largest springs are located on the opposite side of the highway about a half mile from the day-use parking lot. The parking area is just over a small bridge. Space is limited, so as always, it pays to arrive early. The hot springs are a 5-minute walk from the parking area.

4. Paulina Lake Hot Springs 

Best for scenery

Burrowed within a caldera atop the Newberry Volcano, Paulina Lake is about as scenic as it gets. The Paulina Lake Hot Springs are rustic, natural pools dug from volcanic sand surrounding the lake. Geothermal mineral water mixes with cold lake water for a temperature that would be most accurately described as pleasantly warm as opposed to hot. It’s a lovely way to take in vistas of the towering Paulina Peak. 

The springs are accessed via the marked Hot Springs Spur off the Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail. It’s a 2.8-mile out-and-back hike. The entire loop is just over 7 miles should you choose to complete it. 

How to find Paulina Lake Hot Springs: From Bend, take Highway 97 South for 23.5 miles. Turn east on Paulina Lake Rd/County Rd 21 and drive 20 miles to the Paulina Lake Day Use Area. There is a $5 day-use fee (free to Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass holders).

Looking for something a little more active? Here’s our guide to Oregon’s best hiking routes

Steam rises from an outdoor thermal pool
Belknap Hot Springs Resort is open year-round and offers day passes for non-resort guests © John Gottberg / Lonely Planet

5. Belknap Hot Springs Resort

Best for a quick soak

In addition to the hot springs found on public lands, Oregon is home to several beautiful resorts with developed hot springs. Alongside overnight accommodations, most offer a day-use fee for non-resort guests.

Belknap Hot Springs Resort offers two concrete soaking pools piped with mineral water from natural hot springs. The property itself is a lush garden sanctuary along the McKenzie River. Clothing is required, and children under the age of five are not allowed in the pool area. There is a small store on site with snacks and drinks. From late spring through summer, a food cart is usually available with casual fare like sandwiches. 

Day use passes are $10 per person, valid for up to one hour in the lower pool. No reservations are necessary. Room rates start at about $125 a night. Onsite camping is also available. 

How to find Belknap Hot Springs Resort: The resort is located at 59296 Belknap Hot Springs Rd, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon 97413

6. Lithia Springs Resort 

Best for luxury travelers

There is nothing rustic about Lithia Springs Resort in Ashland. This is a boutique property with 38 guest rooms, giving it the intimate feeling of a private cottage surrounded by gardens. Natural hot springs from beneath the ground are piped into guest room tubs for long, leisurely, mineral-rich soaks. An outdoor saltwater pool, hot tub and spa are also on site. 

The mineral springs are reserved for hotel guests. However, the public is welcome in the beautiful onsite Wine Garden tasting room. Rooms with private soaking tubs start at approximately $140 a night.

Where to find Lithia Springs Resort: The resort is a short drive from downtown Ashland at 2165 West Jackson Rd, Ashland, Oregon, 97520. 

Spending some time in Ashland? Here’s our guide to the best things to do

The wood-shingled and charmingly weathered exterior of a hotel
Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort is a wellness retreat with three natural hot spring pools © Barb Gonzalez / Lonely Planet

7. Breitenbush Hot Springs 

Best wellness retreat

Wellness is at the core of the Breitenbush Hot Springs experience. Electricity is limited and cell service and wi-fi are intentionally unavailable; drug use and alcohol are prohibited; and the hot springs are clothing optional. There are three natural hot springs pools lined with river rock (including a silent pool for contemplating as you soak) and four spiral tubs ranging in temperature. A sauna roosts above a capped geyser to provide a natural steam experience. 

Reservations are strongly encouraged in advance. Day passes are $20 for children age 5–12 and $35 for visitors 13 and up. Lunch can be added to your reservation. Lodging rates include three organic vegetarian meals a day and daily wellbeing experiences. Room rates start at $142 for a single person/$229 for two. Campsites and glamping accommodations are also available. 

How to find Breitenbush Hot Springs: The area receives a great deal of snow, so be sure to call ahead for up-to-date information on road conditions if you’re visiting from November through April. The address is 53000 Breitenbush Rd SE, Detroit, Oregon. 

This article was first published Oct 9, 2019 and updated May 8, 2024.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top