Oregon is home to a number of hot springs, including those in Eugene, Bend and Portland, and these are 10 of the must-visit destinations to relax and unwind.
There are breathtaking hot springs sprinkled throughout the United States, and Oregon is a haven for many of these geothermal, natural wonders. While several of the mineral-rich pools dot the Cascade mountain range, there are also warm springs to take a soothing dip in all over the state. From undeveloped pools only accessible by foot to retreat-style commercial soaks, these are the 10 most relaxing hot springs in Oregon.
Cougar (aka Terwilliger) Hot Springs is a local favorite. Located about an hour away from Eugene, the five serene, cascading pools are linked by stone slabs. Each descending pool is cooler than the last – beginning at 112F (44.4C) and ending at around 90F (32.2C) – and they’re all deep enough to fully submerge. The springs are located about a quarter mile into the Willamette Forest via a short hike through old tree growth and are open year-round. The fee is $6/day or $60/year if you purchase a season pass. And for those who want to feel positively liberated, clothing is optional.
If you like the idea of a soothing soak in a mineral-rich tub but don’t want to go hiking in search of an undeveloped pool, Belknap Hot Springs may be more up your alley. The central Oregon resort offers two pools, as well as access to acres of beautiful gardens, mountain home rentals, RV sites, cabins, lodge rooms and camping options. Its proximity to the McKenzie River is also a definite selling point.
The Umpqua Hot Springs lies in the central Oregon Cascades. Its three pristine, descending pools are perched on a mineral deposit above the rushing North Umpqua River. The top pool is the largest and covered by a hand-built wooden roof adorned with artwork, but you’re guaranteed a relaxing, warm soak and spectacular view no matter which pool you decide to dip into. The fee for these springs is $5 per vehicle/day.
Summer Lake Hot Springs is a resort-style soaking experience located two hours south of Bend in the Great Basin region. The 125-acre lot offers natural rock and indoor pools, along with geothermally heated cabins, guest houses, a campground and RV hookups for overnight guests. For those who prefer a day trip, the fee is $10. It’s not located in the forest but rather in the quiet plains, making it a unique location when compared to others on this list. It’s also one of Oregon’s greenest soaks, setting a model for other commercial hot springs.
Bagby Hot Springs is arguably the most popular in the whole state. Tucked into the Mount Hood National Forest, the springs’ proximity to Portland make them a must-visit destination; however, they may be the most difficult to get to on this list. The three soaking options are only accessible via a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) walk through the trees. Once you arrive, you’re rewarded with your choice of private tubs, carved out of hollowed-out logs, a public deck of log tubs and a large whiskey barrel pool, or the upper deck, which houses a large barrel tub that can accommodate up to eight people. The soaking fee is $5.
Breitenbush Hot Springs is tucked into Mount Hood National Park, just a couple hours east of Portland. The serene retreat is open to day visitors and offers cozy cabin accommodations for overnight guests. Aside from its rejuvenating mineral pools, Breitenbush also features wellness programs, spa treatments, a meditative labyrinth, among other amenities, and is a clothing-optional retreat.
McCredie Hot Springs is isolated in the Willamette National Forest, about 50mi (80km) southeast of Eugene. The hot springs include several pools on both sides of Salt Creek that fluctuate in temperature, ranging from 98F (36.6C) to 114F (45.5C). The 20-minute hike from the parking area is well worth it. These pools are open from dawn until dusk, free of charge and freeing (clothing optional).
In southeast Oregon’s high desert dwells a group of healing hot springs. Crystal Crane is a well-developed oasis in Burns that offers both public and private (for those who’d rather relax au naturel) soaking options. The 102F (38.8C) communal pool has a $3.50 fee, which is waived for those who choose to spend the night, and the private tubs run at $7.50 an hour.
Bigelow Hot Springs (aka Deer Creek Hot Springs) is a hidden gem just 60mi (96.5km) outside Eugene. The pool is partially set inside a cave and is adjacent to the McKenzie River. The natural wonder heats up to just over 100F (37.7C) in the summer and fall and is pretty intimate, accompanying six guests tops. Because it’s an undeveloped hot spring, there’s no fee, and like most of the pools on this list, clothing is 100% optional.
The Alvord Hot Springs is a public-turned-commercial soaking site at the gate of the Alvord Desert, east of Steens Mountain. Though there is now a $5 fee to use the tubs, the Davis family, who owns the property, has completely revamped the pools for a more enjoyable experience and now offers camping, too. Like Summer Lake, this is a different kind of Oregon hot spring experience, with the sound of rushing rivers replaced by serene quietness, and the view of towering trees replaced by twinkling stars.