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9 Hot Springs You Need to Visit in Oregon + Southwest Washington, Mapped

  |  Central Oregon, Neighborhood Insight, Portland, Southwest Washington

There is nothing quite as magical as discovering a hot spring in the midst of nature. These mysterious phenomena merge science with relaxation in a unique and unexplainable way. The Pacific Northwest is filled with hot springs, ranging from tiny hand-dug pools to massive hot springs with entire structures created around them.

Consult our map to find the hot spring nearest you, whether you’re exploring Central Oregon or the Portland Metro (and into Southwest Washington!). Whether you’re looking for a DIY lakeside hot spring only accessible with a hike or an exotic resort getaway with modern amenities, there is a hot spring for you on this list.

Wherever you go, please respect the property so visitors can continue to use these beloved natural phenomenons for years to come. It’s vital to leave no trace by staying on established trails, picking up all trash, utilizing available restrooms, and not disturbing plantlife and wildlife.

 

CENTRAL OREGON HOT SPRINGS:

Cougar Hot Springs/Terwilliger Hot Springs

Natural | $6 Day Use | Clothing-Optional

Cougar Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Terwilliger Hot Springs, commonly known as Cougar Hot Springs, is nestled along the Cougar Reservoir on the McKenzie River. Access the chain of five stair-stepped pools at the end of a quarter-mile stroll through the forest. Cougar Hot Springs is accompanied by a manned kiosk but retains its rustic, private feel — especially as clothing is optional. Plus, it stays clean thanks to volunteers who drain and clean the pool weekly, typically on Thursday mornings. Each of the pools is slightly cooler than the other, ranging from 90 to 112 degrees.

 

Deer Creek Hot Springs/Bigelow Hot Springs

Natural | Free | Clothing-Optional

Bigelow Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Deer Creek Hot Springs, also known as Bigelow Hot Springs, is situated along the McKenzie River, which conveniently runs along McKenzie Highway (OR-126), providing easy access to this secluded pool. You’ll find a free parking lot not far from this clothing-optional hot spring. During the warmer months, the pool can reach 102–104 degrees but during the winter, the air cools the waters to a more lukewarm temperature. Watch the river flow by in this small and relaxing hot spring tucked back in a beautiful forest setting.

 

Paulina Lake Hot Springs + East Lake Hot Springs

Natural | Free | Clothing

Paulina Lake Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Enjoy a relaxing soak while taking in scenic lake views at this collection of dug-out hot springs surrounding Paulina Lake and East Lake. Small wooden hand-dug tubs have been constructed here along the shores of both lakes, which were separated into two separate bodies of water by lava flow from Newberry Volcano. Embark on a 7.8-mile loop around Paulina Lake and reward yourself with a soak in one of the idyllic hot springs, which are often described as “warm” rather than hot. However, some can reach over 100 degrees if they are not filled with lake water splashing over the edge! The hot springs at both lakes are restricted to summer and early fall before snowfall occurs.

 

McCredie Hot Springs

Natural | Free | Clothing-Optional

McCredie Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

This collection of hot spring-fed pools is situated near the Willamette Pass Highway on either side of Salt Creek. You will typically encounter 2–4 shallow and wide pools surrounded by rock walls and lined with silt on the floor. Temperatures can fluctuate between 98 and 114 degrees, so consider using a thermometer before you dive in! Access the pools by parking at the small paved parking lot (with restroom facilities) nearby. They are free to visit and clothing is optional!

 

Umpqua Hot Springs

Natural | $5 Day Use | Clothing-Optional

Umpqua Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Nestled high in the Cascade Mountains along the banks of the North Umpqua River, Umpqua Hot Springs is a series of multiple terraced pools open year-round. You can access them via a quarter-mile hike most of the year or a 3.5-mile hike if the Forest Service access road is closed during the off-season due to snow. You’ll find a bathroom, two campsites and picnic tables near the parking area, in addition to a composting toilet closer to the springs. One of the three hot pools is covered, which becomes a popular soaking spot during harsh weather conditions.

 

PORTLAND METRO + SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON HOT SPRINGS:

Austin Hot Springs

Natural | Free | Clothing-Optional (Mix)

Austin Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Situated about an hour outside of Portland along Highway 224, Austin Hot Springs is a natural hot spring along the Clackamas River heated by volcano activity. Enjoy breathtaking serene beauty at these rock-lined pools nestled in the forest. Be aware of the possibility of encountering extremely hot pockets of water that can reach over 200 degrees! Austin Hot Springs are most accessible during the summer and fall and should be avoided during spring runoff and the winter, when the access road is often closed.

 

Bagby Hot Springs

Man-Made | $5 Day Use | Clothing-Optional

Bagby Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

It’s easy to see why these historic hot springs are some of the most popular in the state of Oregon. You have three soaking options at Bagby Hot Springs. Choose from the five privately enclosed hollowed-out logs on a partially covered deck, a public deck with three hollowed-out log tubs salvaged from the 1979 fire and a whiskey barrel tub, and a large upper deck with a massive whiskey barrel tub that can hold eight people. Pay $5 to soak in any of these tubs, whether you prefer a social experience or a relaxing soak in a private, enclosed tub.

 

Breitenbush Hot Springs

Natural | $16–30 Day Use | Clothing-Optional

Breitenbush Hot Springs Oregon

Photo Courtesy of SoakOregon.com

Retreat to the historic Breitenbush Retreat and Conference Center to escape the busyness of life — including technology, as this rustic respite offers no phone/Internet access or cell signals. Book your stay at this idyllic retreat in the campground, the geothermal heated cabins, the same-sex cabins with bunk beds, or the rooms in the historic main lodge. Or simply drop by for a soak by paying a day-use fee ranging from $16–30. Whether you are staying the night or just stopping by, you will need to make a reservation in advance. Breitenbush offers three natural pools lined with smooth river rocks. One overlooking the river is designated as a “silent” pool, calling for quiet, contemplative soaking.

 

Carson Hot Springs Golf & Spa Resort

Natural | $8–15/Hour or Free for Resort Guests | Clothing

With the closure of Bonneville Hot Springs a couple years ago, Carson Hot Springs Golf & Spa Resort is now one of the only hot spring destinations in Southwest Washington. This luxurious resort leaves nothing to be desired, offering modern accommodations, a scenic natural setting, a pristine golf course and a luxe spa equipped with a bathhouse. The 1930s bathhouse features clawfoot tubs filled with mineral water with shower curtains for privacy. Follow up your soak with a massage or other relaxing treatment at the spa! Plus, resort guests enjoy access to the resort’s large mineral therapy pool and non-resort guests may pay anywhere from $8 an hour to $15 an hour depending on the day of their visit.

 

Which of these relaxing hot springs is on your bucket list?

We’d love to know which hot spring(s) you’re dying to explore! Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

Courtney Itami

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