Do you like lively spots or do prefer a quieter soak? Whichever you fulfills your heart’s desire, there’s a hot spring for you. Take a look at these underground wonders that spring up to offer you an unforgettable getaway.
Located in the Central Oregon Cascades, Umpqua Hot Springs could easily become your favorite spot on earth. Three inviting pools sit atop a mineral deposit situated above the roaring North Umpqua River. The higher up from the river you go, the warmer the springs get.
The largest pool is the one right at the top, where you’ll find a tub, covered by a handcrafted wooden roof, which features artwork. The best feature of all is the view, which is amazing, even as you descend to the other two pools.
These hot springs, which are open year-round, are popular, especially on weekends. Expect some nudity as clothing is optional at this day-use area.
The fee is $5 per vehicle per day and a NW Forest Pass or equivalent hangtag is required to park at the trailhead. You’ll have a short but steep quarter-mile hike from the parking area through the forest to the springs.
A good landmark is Crater Lake National Park, which is close to the springs and is accessible with some driving on gravel roads. In the winter, it’s best to take these roads slowly. Driving time from Bend is 2 hours 15 minutes.
In a desert oasis close to Steens Mountain, the Ochocos and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, are the Crystal Crane hot springs. The resort offers unique overnight options, including a teepee with a private hot tub. This resort in Burns offers 101-degree mineral hot springs with both public and private options so you can choose whether you want to opt for clothes or not. There is a small fee for the 102F (38.8C) communal pool but this is waived for those who choose to spend the night. The private tubs can be rented by the hour.
Open year-round, Crystal Crane hot springs is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bend.
Summer Lake Hot Springs
Set in the plains, rather than the forest, Summer Lake Hot Springs is located in the Great Basin region, two hours south of Bend. This 125-acre resort-style space features something for everyone, from indoor pools to natural rock pools, fed by the hot springs, and even geothermally heated cabins. This resort, established in 1988 offers a green experience with 106-118 degree pools.
These springs southeast of Bend have been flowing unknown almost a mile underground for thousands of years, emerging above ground through a natural fault and were only discovered when hundreds of feet of lake water receded.
Day trippers pay a fee of $10. It’s also one of Oregon’s greenest soaks, setting a model for other commercial hot springs.
Summer Lake Hot Springs is open year-round and it will take you two hours to drive there from Bend.
McCredie Hot Springs
Hidden in the Willamette National Forest, about 50 miles southeast of Eugene, McCredie Hot Springs stretch across both sides of Salt Creek with several pools, on the former site of a historic 20th-century resort. The hot spring pools vary in temperature, generally anywhere between 98 and 114 degrees, as high as 130 degrees close to the source.
Great for groups of all sizes, the range of springs includes a 30-foot-wide main pool. From this “party” pool to the smallest one, just a yard in diameter, you can choose from the option that suits you best depending on the level of seclusion you prefer. Just bear in mind that those in the more private pools are likely to be au naturel.
From Bend, it’s a one-and-a-half-hour drive to these springs, which are open year-round. To access the large pool, it’s just a short 20-minute hike down to the river from the main parking area between milepost 45 and 46 on Highway 58. For the smaller, more isolated pools, don’t cross the creek, turn down Shady Gap Road, turn right at both splits and park at the first wide spot. You’ll need to walk about a mile from there.
The popular soaking options at Bagby are open all year long, but the road is not maintained during the winter. After following the gravel and forest roads leading to Bagby, take a 1.5-mile trail to access the hot springs along the banks of the Collawash River, within the Mount Hood National Forest.
On the upper deck, where you’ll find a large barrel tub that can accommodate up to eight people. You can also choose from three bathhouses or five private stalls, which include hand-built cedar log tubs with hot water piped directly from the source of the hot springs.
These springs are three hours drive from Bend and the fee for soaking in the hot springs is $5, which is paid to the attendant or fee box.
Bigelow Hot Springs
Bigelow Hot Springs, also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, is tucked away 60 miles outside Eugene. Clothing is optional at the pool, which is adjacent to the McKenzie River and accommodating up to six people. Set partially inside a cave, this pristine hot spring is free of charge for anyone who wants to soak.
Cross a bridge over the McKenzie River to get to the parking area. From there, you’ll find the hike through the Willamette National Forest to access this lesser-known spot is fairly easy. It’s open year-round and driving time from Bend is one hour 20 minutes.
Plan ahead for May to September when these hot springs are open and you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of Paulina Peak while you soak. The Newberry National Volcanic Monument is one of the main attractions near Bend and that’s where you’ll find Paulina Hot Springs, nestled within the Deschutes National Forest.
Visitors can relax in any of the hand-dug soaking spots along the rocky lakeshore. While the hot water springs up from the deep underground, small waves from Paulina Lake cool the heat somewhat. If you visit just before or after summer, it’s likely to be quieter and you’ll have more solitude as you soak.
These springs are accessible by taking a short 1.2-mile trek from Little Crater Campground. Wear sturdy shoes as this path has jagged rocks along much of the lakeside section. Driving time from Bend is one hour and a $5 day pass or NW Forest Pass is required at the trailhead.
If you prefer to visit less crowded hot springs between May and September, check out East Lake, near Paulina in the Newberry Crater. Be warned, these bubbling springs have a strong sulfur scent and can get as hot as 120 degrees.
A mere quarter-mile walk from the boat ramp, these springs are usually submerged in the lake until late July, it’s best to plan for a visit in the late summer or fall.
An hour’s drive from Bend, these springs require a $5 day pass or NW Forest Pass.