As the old adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. Well for those living or traveling through the Pacific Northwest, April showers are just a part of life. However, few ways are better for escaping the rainy day blues than taking the plunge into the healing waters of Oregon’s hot springs.
Geothermal activity creates pools of warm, relaxing water that are more than a little welcome when the rain starts to fall and the temperature starts to fall.
While the hot springs located throughout Oregon vary considerably, ranging from nude outposts to pricy retreats to little known hidden gems, there’s certain to be a hot spring perfect for nearly everybody. With that in mind, here are a few of the best hot spring located in Western Oregon.
Perhaps the most popular hot spring in Northwest Oregon is located on a scenic trail that winds through old-growth forest just 40 miles southeast of Estacada.
The 1.5-mile hike up the trail leads to the primary bathhouse and surrounding cabins. As you hike up, steam rises from the ground as the 136-degree hot springs flows down the hill and into tubs that range from whiskey barrels to hollowed out logs.
Located off Britenbush Hwy 46, the Bagby Hot Springs are open year-round but snow can occasionally block access during the winter months. Dipping into the waters requires paying a $5 fee.
Just off Hwy 58 along the recreation corridor leading to Willamette Pass east of Eugene, McCredie Hot Springs is open all year and features both quiet individual pools and a large 15-by-20 party pool.
Temperatures at this hot spring range from between 95 to 105 degrees, and the pools are located along the Salt Creek. Access to the individual pools on the south side of the creek requires crossing either the creek or taking an alternate trail.
Visitors infrequently wear swimsuits while in the springs and the location is a favorite stop for truckers. So make sure to bring your sense of adventure and leave your modesty at home.
A lot of other great activities are located nearby, including Salt Creek Falls, the second tallest waterfall in Oregon.
Located along the McKenzie River, these two hot springs offer something for everyone. The small and possibly more relaxing of the two is Deer Creek Hot Springs, a collection of pools along the actual bank of the McKenzie River that are free to use. During high water, the springs occasionally will wash out, especially during the spring. The trail that leads to the hot springs is a short walk but the pool only has enough space for roughly half a dozen people to enjoy at any one time.
Terwilliger Hot Springs is a far more popular destination, but it does require a $5 per person fee to use. A trail a half-mile long leads up to the reservoir’s staircased series of hot spring pools, which feature enough space for dozens of users.