Hot springs are one of nature’s best gifts to mankind, bubbling right out of the earth are these natural hot tubs, waiting to soak away your worries as you relax surrounded by forests, mountains, starry skies, and the like.
There’s nothing quite like taking a dip in a warm, steamy spring, and Portland, Oregon, is one of the best cities in the United States to enjoy this super activity.
There are many natural hot springs around Portland, just a short drive from the downtown areas. Many of these locations are conveniently located for scenic nature trails, glamping spots, and more, so you can really spend a whole weekend or even a week-long trip of your Portland hot springs adventure.
Our recent trip to the lush forests of Northern Oregon was the perfect place to try some of them, as the area is absolutely chocked full of hidden gems in the trees or along the river banks. We could have spent days and days exploring the area, but unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to visit them all.
People ask many times this question “What hot springs can we visit in winter near portland?” the answer to this question is from rustic bathhouses to hidden gem retreats, here are 7 incredible hot springs to take the edge off this winter.
- Alvord Hot Springs
- Breitenbush Hot Springs
- Terwilliger Hot Springs
- Summer Lake Hot Springs
- Bagby Hot Springs
- Crystal Crane Hot Springs
- Belknap Hot Springs
Oregon Best Spring-Know Before You Go
Rain or shine, it’s always a good time to visit natural hot springs in Oregon. There are some things you should know before visiting Oregon.
✔LNT: The rule of thumb for visiting any of these Oregon hot springs is to Leave No Trace.
This means you leave the hot springs looking better than how you found it. Do your part to keep these Oregon natural hot springs beautiful for years and years to come.
✔4WD Recommended: Many of these hot springs in Oregon are difficult to get to with a standard car. Rough roads typically require a 4WD, high clearance vehicle.
✔Bring Your Own Gear: All of the Oregon hot springs on this list are natural hot springs that are open to the public. Almost all of them are free to visit.
With that said, don’t expect facilities or amenities. Bring your own towel and other necessary gear during your visit.
Best Natural Hot Springs Near Portland
In this post, we’re sharing our favorite Natural hot springs Near Portland and exactly where to find them all. We’re also sharing unique things about each hot spring, and other useful information for your next soak.
1. Umpqua Hot Spring:
Let’s start with our favorite. Umpqua is the most impressive hot spring we’ve found in Oregon so far, and therefore it’s probably one of the busiest too. It’s quite remote in the Umpqua region, but not too far from the city of Eugene. Getting out there is well worth and consists of 5 or 6 small pools large enough for 2, 3, or 4 people.
Umpqua Hot springs are hidden among the trees in Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, this 2,640ft (805m)-high mountainside oasis perches on a cliff above a river, and offers immense views while bathing in warm water. You can lay flat, perch with your feet on the lip of the pool, or shelter beneath an overhang as the steam gathers around you.
Current Situation (Open or Close?):
Umpqua Hot Springs is closed until 2022. This is due to area wildfire damage and Covid-19 related issues.
- Timings: Day use only – open sunrise to sunset
- Fees: $5/vehicle/day
How To Get There?
Umpqua is approximately 1hr 20 minutes east from the city of Roseburg or about 63 miles. The drive is very easy indeed and is paved until virtually the last few minutes when the trail turns to a bumpy gravel road. A 4×4 is not necessary to reach Umpqua, but it may give you peace of mind.
Umpqua is also a short 15-minute drive from which you’ll pass along the way; definitely worth stopping at!
2. Bagby Hot Springs:
Bagby Hot Springs is probably the best known and most popular of Oregon’s many hot springs. It is located in the Mount Hood National Forest, about two hours from Portland, which adds to its popularity.
There’s an actual backpacker campground just a quarter mile past the hot springs if you are up for backpacking. That is if you don’t feel like camping at the trailhead. Bagby is rare in that it is available for a hot soak 24/7 while most public hot springs in Oregon are closed at night.
Current Situation (Open or Close?):
It is CLOSED due to Riverside Fire impacts.
Timings: Open all year, 12 hours a day
Fees: $5.00/person soaking fee that can be paid to the attendant or fee box at the trailhead (cash only). You can also purchase wristbands at the Ripple brook Store near the junction of Hwy 224 and Forest Road 46.
How To Get To Bagby Hot Springs:
Bagby Hot Springs is a 2-hour drive from Portland, Oregon. Take Highway 224 East, turn right on NF-63, and a final right on NF-70 (Bagby Road). Take the short walking trail to reach the tubs in the forest.
3. Paulina Hot Springs:
Paulina Lake Hot Springs was by far my favorite of the pools we found in Oregon. Nestled on the edge of Lake Paulina with Paulina Peak in the background, what more could you want from a hot spring?
From here, you can take the Paulina Lakeshore Trail around the rim of the lake. The whole loop is 7.5 miles long and you’ll hit the hot springs about halfway through.
You’ll also see some wildlife and trek over some obsidian and lava rocks. The lake also offers more recreational activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing if you’re so inclined.
Timings: Paulina Lake Campground is open between May and October. For the best experience, consider visiting Paulina Lake Hot Springs between May and July. During other months, the hot springs are fully submerged under Paulina Lake.
Fees: $5 or a Northwest Forest Pass
Current Situation: Open however, offerings and/or operating procedures may have changed due to COVID-19.
4. McCredie Hot Springs:
McCredie Hot Springs is just down the main highway from the turnoff to Wall Creek. You could do these two hot springs in a day quite easily since McCredie is pretty close to its parking area as well.
These hot springs are located 50 miles east of Eugene, Oregon, and near the Willamette Pass Highway. There are 2 to 4 shallow pools suitable for bathing.
Timings: Year Round, Day use only. No overnight camping.
Fees: Day use fee $5 per vehicle or Recreation Pass required.
Current Situation: The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. FIRE CLOSURE: From Sep 25, 2020 – May 15, 2021 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire.
5. Hart Mountain Hot Springs:
Hart Mountain Hot Springs is a group of several pools; A hot spring is created with a rock wall and stairs that surround it. Other natural pools are located nearby and offer expansive and beautiful views of an antelope refuge. These springs are five hours south of Bend near the border of Nevada.
Timing: between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am
Fees: No fees
Current Situation: The Hart Mountain-Frenchglen Road is OPEN. Hot Springs Road and Blue Sky Road are also OPEN. Secondary roads remain closed until June 15th, as well as Barnhardy Road, which is closed from December 1 to August 1
6. Belknap Hot Springs:
Belknap Hot Springs Resort has two large geothermal pools that will soothe your joints. The lower pool is big enough for swimming and the upper one is a bit smaller.
Both are professionally built and chlorinated. The larger one is open to the public for a day-use fee, while the upper one is only available to guests.
Timing: Day use hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Pools are available until 9:00 PM for overnight guests only.
Fees: $8 per hour/$15 per day
Current Situation: Day use is open to walk-in guests: Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm with hourly rates only, One hour per day. No more full-day passes. CLOSED Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays. The limit in their lower pool is 50.
7. Terwilliger Hot Springs:
Terwilliger Hot Springs’ popularity has skyrocketed. These hot springs are magical. You can find Cougar Hot Springs in Willamette National Forest next to Cougar Reservoir. The 400-meter trek back to the hot springs is easy and straightforward.
Timings: Terwilliger Hot Springs is for day use only. Closed sundown to sunrise (strictly enforced). The hot springs are closed Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 12 noon for cleaning.
Fees: $7/person for day use
Current situation: This trail is closed there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire.
8. Ritter Hot Springs:
If what you seek is a genuinely rustic hot spring experience coupled with a little history, Ritter Hot Springs is the place for you. The small town of Ritter was established in the 1800s and has been famous for its healing mineral waters ever since.
You can still explore buildings from the old city of Ritter nearby, but the hotel itself feels straight out of the Wild West era. You can also stay in cabins or campsites.
Timings: Ritter is seasonal and is only open from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.
Fees: Visitors can use the hot springs for $3.00 and the pool and hot springs for $5.00.
9. Echo rock hot springs:
Echo Rock Hot Springs, also known as Owyhee Hot Springs, is nestled along the border of Oregon and Idaho. A six-hour drive from Bend, Echo Rock can be found on the Owyhee Reservoir near Leslie Gulch. These pools are infrequently visited, so you’ll likely have these hot springs all to yourself.
- Timings: Anytime open year-round.
- Fees: None
- Current Situation: Open
10. Snively Hot Springs:
Snively Hot Springs is located in Eastern Oregon along the banks of the Owyhee River. The water coming from the source is extremely hot but is piped directly into the cool river water. Move closer or further away to find the perfect temperature
- Timings: Open in the day only
- Fees: None
- Current Situation: Open
11. Juntura Hot Springs:
Juntura Hot Springs gives a surprising soak along the Malheur River of southeast Oregon. Juntura usually slides below the radar of hot spring hunters, who are bent on finding better-known springs they can brag about when they get home.
The soaking pool, filled with 102-degree water, could hold a crowd of 30 or more, though it’s unlikely so many people would be there at once unless the Burns football team is driving past.
- Timings: Open year-round, Juntura hot springs cannot be easily accessed all the time. Only during dry weather and low water level, visitor can ford the river.
- Fees: None
- Current Situation: Close
There are many other hot springs in Oregon and even some that you might find unusual. However, as you research and discover new secrets in the state, consider the impact that sharing these natural areas has on the environment-especially on social media. Overuse and overcrowding are real problems, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
If you are planning to explore some of Oregon’s best hot springs, consider their environmental impact. In order to preserve these hidden gems, leave NO trace; if you pack it in, please pack it out.