Oregon Hot Springs

McCredie Hot Springs is just east of Eugene and along Salt Creek.
McCredie Hot Springs is just east of Eugene and along Salt Creek.
Photo by Melanie Griffin/Eugene, Cascades & Coast

Four places around Oregon with very different vibes for your relaxation

written by Jen Sotolongo

Hot tubs are great, but there’s nothing quite as idyllic as soaking in a natural hot spring in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to the volcanic mountains that run throughout the state, Oregon is home to a number of hot springs. Ranging from luxurious resorts to rustic soaking pools situated in far-off destinations, these natural hot springs offer a relaxing excursion. Whether you are looking for a unique adventure or seeking a therapeutic wilderness retreat, Oregon’s hot springs will leave you in pure bliss.


Breitenbush Hot Springs

Breitenbush Hot Springs offers a remote and tranquil escape nestled amidst the picturesque beauty of the Mount Jefferson wilderness. In 2020 the Lionshead Fire, one of the most destructive fires in Oregon’s history, ripped through the resort, burning down 73 buildings on the 154-acre property. In the three years since the blaze, Breitenbush has been slowly rebuilding, focusing on forest stewardship, climate education, social change, and indigenous wisdom.

Intentionally disconnected from wifi and cell service, a visit to this popular resort promises a calming respite from the daily grind, allowing visitors to unwind and experience an off-the-grid holiday. The largest private geothermal property in the Pacific Northwest, guests have their pick from a variety of activities beyond soaking in hot tubs, including a meditative labyrinth, sauna, yoga and meditation classes, and each reservation includes three daily vegetarian buffet meals. Currently, the resort is welcoming small numbers of overnight guests.


McCredie Hot Springs

Located 50 miles east of Eugene and 8 miles east of Oakridge, McCredie Hot Springs features several shallow pools on either side of Salt Creek, just off Highway 58. From 1914 to 1958, the site was home to a resort hotel, which later became a baseball team camp and then a bordello. A fire burned the hotel to the ground, followed by a flood that wiped out bridge access. Ever since, McCredie Hot Springs has remained undeveloped. The pools can reach extremely hot temperatures, so enter with caution and consider bringing a thermometer. Clothing is optional and access is closed at nighttime.


Paulina Lake Hot Springs

If you were plunked along on the shores of Paulina Lake, one look at the turquoise blue hue would lead you to believe that you were in the Caribbean, not Central Oregon. Part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Paulina Lake sits at 6,340 feet and features a primitive set of beach hot spring pools.

Accessible by kayak or hiking 1.2-miles along the trail that departs from Little Crater Campground, the hot spring pools–perhaps more accurately described as warm springs, as the water temperature hovers around 95 degrees–are built out with a log frame. If you prefer to dig your own hot spring pool, continue another half-mile along the trail to North Beach, as long as you bring your own shovel.

The trail circumnavigates the entire lake over 7.8 miles and features views of nearby Paulina Peak, Diamond Peak, and Mount Thielsen. Visitors can stay overnight at Little Crater Campground or find their own backcountry spot. Due to seasonal road closures, Paulina Lake is accessible only during the late spring and early fall.


Hart Mountain (Antelope) Hot Springs

If you really want to get away, a visit to Antelope Hot Springs in the Oregon High Desert will do just the trick. Situated within the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in the southeastern part of the state, the hot springs provide a rustic and a breathtakingly scenic soaking experience. Hart Mountain was established in 1936 to serve as a refuge for resident antelope herds.

A bird’s-eye view of soakers at Hart Mountain Hot Springs in southeastern Oregon and in Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.
Photo by Joey Hamilton/TravelOregon.com

The main soaking pool can accommodate about six adults and is enclosed by a rock wall, while the other pool is an undeveloped spring a few degrees warmer than the main pool featuring killer, unobstructed views of the landscape. Steam rising from the grass will indicate the right spot.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit the hot springs, though they are accessible year round.

Other activities include hunting, fishing, hiking, and photography. A vault toilet and rustic camping accommodations are available for overnight visitors. Be prepared for high desert conditions, including extreme heat and cold.

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