We absolutely love relaxing in hot springs and Oregon surprised us in how many it has to offer. From raw natural hot springs in the middle of the woods, or out in what feels like a field, to private ponds and established pools. Where do you start? The first decision you have to make is if you want to find a rustic hot springs that are free, or pay the fee to soak in private hot springs. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, it is purely ones preference since each is a different experience.
Here are some of your options in Oregon.
Oregon’s Hot Springs
As mentioned, you have two options when you are wanting to experience a hot spring. Let me start by saying that they are both natural, it’s just the experience. Do you want nature made or man made. Man made comes with a cost and rules, while nature is free and there are no rules. Rules usually tend to lean towards nudity and drinking.
Let’s start with the first.
Natural Hot Springs
The one thing you should know about Oregon Hot Springs that are on public land are they are clothing optional… any time of day.
Willow Creek Hot Springs
This hot spring is tucked in south east Oregon. Not easy to get to nor is it near anything you would be at, but it is worth the chance to hang out in. With the smell of sulfur and the beautiful scenery you really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Camping is near or next to the springs but it has never been full when we get there.
Paulina Lake Hot Springs
Nestled on the shores of Paulina lake, we have read a lot of stories where people say it is hard to find these or get to them. IT IS NOT. The trail around the lake is easy and very established. There is also a sign at the turn off and you can see them on google maps. When you get there, you may have to make a pool or find where the hottest water is. No amenities so bring a towel to dry off and dry clothes.
Umpqua Hot Springs
This hot springs is known for nudists being at them and drinkers. Only a quarter of a mile to get to them, it makes it easy for anyone and everyone. With beautiful views of the river, emerald water and multiple pools it is very popular. You will probably never have this area to yourself. Even at night.
Established Hot Springs
If you want something a little more set up, with no hike, searching or wondering where to stay, then looking into one of the private hot springs is still a great option.
Crystal Crane Hot Springs
Crystal Crane is probably my favorite. The pond is large along with a couple hot spring tubs, there is space to move around. They even tell you what the water is at and it usually is around 105 degrees. There is camping, tepees, huts and lodges, so it makes for a great weekend or stop on your way to something else. Midnight soaks are the best and early morning with the mist.
Summer Lake Hot Springs
Even though they are called Hot Springs these are definitely only warm springs. In the winter, you might not want it to be the first time you experience these small springs. 4 people can fit into each one and if the indoor pool isn’t available then this is all there is. 3 small warm pools. After 9pm it is clothing optional.
Alvord Desert Hot Springs
These sit right in between the Steens Mountains and Alvord Desert. You do have to pay to use these hot springs and there are three small pools. Two private ones within the walls and one outside. There is camping and pod dwellings and if you pay you can access the playa from the hot springs. These were nice, but not ones that I find myself going back to even though we are in the area a lot. Cheap enough to experience once though.
What hot springs have we missed in Oregon that are your favorite?
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