Discover 4 Hidden Hot Springs in Oregon

Written by Lev Baker
Published: March 30, 2023
© Nick Fox/
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Oregon has many amazing hot springs hidden away in its stunning landscape. So whether you’re a local looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life or a traveler hoping to explore something unique, Oregon’s secret hot springs are the perfect destination!

From warm pools tucked away in dense forests to deep soaking tubs with spectacular views, we will uncover the best-kept secrets of the Beaver State.

Keep reading to learn about some of Oregon’s hidden hot springs and explore the amazing attractions and activities nearby.

How are Hot Springs Formed?

Hot springs form when geothermally heated rocks heat water near the Earth’s surface. This hot water is then forced up to the surface through cracks in the rock, creating a natural hot spring.

In Oregon, most of the hot springs are located in mountainous terrain near volcanoes or other geothermal areas due to the presence of underground hot rocks.

Why Hot Springs Occur in Oregon

Oregon has a unique geology that makes it an ideal place for hot springs to occur. The state is located at the intersection of two tectonic plates, creating a host of volcanoes and geothermal activity beneath its surface. This volcanic activity and the mountainous terrain make it a prime location for hot springs.

The hot springs in Oregon are unique because they are tucked away in stunning landscapes. These hot springs are a sight to behold, from riverside hot pools surrounded by lush greenery to hidden soaking tubs with epic views. Furthermore, the waters of Oregon’s hot springs are known to have some of the highest mineral contents in the world, making them incredibly therapeutic and beneficial for your health.

Are Hot Springs Safe to Swim in?

Hot Springs National Park
The temperature of a hot spring can range from 90°F (32°C) to over 200°F (93°C).

©Bram Reusen/

Yes, hot springs are generally safe to swim in.  However, there are some essential considerations when soaking in hot springs. Before deciding to dip in a hot spring, know the potential risks associated with swimming in hot springs.

The temperature of hot springs can vary drastically from one location to another. The temperature of a hot spring can range from 90°F (32°C) to over 200°F (93°C). Research the temperature of any hot spring before submerging yourself in its waters.

The minerals found in hot springs can also cause skin and eye irritation, so take necessary precautions when entering the water. Wearing swimming goggles and avoiding entering hot springs with open wounds or skin conditions is recommended. Always practice proper hygiene when visiting hot springs and showering before and after entering the water.

It is also a good idea to check for any local warnings or restrictions in place. These may include advisories about water quality, animal encounters, poisonous plants, or dangerous terrain.

Despite the potential safety concerns, many health benefits are associated with hot springs. Many people believe that soaking in hot springs can help with various ailments, including arthritis and muscle soreness. Hot springs are also believed to reduce stress levels and improve circulation.

Ultimately, hot springs can be a great way to relax and rejuvenate. However, always take the time to research local warnings and restrictions, as well as any potential health risks associated with soaking in hot springs.

Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of hot springs let’s dive into the 4 best tucked-away hot springs in Oregon.

Hidden Hot Springs in Oregon: Breitenbush Hot Springs

Breitenbush Hot Springs. Oregon. USA on a map.
Breitenbush has been a destination for relaxation and healing since the late 1800s.


Breitenbush Hot Springs is a true hidden gem in the Willamette National Forest. This forest retreat is nestled in the Cascade Mountains and is surrounded by serene and peaceful nature. With both private cabins and camping sites, you’ll be able to find the perfect way to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Breitenbush features a variety of natural pools, from small and shallow to larger, deeper pools.

Breitenbush has been a destination for relaxation and healing since the late 1800s. For centuries, Kalapuya and Molalla Native Americans have come to the land for spiritual retreats and healing. In 1873, a farmer named John Minto discovered the hot spring and named it Breitenbush. Since then, it’s been a popular spot among locals and travelers alike.

The retreat offers a variety of amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. There are meditation rooms, a sauna, massage therapy, and yoga classes, all available on-site. You can also take part in guided hikes, soak in the private pools or just relax in nature.

It’s a totally off-grid experience, with solar power and no cell phone reception. With a few miles of hiking trails, a steam sauna, massages, and yoga classes, Breitenbush is one of Oregon’s most popular hot springs.

Other Local Attractions

Just a few miles away, there are plenty of outdoor activities to participate in. Explore the Willamette National Forest and its many trails. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains. Just 30 minutes away, you can visit the town of Detroit and its many local restaurants, shops, and breweries.

Hidden Hot Springs in Oregon: McCredie Hot Springs

Oregon Forest in the Willamette National Forest
The best time of year to visit McCredie Hot Springs is spring and summer.

©Stephen Moehle/

This hot spring is located outside Oakridge in the Willamette National Forest. It’s well known for its rustic, peaceful environment surrounded by towering trees. 

It was first discovered by Frank Warner, a trapper in the area, in 1878. He opened a hotel for visitors in 1914 and named the hot spring Winino Springs. It later became known as McCredie Springs. 

Getting to this natural hot spring can be a bit confusing. Visitors must first stop at a resort in Oakridge and then follow the road down an old logging trail. The hot spring is about a mile down the old logging road, and visitors must then follow a narrow path to get there. Remember, this area has no cell phone service, so you may want to download a map beforehand.

The hot spring itself is pretty small but still packs a powerful punch! It’s made up of several different pools, each one with its unique temperature. These pools range in size from ankle-deep to chest deep. The spring water is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It is free to visit year-round, and anyone can visit. The best time of year to visit McCredie Hot Springs is spring and summer. The water temperature reaches its highest in July and August.

You can also take your children along, but remember there is no strict policy regarding clothes – meaning it’s a clothing-optional environment.

Other Local Attractions

There are plenty of other attractions you can experience in the area when visiting McCredie Hot Springs. The famous Salt Creek Falls is right down the road. It’s a stunning long waterfall that cascades for over 286 feet. 

You can also explore the surrounding trails and experience the wild beauty of the Willamette National Forest. The area also has several small lakes, perfect for fishing or swimming. 

Whether seeking a peaceful getaway or an adventurous experience, McCredie Hot Springs is the perfect destination.

Hidden Hot Springs in Oregon: Umpqua Hot Springs

Toketee Falls on the North Umpqua River located in Douglas County, Oregon.
Umpqua Hot Springs are near a cliff overlooking the North Umpqua River.

©Nick Fox/

This hot spring is located in southern Oregon, along a cliff overlooking the North Umpqua River flowing below. It’s the most famous hot spring in southern Oregon and one of the larger hot springs in the area as well – it consists of a long pool that can easily fit up to 15 people at once.

The Umpqua means “thundering waters” in the language of the local Native Americans, and it certainly lives up to its name. Hot Springs is known for its scenic views and has been a popular attraction for generations. It is believed that the hot spring was first discovered by the Indigenous people of the Umpqua valley around 8,000 years ago, and they used it for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

How to Reach Umpqua Hot Springs?

Umpqua Hot Springs can be reached by a 3.2-mile hike up the trail from the Umpqua Hot Springs Trailhead. It’s an easy to medium-difficulty hike depending on the season, and there is plenty of wildlife to admire along the way. Once you reach the top, you’ll be welcomed by a large pool filled with warm and soothing water.

The water temperature ranges from 100-105°F, so it’s perfect for a relaxing soak after your hike. It may not be accessible in winter due to weather conditions.

Knowing that the Umpqua Hot Springs can get quite busy, especially on weekends, is essential. There is an optional clothing policy here, so it is best to be mindful of your surroundings and respect people’s privacy. In addition, make sure to leave the area as you found it – don’t leave any trash behind, and be mindful of the wildlife.

Umpqua Hot Springs is a beautiful natural wonder attracting locals and tourists for centuries. It is the perfect place to relax in nature, admire stunning views, and enjoy a hot, rejuvenating soak. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an invigorating adventure, Umpqua Hot Springs is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Other Local Attractions

The area surrounding Umpqua Hot Springs is filled with even more natural wonders. The nearby Winberry Creek offers a pleasant hike, perfect for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts. You can also visit Watson Falls, a magnificent 272-foot waterfall that cascades over the rocky cliffs. Other local attractions include Toketee Falls in Umpqua National Park and the stunning Clearwater Falls in nearby Douglas County.

The area is also renowned for its amazing fishing, so don’t forget your gear! Plenty of campgrounds are in the area, making it easy to enjoy a peaceful weekend under the stars.

Hidden Hot Springs in Oregon: Terwilliger Hot Springs

Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs in Oregon under snow in winter
The Cougar Hot Springs are open year-round and require only an 8-mile hike from the parking lot to reach on foot.

©Yury Generalov/

Terwilliger Hot Springs, also known as Cougar Hot Springs, is a series of small pools located in the Willamette National Forest in central Oregon. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors alike looking to relax in its natural hot springs, surrounded by lush and diverse plant life.

The hot springs have long been known for their healing powers, with the Kalapuya Native American tribe using them for medicinal purposes. Later, one of the European settlers named Hiram Terwilliger discovered the springs in the 1860s, and it’s been known by his name ever since.

The hot springs have many different pools of varying temperatures. All the pools are formed naturally and, due to their location, are surrounded by diverse and lush plant life. The pools have a nice mix of flat and slanted surfaces, allowing you to adjust your position according to your comfort level. The pools are pretty shallow and range from 85-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

When to Visit the Terwilliger Hot Springs

It is open year-round and requires only an 8-mile hike from the parking lot to reach on foot. The terrain is mostly flat or gently sloped, so it suits all ages and experience levels. Children and pets are also welcome. However, it has an optional clothing policy, so ensure everyone is comfortable with this if traveling with family and friends.

It’s open for day use only, and visitors should bring all their needs, such as food, water, and first aid kits. Unfortunately, it has no on-site camping facilities.

While it’s a peaceful and serene spot, the hot springs can get crowded during peak times, so it’s always a good idea to plan your visit accordingly. Be sure to enjoy the hot springs respectfully and clean up any litter you might find along the way.

Other Local Attractions

The Terwilliger Hot Springs area is also home to several other attractions, including the nearby Proxy Falls, which features two cascading waterfalls and a stunning view of the surrounding old-growth forest. Also nearby is the Blue Pool, a brilliant blue natural pool perfect for swimming.

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Toketee Falls on the North Umpqua River located in Douglas County, Oregon.
Are you looking for hidden hot springs in Oregon? Keep reading to learn about these unique hot springs that aren't too crowded!
© Nick Fox/

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About the Author

I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 years. I have a huge love of animals and I love building my knowledge of animals through research. I love sea creatures in particular, my favorite being the octopus because of their intelligence, and I mean, come on, what's not to love! I have a rescue boxer named Dante who is the friendliest pup a man could ask for.

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