Those in the know will already have glacier-capped peaks, sleeping volcanoes, lush rainforests, and ocean beaches on their list of “must-sees” on their trip to the Evergreen State, but did you know Washington also offers hot springs resorts too?
Granted, compared to the states south of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the pickings are slim, but pickings there are, and it’s the Traxplorio team’s pleasure to check out the top four commercial hot springs resorts and tell you more. Read on…
1. Doe Bay Resort And Retreat
Dip yourself into some luxurious mineral soaks-with-a-view at the stunning Doe Bay Resort and Retreat on the southeast corner of Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands.
The Doe Bay Spa has three small side-by-side waterfront soaking tubs set over a waterfall in a one-acre organic garden, a dry sauna, and outdoor showers. There is no day use “drop-in” option here – the pools are only available to overnight guests, and only during working hours.
“Start the day with yoga practice in our studio and follow it with a massage. Take a guided kayak trip in the afternoon and have a delicious meal in the waterfront cafe, or hike the day away in nearby Moran State Park.”– Doe Bay Resort
Hungry? There is an onsite cafe serving delicious food created using ingredients from their own garden, and on open mic nights you’re guaranteed to want a cocktail to go with the live music!
Book ahead for your magical and rejuvenating escape to Doe Bay Resort. Choose from a large or medium cabin (our favorite is Little Cabin, for its views), yurt, or a spot on their waterfront campground.
Address: 107 Doe Bay Road, Olga, Washington
Official site: doebay.com
2. Carson Hot Springs Golf & Spa Resort
Another perfect escape from the stress of urban life in Washington state is Carson Hot Springs Resort in the Columbia River Valley, a place that has changed little over the past century, making it a rustic retreat ideal for couples and friends.
The 1930s bathhouse at Carson Hot Springs is adults-only, offering a number of hot mineral tubs- some large communal pools (males and females in separate pools, as per the tradition when the bathhouse first opened in the 1920s), others in closed rooms for those seeking some privacy. Bathing sessions are charged by the hour and typically involve a 25-minute soak followed by a 25-minute linen wrap. There is also a large swimming pool with mixed mineral-chlorine water for free use by overnight guests, while day visitors need to pay. The new hotel has a hot mineral tub on every balcony, while the old hotel is simpler in style and has no tubs.
People don’t just come here for the water, though – they are fans of the onsite 18-hole Elk Ridge Golf Course and the surrounding nature too!
Address: Hot Springs Avenue, Carson, WA
Official website: carsonhotspringswashington.com
Clothing required in the pool, optional in the private tubs.
3. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Less than three hours from Seattle, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park is both easy to access and surrounded by spectacular scenery to explore. This does, however, make it very, very popular (and at time of writing woefully understaffed to handle the numbers coming in). Aim to avoid public holidays and weekends if you don’t like waiting in line or the noise of a crowded pool!
Great for the whole family, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers three, round, cement pools to soak in and one large freshwater pool for those wanting to stretch out and swim, with plenty of slip-free surface and seating areas in between to sun yourself or take a break to rehydrate. The resort is enveloped by towering evergreens and sits on a bank of the Sol Duc River, providing a restful (depending on the time you go!) escape enhanced by the lack of Wi-Fi or cell phone service.
The hot spring sulfur pools peak at a toasty 104°F and get cooler from there (the swimming pool being the coolest). You can pop into the resort for a day soak using a Day Pass, or choose to lodge overnight in a basic, rustic cabin, and get unlimited pool access. Alternatively, you can camp overnight at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Campground (or any of the 92 other campgrounds in the Olympic National Park).
Hungry? Check out the onsite Lodge’s Spring Restaurant offering a healthy and delicious “farm to fork” all-day menu March through October.
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is a great base to explore the nearby nature. Take an easy walk through an ancient forest to Sol Duc Falls (and further if you have the energy – to Seven Lakes Basin), or day-trip it to Cape Flattery and Shi Shi beach. NOTE: You have to pay the national park entrance fee in order to get to the hot springs resort.
Address: Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Hot Springs Road, Port Angeles, Washington
4. Soap Lake Natural Spa And Resort
For a soak in something legendary, head to Soap Lake, one of only two like it in the world, its waters boasting the most diverse mineral content of any body of water on Earth.
Once lauded as a sacred place by Native American tribes for its healing properties, the lake water contains a high concentration of minerals, including sulfate, carbonate, and bicarbonate, alongside various salts which give it a soapy consistency. Some compare it to the Dead Sea for its buoyancy. The minerals in Soap Lake are said to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, cirrhosis, and poor circulation.
Enjoy this year-round mineral goodness in the comfort of your own room, each of which has its own mineral tub, in a rustic-style lodge. 8 of their 45 guest rooms boast kitchens, perfect for a full family or group retreat. There is also a restaurant and banquet room on site, a number of private cabins, and two saunas.
Check out that mineral content here (scroll to the bottom of their page)
Washington has far, far fewer commercial hot springs than neighboring states Idaho and Oregon, but those it does have are gems, nestled in evergreen forests with centuries of history and a millennia of minerals.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!