“Here at Breitenbush, we recognize people by their self-given gender identities. This is a safe space for people from all backgrounds and walks of life.” – nowadays, we live in an era where the protection of spirit and self-identity serves as one of the biggest driving forces of human existence. However, it is also evident that this type of protection is not always preserved or valued in some communities.
For centuries, soaking in hot springs has been one of the keys that could unlock a person’s spirit, acting as a guide to its rightful restoration and inadvertently, to self-discovery. This goal – one of many – is why people are ready to seek out these thermal oases that range from mud puddles to crystal-bottomed lagoons.
You can rest assured that the safety of spirit and gender identity is both preserved and valued in Breitenbush Hot Springs. The statement quoted above can be considered one of the moral codes the place operates by. Combining identity with spiritual healing is precisely what makes this establishment stand out in the visitor’s eye. Burrowed at the center of Willamette National Forest and boasting all kinds of soaking options, Breitenbush Hot Springs is the ultimate getaway from your routine and all things corporate. Apart from its countless qualities as a multi-service rustic retreat center, Breitenbush is a place for people. For all people looking to recharge spiritually with all the benefits found there. If you’re not looking for extra amenities, we suggest you take a look at our guide to other top-notch hot springs in Oregon.
Having emerged from the destructive flames of the Lionshead Fire of 2020 like a full-on Phoenix, Breitenbush HS is back, as strong as ever, with even more amenities and features.
And we’re here to tell you all about it. There’s much to discuss so buckle up.
|53000 Breitenbush Rd SE, Detroit, OR 97342
|10 miles from Detroit
|Moderate; hard in Winter; any vehicle
All You Need To Know
As mentioned above, Breitenbush Hot Springs is nestled deep in the north of Willamette National Forest. It is located only 10 miles from Detroit, OR, and 106.7 miles from Portland, OR. It is surrounded by endless canopies of ever-green trees as tall as skyscrapers that make for some majestic scenery that will leave no visitor unimpressed. One of the best things about it is the opportunity to encounter wildlife – especially deer.
This facility is taken care of by the very progressive and open-minded community that both live in and is employed in Breitenbush. And while their life in the wilderness is challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Most importantly, the community members – or stewards, if you will – are a part of the ongoing tradition of preserving this indigenous land of the Altat Satosh people that came before them.
Additionally, they provide a safe space for people of all gender identities, which is something that one doesn’t come by very often. They are very big on utilizing limited resources, all for the sake of preserving nature and reviving the soul and mind. This includes minimal consumption of electricity that results in the unavailability of some daily-use items. You also would be correct to assume that Bretienbush is eco-friendly and only serves vegetarian meals while supporting full digital detox. This type of place is a great way for a visitor to test their abilities and push their endurance to the limit with healthy behaviors and ways to relax. More importantly, it protects the healing waters of Breitenbush Hot Springs.
With advance reservations on their official website, you’ll be able to enjoy the springs as well as contribute to a great cause.
First Impressions: What Do The Premises Look Like?
Tucked into all things green and natural, Breitenbush Hot Springs’ buildings are all timber and stone, log and planks that give the facility a marvelous, back-country-kind-of appeal. This rustic facility stretches over a huge area of land next to the Breitenbush River.
The place is incredibly spacious, giving visitors a special sense of solitude. It boasts countless mineral lagoons scattered around the enormous area of private land that vary not only in temperature and location but also in principles, let’s say.
Visitors can also take advantage of other amenities such as saunas and massages on top of indulging themselves in their programs and workshops serving healing and human well-being, similar to what you’d encounter at California’s very own Slates (Esalen) Hot Springs. The following event is on the roster at the moment and is the May Women’s Only Weekend.
When it comes to the pools specifically, a visitor can enjoy Meadow Pools which are also known as ‘silent pools’, designed for the guests’ silent contemplation and reverie. The meadow pools overlook the river below, creating an incredible atmosphere for self-reflection.
Then we have the Spiral Tubs that are situated in a circle, representing a wheel of sacred medicine.’ The water temperature of the spiral tubs varies between 100°F – 110°F.
Day Use Rates
|Ages 17 and above
|Ages 4 and under
Breitenbush Hot Springs offers plenty of accommodation options. And when we say plenty, we mean it. Lodgings range from standard hotel rooms to yurts, tents, and personal sites. None of the lodgings will leave any traveler disappointed.
|Standard price per night
|The Grove (one bed)
|The Grove (two beds)
|The Grove (thee beds)
|Personal Vehicle Site
|Milky Way (single twin bed)
|Milky Way (twin bunk bed)
|‘Bring Your Own Tent’
Additional Information To Take Into Account
There is a lot to take into consideration, so here is a concise rundown of how to prepare
- Soaking is clothing optional.
- Breitenbush HS is a digital-free zone. No internet or cell reception is available.
- No alcohol, drugs, or intoxicants are allowed. Smoking is allowed in designated areas only.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Keep in mind that the facility has limited electricity.
- Breitenbush is a fragrance-free environment; no perfumes, scented lotions, shampoos, soaps, etc.
- Due to wildfire damage, all hiking trails are closed and off-limits.
- The facility doesn’t serve coffee with meals, but you can buy it in their store
- The lodging has no locks so leave any valuable items in your car.
- Cell reception and WiFi are unavailable. So let someone know where you’re traveling beforehand.
- Please note that the nearest hospital is over one hour away, which is why its recommended to stay hydrated at all times and not overstay in the pools and sauna
- All electronic devices, including cell phones, are prohibited in the soaking areas and sauna.
- Meals are included for overnight guests.
- Quiet hours begin at 10 pm.
- Check-in at 4 pm. Check out at 1 pm. You can arrive an hour before your check-in to enjoy the springs.
- The Gatehouse is open until 6:00 pm. If you arrive after 6:00, you will find a map of the premises on the porch of the Gatehouse with your name on it. You can use the map and the written accommodation assignment to orient yourself. If you need further assistance there, you can use a callbox at the Gatehouse.
To learn more about the cancelation policy and other details, click here.
What Do I Bring?
- Non-glass water containers (not bottled water!)
- Biodegradable and scent-free toiletries
- Warm bedding and pillow (Breitenbush provides a top sheet only, the rest is up to visitors)
- Critter-proof container for any food items to be stored in your vehicle. Do NOT store food in your tent
- Traction devices for your car (Nov 1 – Apr 1)
Breitenbush Hot Springs is a place of many wonders. Other than being silent and clothing optional – allowing soakers to fully immerse themselves into the geothermal experience – it’s also perceived as a sanctuary for people of all genders and backgrounds, making it a space where individuals can express themselves freely without any judgment. This is why it’s encouraged to respect people’s boundaries and preferences while on the retreat. With that said, the biggest etiquette tips are to:
- Avoid visiting Breitenbush Hot Springs if you’re uncomfortable with the nudity
- Avoid visiting if you don’t favor quiet/silent hours
- Leave animosity and judgment of others behind you
- Honor the principles the establishment operates with, i.e., limiting the use of utilities, not consuming animal-based products, and leaving all personal electronic devices in the car
- Honor the history of this land because first and foremost, Breitenbush HS is an Indigenous American land
The damage to the property and the surrounding territory will result in a fine and in extreme cases, be dealt with by law enforcement.
How Do I Get To Breitenbush Hot Springs?
Getting to Breitenbush Hot Springs is the tricky part. The road is moderate in sunny months but when it snows, you will definitely have to bring a traction device for your car! There have been numerous reports of people getting stranded or stuck in the snow from November through April, this is why it’s not encouraged to follow GPS.
From Detroit, Oregon, turn from OR-22 onto Highway 46. Drive for 9.1 miles and just past Cleator Bend Campground take a right onto the single-lane bridge that crosses the Breitenbush River. The road is gravel after the bridge and has three forks in its 1.2-mile course. Take a left at every fork and you will end up in the Breitenbush Parking lot.
If you’re only planning for a day visit instead of an overnight stay, the closest accommodation options can be found in Detroit, Oregon.
Click here to learn more.
Other than Breitenbush camping sites, the best campgrounds can be found near Lake Detroit Recreational Area, where you can also go hiking, fishing, boating, biking, and wildlife watching.
Some campers’ favorite picks near Lake Detroit are:
- Molalla Campground
- Riverside Campground
- Trout Creek Campground
- Raab Campground
- Rainbow Campground
More camping options near Lake Detroit also include RV parks, cottages, and cabins, meaning there is a vast selection for campers to choose from.
What You Can Explore
Breitenbush Hot Springs is one of the top Detroit attractions as it is. If you haven’t visited the town before, here are some of the best spots to check out if you want to go sightseeing:
- Detroit Lake State Recreational Area
- Opal Creek Wilderness Area
- Detroit Dam and Lake
- Detroit Lake Marina
If you’re looking for more soaking opportunities in the state of Oregon, here are more hot springs that you can check out:
Before You Go
As you’ve already seen, there is a lot to take into account when it comes to Breitenbush Hot Springs. It is a facility that’s all about preserving nature and human spirituality. It minimizes the use of all types of resources including utilities, as we mentioned above. This is a very specific type of establishment, the function of which is based on a vital cause, and while their efforts are extremely appreciated and even deemed heroic (rightfully so), some people may not feel too comfortable in such a retreat center. This is why it’s highly urged that if you go, you respect and follow all of the guidelines that Breitenbush operates by.
The Final Take-Away
You can consider places such as Breitenbush Hot Springs as one of a kind because of their respect and adherence to human grit. This place will put your capacity to detach yourself from the city hustle to the test. As intimidating as this notion may seem to many, once you sleep on it, you’ll realize that ultimate disconnection from our electronic companions is exactly what our minds need in order to face the next day with newfound spiritual strength. This is why Breitenbush Hot Springs is recommended for anyone looking for a way to heal both body and soul. Breitenbush is a sanctuary for every individual and is a place of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Breitenbush Hot Springs is in Willamette National Forest, located only 10 miles from Detroit, Oregon.
Breitenbush Hot Springs is operated by the community that not only works but lives there. The team is very big on preserving and taking care of nature. They serve only vegetarian meals and limit their use of utilities. They don’t allow any pets, drugs, alcohol, or even perfume on the premises.
No, pets are not allowed at Breitenbush Hot Springs.
Working hours are 9 am-6 pm.
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!