Nature’s Gift – 8 Free Hot Springs In Oregon

Instead of soaking in your bath at home after this long, tiring week, why not take a walk or paddle into the fresh, green wilds of Oregon and soak in a mineral-rich geothermal bath instead? And where better to soak away your aches and stress than among towering pines, or among high desert scrub, with rays of sparkling sunshine on rippling, steaming mineral water, listening to the song of a rushing river, eagles soaring overhead? To help you, the Traxplorio team has picked out its 8 best, free, natural Oregon hot springs!

1. McCredie Hot Springs

McCredie Hot Springs. Source: eugenecascadescoast

Grab a respite from the road and dive back into nature – You can find the year-round McCredie Hot Springs pools just off Highway 58 in the Willamette National Forest.

What To Expect

McCredie Hot Springs is a multi-pool destination on either side of Salt Creek. The first pool is the murky “Trucker Spring” near the “McCredie Hot Springs Day Use” signpost on Highway 58. There, you’ll find a paved parking lot with a pit toilet, a changing room, and you will need to pay $5 per vehicle. Our advice is keep driving: Half a mile on, turn off onto Shady Gap Road, cross the bridge, walk a half mile (10 minutes) through the forest, and discover the real gems on the opposite side of the river from “Trucker.” The gem is a shallow, dug-out, rock-walled 30-35-foot pool surrounded by snow or wildflowers, depending on the season, set back from the river, and two (or three, depending on the water level) more hot spring pools right on the river, each around three feet across. 

Temperatures and pool sizes vary with the seasons. The biggest pool, with the 130ºF source water pouring out of a concrete block, is the hottest, and the water cools as it is shared among the other pools.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

Be warned – along with the pipe, the hot mineral water also bubbles directly up through the silt, sand, and gravel bottom in places, and it can BURN! Tread and sit with care! 

At the riverside pools, which are enclosed in loose rocks, you can shift one or two stones to let more river water flow in to cool the pool. You can also take a dip in Salt Creek if you get too warm – just be aware that it is fast-flowing!

Clothing optional.

No camping on-site, but available nearby at the Blue Pool Campground.

2. Juntura Hot Springs

Juntura Hot Springs. Source: ultimatehotspringsguide

Juntura Hot Springs (also known as Horseshoe Bend Hot Springs because of where it is on the bend of a river) is a primitive mineral pool that is popular year-round due to its proximity to the highway. Recharge yourself with this hot soak on your drive through Oregon.

What To Expect

The Juntura Hot Springs’ 115°F thermal water source, in the largest, 20-person, rock-edged pool, is on an island, with the runoff flowing into other, smaller, pools along the riverbank. It being on an island, you will need to ford the channel from the mainland either in a high clearance vehicle, or by walking through the river. Our advice is to only try getting to this spring during dry weather and when there is a low water level.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

Juntura Hot Springs is not accessible during high water and spring runoff.

Be warned – the hot mineral water bubbles directly up through the sand, and it can BURN! Tread and sit with care! 

There are no amenities of any kind in the area, other than fire rings, so you need to bring everything you need with you (and be sure to leave it cleaner than when you came!).

It can be windy in the area. Do NOT light a fire during fire season.

You can camp nearby as these are BLM lands. 

Clothing optional.

3. Echo Rock Hot Springs

Echo Rock Hot Springs. Photo by paultower

Echo Rock Hot Springs, on the southern bank of the Owyhee Reservoir, offers one of the best soaks-with-a-view in Oregon, and is a true hidden treasure for adventurers!

What To Expect

Echo Rock Hot Springs (also known as Owyhee Hot Springs) offers a rock-walled and concrete-reinforced 109°F soaking pool and, further up, the chance to sit in a 2-person pool and take a hot mineral shower overlooking the stunning white and orange rock formations of Echo Rock Canyon.

Get there by renting a pontoon, paddling in, or in dry seasons by driving to the reservoir and hiking a moderately difficult route on the southern bank of the reservoir for four miles before heading uphill (Latitude: 43.301696, Longitude: -117.382994).

Don’t Miss…

The Echo Rock Hot Springs upper pool “shower”. Photo by: paultower

Good To Know

If you find the pool is dirty, use the drain valve to empty it, the provided scrubbing brush to clean it, and open up the valve to refill. A refill takes around 30 minutes. Be aware that the fresh water will be hot!

Etiquette here is, when you’re done, to empty the pool and leave the valve closed to make it easier for the next visitor to clean.

Primitive camping allowed. No amenities available. Leave no trace.

Clothing optional.

4. Snively Hot Springs

Snively Hot Springs. Photo by scottwwwwwww

Snively Hot Springs is one of the hottest and biggest hot springs in Oregon, right on the Owyhee River.

What To Expect

The beautiful clear water pool at Snively is wide enough to accommodate up to 30 people, but is only 2-3 feet deep. The hot mineral water flows from the source at a steaming 190°F, but cools as it flows and can be cooled further by adjusting the rocks to let more river water flow into the mix.

The soaking area is surrounded by rocky hills and cliffs, making a dramatic backdrop to your peaceful soak.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

Snively Hot Springs can get overcrowded on the weekends and holidays.

Day-use only. No camping.

Clothing optional.

5. Willow Creek Hot Springs

Willow Creek Hot Springs. Photo: Ben Amstutz

Head to Willow Creek Hot Springs if you want some solitude and a definite escape from the crowds among the sagebrush. This hot springs is a rare high desert treat!

What To Expect

Willow Creek Hot Springs (also known as Whitehorse Ranch) offers a sandy- and rock-bottomed pool divided into two by a concrete “dam” that is perfectly (waist) deep and perfectly wide. The clearwater side is an ideal 102°F, while the second side has cloudier water and clocks in at around 90°F. 

The road here is unpaved, and for the last 2.5 miles is soft dirt, and so difficult to pass after wet weather.

Don’t Miss…

  • A sunrise or sunset soak.
  • The Harney County Historical Museum in Burns.
  • Oard’s Gallery in Burns (open 8 am – 5 pm), filled with Native American jewelry, pottery, rugs, furniture, baskets, and sand paintings. Nine Tribe’s art is on display there, as is that of the local Paiute Tribe.

Good To Know

Expect some natural, harmless algae growing on the rocks.

There is a pit toilet in the nearby gravel “parking lot.”

No cell service.

No on-site camping but there are campgrounds nearby.

Clothing optional.

6. Bigelow Hot Springs

Bigelow Hot Springs. Source: mikeandlauratravel

Bigelow Hot Springs, also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, has the same connection to nature that first drew people to its healing waters centuries ago. You can’t get better than this riverside soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Oregon forest.

What To Expect

Bigelow Hot Springs can be found in the lush depths of the Willamette National Forest, right next to the McKenzie River- two small, rock-edged pools that at times blend into one.

Best visited during the summer and fall, the hot spring water emerges at 104°F from a shallow overhanging cave, making the cave the hottest spot to soak in. Big enough to seat 6, the pools provide a cozy and relaxing atmosphere against the background of the flowing river while you soak.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

The river submerges the pool area during spring run-off.

The bottom of Bigelow Hot Springs is quite muddy, and the water can at times appear murky. However, the minerals in that mud and water, among them sulfur, silica, and magnesium, help detox the skin, improve circulation, and prevent premature aging. Soaking in hot spring mud can also help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. 

No camping on-site, but there are campgrounds nearby.

Clothing optional.

7. Hart Mountain (Antelope) Hot Springs

Antelope Hot Springs. Source: themandagies

Right at the heart of an antelope refuge, the Hart Mountain (or Antelope) Hot Springs offers peaceful soak time in wonderful golden Oregon wilderness, surrounded by grassland and rugged rolling plains.

What To Expect

Hart Mountain Hot Springs is made up of two pools. One is a 9×12-foot, gravel-bottomed, below-ground level concrete-rock soaking pool that is a heavenly 5-feet deep. A second, primitive, dirt-bottomed, grass-surrounded pool can be found in the meadow nearby. Both pools are filled by 104-105°F spring water that bubbles up from the ground, with the shallower primitive pool a touch warmer than the deeper one.

Hart Mountain Hot Springs – The primitive pool. Source: oregonisforadventure

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

The Hart Mountain Hot Springs is open year-round, but the unpaved roads are difficult to access in winter.

The deep pool has no seating provided in the water- so you’ll have to stand on the natural rocks inside, or float.

Expect algae at the bottom of the deep pool.

The nearest gas and groceries are available in Plush (25 miles) and Frenchglen (49 miles).

No cell phone service.

Camp at Hart Mountain Campground nearby, or Camp Hart Mountain, 30 minutes’ drive from the hot springs.

Clothing optional.

8. Newberry Caldera (Paulina Lake) Hot Springs

Newberry Caldera (Paulina) Hot Springs. Source: outdoorproject

The primitive Newberry Caldera Hot Springs offer a beautiful lake-side location to enjoy your mineral soak in, in the shadow of the 8,000-foot Paulina Peak, a summit formed by the Newberry Volcano.

What To Expect

The Paulina Lake Newberry Caldera Hot Springs, in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, consists of five primitive, shallow, thermal spring pools that range from 90-115°F, while the source in the lake is up to 176°F. The pools are dug out of the sand on the shores of the lake, and are edged by rocks and wood.

The hot springs is a two-mile walk along the east shore of Paulina Lake from the trailhead at Little Crater Campground, on Hot Springs Beach. You’ll spot the hot springs area where, along a quarter mile length of the lake shore, mineral deposits inhibit tree growth.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

The hot springs on the beach get submerged in winter and during spring run-off, when the lake is at its highest.

No camping or fires on Hot Springs Beach. The Paulina Lake Campground and Little Crater Campground are nearby.

Clothing optional.

The Takeaway

Oregon offers deep forests, raging rivers, volcanic wonders and wide blue skies for hot-springers looking for their next free soak. Some of these are road-side, others river-side, all are well worth slipping into, and your body will surely thank you for it!


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!

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