*(When Human Visitors Actually Take Care Of The Place!)
If you’re looking for evergreen forested seclusion and the beauty of hot mineral water cascading down a mountainside to a river, purely powered by nature, then Umpqua Hot Springs should be on your list to visit.
This cliffside travertine terrace offers multiple hot spring pools underneath a canopy of green overlooking the North Umpqua River in Southern Oregon. “Umpqua” is a local Native word for “dancing water,” and that water is what pulls numerous people to come and soak here year after year. Be one of them.
|Address||N Umpqua Rd, Roseburg, OR|
|Location||Near Toketee, Roseburg, Oregon|
|Open||Sunrise to sunset|
|Road Access||All vehicles, weather-permitting. Short hike required from the trailhead|
|Water Temperature||100°F – 115°F|
What To Expect
Though remotely located, about 75 miles from Crater Lake National Park, the Umpqua Hot Springs (also known as Toketee Hot Springs) are among the most popular hot springs in the state of Oregon, great as a stop-off while exploring the local forests, rivers and wild surroundings.
When we were there, there was a wooden shelter protecting the three-foot deep main pool from the elements, though we’ve since heard this has been destroyed by fire. Perhaps it will have been rebuilt by the time you get there. That main pool, at the top of the mineral-deposit travertine, is the hottest at around 115°F, and this feeds hot, murky, calcium-packed water from the spring beneath the hillside to the rest of the pools – six smaller and shallower pools of around 2 – 2.5-feet across, down toward the river.
The water naturally cools the further down you go to soak – no problem in summer, but maybe a little too chilly to bear in the winter months! If you are there in summer, follow the rope down the cliffside to the left of the main spring pool – right to the bottom, where, next to the river, you’ll find the last pool. Being the coolest, you might well have it to yourself – perfect for soaking up the minerals while the river roars by on its business.
Note – there is a slight hint of sulfur in the air about the water, but it’s not as overpowering as some hot springs we’ve been to!
You’ll need to hike a steep 0.8-mile round-trip to get to the springs from the trailhead. Cross the iconic rainbow bridge and then head up a muddy, rocky and root-packed trail to the hot spring pools.
The main pool is the easiest to get to (and into), but if you want to try the other pools, be ready with the right footwear for wet, steep and slippery rocks. Take your time as you move between pools!
Good To Know
The best time to go is between April and November (in fall for the changing colors, in spring for the wildflowers). Winter is also a beautiful time to visit, but you may need to get your skis or snowshoes on to get there – if the road is shut, you’ll need to add a 3.0 mile roundtrip to your hike.
The Pacific Northwest is famously rainy and so you can rightly expect the Umpqua National Forest and its trails to be muddy and wet. Go prepared with a change of clothes in a dry bag. In spring, watch out for mud and landslide risks, and in summer check Inciweb for wildfire warnings.
Umpqua Hot Springs is very popular and is only open during daylight. Get there at sunrise on a weekday to (almost) guarantee a pool to yourself, or just accept you’ll be sharing space. If people are waiting, the etiquette is to limit your soak to around 45 minutes to give everyone the chance to enjoy the waters.
This is a clothing optional hot springs site, so you can expect nudity, though the vibe is usually friendly regardless of how you choose (not) to dress. Do avoid taking photos with others in the background, out of respect.
Follow general hot springs etiquette in your behavior so that everyone gets a good time out of their soaking experience. Keep your voices and music (if you insist on taking music rather than letting nature sing its song!) down, give everyone their personal space, go do your business at least 200 feet from the hot spring source, and never use soap or shampoo in the pools as this can disrupt the mineral balance people have hiked there for!
Alongside shoes with good grip, consider taking a change of clothes and a towel. There have been some unappealing but sadly true reviews about the waste (trash and human) at this spring, which has more than once led to it being shut down to be cleaned up. Keep yourself clean, and respect the nature you are there to enjoy. Leave No Trace – take some trash bags with you and pack them out, as there are limited trash cans available.
If you’re taking your fur baby, keep them on a leash and away from the hot springs pools for their own safety and out of respect for other bathers.
There is a reasonable well-kept pit toilet near the trailhead.
From November through March, the Forest Service Road is typically closed due to bad weather and poor road conditions, with winter snow sometimes making it impassable. Check the status of the road with the Toketee Ranger Station at 541-498-2531 or 541-496-4020 (weekdays) before you head out.
There is no drinking water on-site. The nearest stores to Umpqua Hot Springs are in Idleyld Park, next to “Umpqua’s Last Resort,” a 25-minute drive from the hot springs trailhead. If you’re hungry and didn’t plan a picnic, Lemolo Lake Resorts has hot meals on offer over the weekends.
Umpqua Hot Springs has a day use fee of $5 per vehicle, which can be left in the paytube. You’ll need a pen with you to fill out an envelope at the trailhead – put it on your car dashboard where it can be seen. Alternatively, have your Recreation Pass on display (Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass). Rangers will give tickets if they don’t see you’ve paid for the privilege of being there.
How To Get There
From Roseburg, it will take you 1 hour 18 minutes to get to Umpqua Hot Springs. Take the OR-138 E and at Clearwater (mile marker 59) turn left onto the Toketee-Rigdon Rd (NF-34 / N Umpqua Road). At the bottom of the hill, turn left and cross the concrete bridge. Be sure to head right (Basket Butte direction) when the road forks. The trailhead for the hot springs will be under 1 mile ahead, on the left.
From Crater Lake National Park, take Oregon Routes 62 W, 230 N, and 138 W before turning onto National Forest Route 34 / Toketee-Rigdon Rd, for a little over four miles before arriving at the hot springs trailhead.
The last few miles of the Basket Butte road are rough and pot-holed, so we recommend a high-clearance vehicle and having a spare tire on hand!
The Umpqua Hot Springs trailhead parking area accommodates just 10 vehicles – another reason to get there early! We’ve also heard of break-ins in this parking lot, so don’t leave anything valuable in your car.
After paying your fee and leaving the envelope clearly showing on your dashboard, you can set out on your 15-minute hike to the hot springs. Cross the narrow rainbow-colored footbridge to the trail. Keep to the right and climb up a steep trail for 0.2 miles. At the fork, take a right and hike up another steep, narrow path for another 0.2 miles until you reach the top main pool (perhaps with a new wooden shelter, perhaps not).
Can I Stay There?
No, camping is not allowed at Umpqua Hot Springs, but you can stay at the nearest campground, Toketee Lake Campground, 3 miles from the trailhead. The campground has 32 sites with picnic tables and fire pits, and costs $10/night. There is no drinking water. The two toilets there are pit toilets, and you’ll need to pack out your trash. You need to register a minimum of two days in advance to stay here.
If you’re visiting the hot springs between May and October, you can stay at East Lemolo Campground, 4.6 miles from the trailhead, where, for the same price as Toketee, there are 15 primitive, lake-side, reservation-only sites. On the campground you get fire pits, tables, pit toilets and a boat ramp. There is no drinking water and you need to pack out your trash. There’s also Lemolo Lake Resort offering tent, RV, and cabin sites.
For a free dispersed campsite, check out Clearwater Forebay Number 2.
Those wanting to stay in a cabin, tiny home, glamping tent, or who want a nice RV spot should book a place in Umpqua’s Last Resort, 16 miles from the hot springs. Nightly rates range from $35 to $199 – so you can choose how luxurious you want to make your trip!
For hotels, we like the Steamboat Inn with its riverview cabins and on-site dining, and Dawson House Lodge near Crater Lake.
What Else Can I Do In The Area?
The Umpqua National Forest and Oregon surroundings offer a ton of fun and nature-inspired adventures to inspire. First up should be a visit to the beautiful 120-foot, two-tiered Toketee Falls. The trailhead is on the way to Umpqua’s, and all it takes is a 0.9 mile roundtrip hike to reach the overlook.
Crater Lake National Park is also a must-see, less than an hour away from Umpqua Hot Springs. The United States’ deepest lake (and the ninth deepest in the world), the area around it has numerous trails to explore, spring to fall (mostly inaccessible in winter).
A few hours further away is the just as worthy Willamette National Forest, where you can grab great shots of the Blue Pool and soak in the rejuvenating McCredie Hot Springs.
Beer lovers should take a road-break in Bend, the “sunniest spot in the Cascade Mountain range” and home to numerous tempting microbreweries.
More soaking opportunities can be found throughout Oregon. Our favorites are Oregon’s free hot springs, while the state’s commercial ones are great if you want to up the luxury on your soak or make a catered-for vacation of it.
While Umpqua is extremely popular, and has at various times been slammed for the waste ungrateful visitors leave there, the shine under the grub is a real gem worth soaking in. The travertine cascade and soothing, fresh, evergreen surroundings make these dancing waters a truly unique site to head to, year-round.
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!