Oregon Hot Springs Adventures

map of Oregon hot springs
SoakOregon.com offers so much information, including an interactive map. Can you tell which ones I’ve checked off so far?

Here’s an idea for your adventure bucket list: Oregon has 43+ hot springs!  Did you even know Oregon has hot springs?  Before moving out west, my impression of this state were other things, like “Keep Portland Weird,” craft breweries, a growing cannabis industry, camping and hiking the local mountains than the naturally occurring hot mineral springs.  My perspective has shifted, and maybe I can help shift yours!

The start of the hot springs adventures

Crystal Crane Oregon hot spring at sunrise
What a great way to end or start a long drive – a nice hot soak! No matter what time of day, hot springs are an awesome way to break up a long drive.

Reportedly, the USA has over 1,000 hot springs across 28 states – and many of them on public lands.  While visiting a friend in Colorado, we had the chance to partake in a local hot spring there.  Our first taste of how wonderful. 

Further on the drive west, we were looking for a place to camp or stay the night.  A hot springs in the eastern part of Oregon popped up! While relaxing after a soak, we perused a big photo book of the state’s hot spots.

The next time I went to one was during Burning Man, when I won a chance to go off-site and visit Fly Ranch and its lithium-rich geyser fed hot springs.   While chatting with a fellow soaker, he told me about hot springs in southern Oregon that people often stop at overnight on their way back north after Burning Man. 

In keeping with my “See America Differently” I am now adding exploring Oregon Hot Springs to my adventure bucket list. Pssst, one of the ones we visited is listed on my favorite app – Roadside America.

Hunters hot spring geyser, spouting
Hunters Hot Spring geyser spouts every 90 seconds or so. This sight can be seen from the road, but is much more fun up close and watching unaware geese get sprayed! Yep, this is the one listed in Roadside America!

Taking to the Waters

iron tile "Hot Baths 25 cents"

Read any of the websites or historical information about hot springs, and almost all will tout the healing benefits of soaking in the waters.  Native Americans believed that the healing waters should benefit all, and declared such areas as sacred so all tribes could participate, even warring factions. Pioneers often promoted the minerals as healthy, which may have been good since their access to advance medicine was basically non-existent.

“Because of the unique nature of hot springs, the exact content of each one will vary to some degree. But regardless of the little differences, most Oregon hot springs contain over 13 different minerals: sulfur, silica, calcium, sodium, bicarbonate, boron, magnesium, selenium, potassium, bromine, fluorine, lithium, and iron.” – Oregon Discovery . Lithium? Isn’t that an antidepressant? While it is used by pharma for various mental issues, it is considered a “feel good” ingredient.  The trace amounts in hot springs may improve your mood, but not at a dose level. Or, as a guide once said, “Careful, the hot springs may incur ‘Never-wanna-leave-itis.”

A stop at an Eastern Oregon hot spring

Crystal Crane Hot Springs, Burns OR

Crystal Crane Oregon hot spring at evening
Crystal Crane hot springs is very close to the Idaho border, in eastern Oregon. It is surrounded by high desert and not much else!
teepee hotel room at Crystal Crane hot spring in Oregon
When we arrived, I inquired about their teepees. To my luck, they were having a mid-summer special! We treated ourselves to a night of “glamping”
inside the teepee
The luxe bedroom (and fancy air cooler! haha)
horse trough private soaking tub
In keeping with the western theme, our ‘private soaking tub’ is actually a converted horse trough!

Southern Oregon Hot Springs

Hunters Hot Spring, Lakeview OR

sign for Hunters Hot Spring
Don’t look for their website, yet! The new owners are remodeling and apparently don’t want to launch their site until the resort is ready.
door by the hot spring pool
The hot spring pool area features lots of quirky art. I’m guessing things like this door are still on the “to do” list.
Hunter Hot Spring pool by the full moon
We made Hunters Hot Springs a stopover on our way to Reno. We arrived in the evening, in time to see the full moon rising over the mountains. Dinner in Lakeview that night was much better than expected (it’s such a small town – who knew?). The resort’s dining room should be open by summer of 2020.
bed, sink and chickens in the room at Hunters Hot Spring Resort
We asked for one of the newly remodeled rooms. In our opinion, they still have quite a few things to complete (I don’t think the guy was happy to hear his window installation needed re-doing!). It made me crack up that the chickens ran over in the morning…hoping for some treats!
the view from the pool looking over the mountain range
The next morning we could see the other mountain range. It was easy to imagine the parties that went on here in the past.

Summer Lake Hot Spring

the barn covering the hot spring pool in the distance, coffee cup in front
The barn that covers the Summer Lake Hot Springs pool in the distance. The mountains in the distance have snow! This is from the second time we went, we like this one so much!
Summer lake Outdoor hot spring tubs
Such a great view from the outdoor soaking tubs. People are social when hanging out. Part of the adventure is listening to their adventures. That, and accepting those who bathe clad or unclad…
Inside the barn looking at the hot spring pool
“Respect the Healing Waters” A look at the Summer Lakes Hot Springs pool.
cement tiny house hotel rooms
The resort offers a variety of places to stay – tiny houses, vintage campers, RV sites and dry campgrounds. We stayed in one of the cement ones last summer.
wood tiny house at Summer Lake hot spring in Oregon
And last January we stayed in one of the wood tiny houses. They use the natural thermal heat to keep the rooms warm.

Your turn?

Are you inspired to try a hot spring? For us, we’ve checked off three and have 39+ more to go.   

Stacey relaxing on a red couch with a mountain sunset behind her
This is why to try this adventure…The peace found from relaxing in nature after a good soak

Not in Oregon? Try finding one near you with this map:

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