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Take A Day Trip to These Hot Springs Near Bend

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Revitalize your soul in these mineral-rich pools. With the weather cooling off but winter sports not yet in full swing, there is no better way to embrace the changing of the seasons than soaking in hot springs. Opt to hike to rock-lined pools along rivers and lakes or spoil yourself with resort-style bathhouses that are scattered through Oregon. Treat your sore muscles and revitalize your soul in these mineral-rich pools all within a day-trip from Bend.

Paulina Hot Springs

Located off a spur on the Paulina Lake Loop Trail, the springs are primitive at best. If the lake shore waters are high, the pools may be washed out. However, when the waters are just right, hot springs may be dug out of coarse beach sand and reinforced with found wood and stones. Because these pools are not commercial, visitors often bring a shovel, such as a collapsible avalanche shovel, to re-dig one of the several pools. Although the pools might be crude, the view is magnificent. Paulina Peak towers at nearly 8,000 feet tall. Its center crater is infilled with Paulina Lake’s waters that sweep across the horizon line and counterpoint sunsets that light up the sky like pink cotton candy. 

For lodging, or to rent a canoe for paddling across the lake to the edge of the hot springs, stop in at Paulina Lodge. Open in the high season, May through September, the lodge offers everything from stays in its cabins and intimate A-frames to lunch and dinner dining. Look forward to sampling the chef’s famous prime rib, homemade cobblers and handcrafted cocktails. Reservations are required. See paulinalakelodge.com.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument, operated by Deschutes National Forest, gained its monument status in 1990 as a result of the area’s outstanding volcanic features. Obsidian flows, alpine lakes, fissures, cavernous lava tubes, a lava cast forest, and a massive caldera (or collapsed volcano) are all natural wonders to experience en route to Paulina Lake Hot Springs.

Driving time from Bend: 1 hour
Open: May to September

East Lake

If you think Paulina Lake’s hot springs are primitive, you have not seen the springs at East Lake, Paulina’s neighbor in the Newberry Crater. These springs are great for those tired of the Paulina Lake crowds. There are trade-offs—unlike those at Paulina, these springs smell heavily of sulfur and can reach temperatures up to 120 degrees. They can be accessed by a short quarter-mile trail from the hot springs boat ramp, walking until reaching bubbling water. On a typical snow year, these springs usually are submerged in the lake until late July, so are best-visited in the late summer or fall.

Driving time from Bend: 1 hour
Open: May to September, but best starting in late summer when water level is low

Bigelow/Deer Creek

The quiet neighbor of Belknap Hot Springs, Deer Creek, also known as Bigelow Hot Springs, is one small pool tucked on the banks of the McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest. This peaceful pool is sectioned off from the river by rocks, with hot spring water flowing from the pool’s bottom. Its close proximity to the river cools it off too much in the winter, but makes it the perfect soaking temperature in the summer and fall. It can only handle a few guests at a time, so consider going on a weekday or prepare for a possible wait. Even with its close proximity to the highway, clothing is optional in typical Oregon hot springs fashion.

Driving time from Bend: 1 hour 20 minutes
Parking and fees: Free to soak, Turn onto Deer Creek Road, cross a bridge over the McKenzie River to park
Open: Year-round, but can be too cold in winter months

Crystal Crane

Hidden in a high-desert oasis twenty-five miles east of Burns lies this magical hot springs resort. A longtime hub for dirty travelers, Crystal Crane hot springs consists of a 101-degree mineral hot springs pond and several private soaking tubs, rentable by the hour. Plan a visit on a clear night and stargaze while you soak. With its close proximity to Steens Mountain, the Ochocos and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, pitch a tent nearby or choose one of the resort’s unique overnight options, including a teepee with a private hot tub.

Driving time from Bend: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Open: Year-round, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Summer Lake

Southeast of Bend in the Oregon Outback amidst a vast high desert landscape awaits this 145-acre hot spring resort, Summer Lake. On your drive out, watch for birds of prey, antelope, deer and other wildlife. Stop at quirky and charming homegrown Oregon outposts to re-supply beverages, firewood and gasoline. If you have time, take a small detour to Fort Rock to see the remnants of a tuff ring, a volcano that erupted under a shallow sea. Fort Rock is also home to an ancient reed sandal mass storage cache, which has helped anthropologists pinpoint a date indicating the earliest known people in the region. On the outskirts of the municipality, look for a smattering of walk-through historic ghost town buildings.

When you arrive at Summer Lake, enjoy the four developed outdoor hot pools with 360-degree views of the desert, forest, sky and mountain peaks, as well as the largest pool, located inside a bathhouse. These springs have been flowing for thousands of years, traveling to the surface through a natural fault to almost a mile underground, and were unknown until hundreds of feet of lake water receded. Established in 1988, the resort features a bathhouse and outdoor hot springs-fed rock pools, all between 106 and 118 degrees. Either travel down for the day or choose from a variety of accommodations, ranging with low-price tent campsites to geothermally-heated cabins or guesthouses. Summer Lake is also known for hosting pop-up music festivals and retreats of all kinds. 

To find RV or van-specific parking, hookups and amenities, Ana Reservoir Park and Lonepine RV Park are choice picks. After a detoxifying dip in the hot springs for registered guests of the lodge, travel 20 minutes north to the town of Summer Lake and visit The Flyway at The Lodge at Summer Lake for casual American food. See summerlakehotsprings.com.

Driving time from Bend: 2 hours
Open: Year-round, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for day use, open 24 hours for overnight guests

McCredie Hot Springs

McCredie Hot Springs, once a historic resort, consists of several undeveloped pools on either side of Salt Creek off of Highway 58 near Oakridge. These springs are great for large and small groups alike, with the largest “party” pool being 30 feet wide and the smallest being only a yard in diameter. The large pool is a short walk from the main parking area between milepost 45 and 46 on Highway 58. If looking to reach the smaller, more secluded pools and avoid crossing the two-foot-deep creek, turn down Shady Gap Road, turn right at both splits and park at the first wide spot. From here, a mile-long hike through ferns, moss and wildflowers leads down to the pools. Since these pools are relatively isolated, prepare to be in the midst of naked hippies or become one yourself.

Driving time from Bend: 1 hour 30 minutes
Distance: If accessing the main pool, just a short walk down to the river from the main parking area. If visiting southside pools, prepare to hike a 0.9 mile out and back trail down to the springs.
Parking and fees: Free to soak, park between milepost 45 and 46 on Highway 58 next to McCredie Station Road near Blue Pool Campground for main pool. For southside pools, turn down Shady Gap Road, turn right at both splits and park at the first wide spot.
Open: Year-round

Bagby Hot Springs

Bagby Hot Springs is nestled deep within the Mount Hood National Forest on the Collawash River. An easy 1.7-mile hike through lush forest leads to the bathhouse, consisting of cedar wood tubs in both private and community settings. The spring water is 138 degrees Fahrenheit but can be cooled off with water from the river below. Unlike most Oregon hot springs, nudity is not allowed (but that has never stopped Oregonians before). Because of its close proximity to both Portland and Salem, these hot springs are highly frequented and often mistreated, so make sure to pack out your litter and be respectful of your surroundings.

Driving time from Bend: 3 hours
Distance: 3.4 miles roundtrip from Bagby Trailhead
Open: Year-round, but road not maintained in winter months

Read more about Hot Spring in our area here.


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