When the air starts to get a little cooler and temperatures start to drop, many people prefer to stay outdoors, but it’s not because the weather has gotten a little cooler that you can’t get out and enjoy nature. In fact, there are certain activities and natural places that are even better in the fall and winter months, hot springs being the perfect example. There’s nothing like taking a dip in a hot and humid spring and Portland, Oregon is one of the best cities in the United States to enjoy this super activity.
There are many natural hot springs located throughout Portland, just a short drive from the downtown districts. Many of these spots are conveniently located for scenic nature trails, glamping spots, and more, so you really can make a whole weekend trip or even a week out of your Portland hot springs adventure. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some locations and details of the best hot springs near Portland.
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Bagby Hot Springs – Mount Hood National Forest, Clackamas County, Oregon
Located just over 60 miles southeast of Portland, Bagby Hot Springs is nestled among the beautiful scenery of the Mount Hood National Forest. Carefully nestled among the Cascade Mountains, these beautiful natural hot springs are protected from the elements by tall fir trees all around them. Very popular at all times of the year, Bagby Hot Springs is equipped with multiple private stalls and bathhouses, with old-fashioned bathtubs just waiting to greet you and extremely warm water to soothe your muscles. The water is really so hot that you will have to add some cold water to cool it down. It takes a 1.5 mile hike to reach these springs, so if you’re heading in the evenings, be sure to leave plenty of time and bring some flashlights for the journey.
Bigelow Hot Springs – McKenzie River, Oregon
Also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, this spot is located on the north bank of the McKenzie River, not far from the McKenzie Bridge. Temperatures can be nice and toasty in the summer and fall, but the pool itself is quite small and can only cater to groups of 3 or 4 people generally. Fortunately, not many people know about this hot spring, so if you’re lucky enough and pick the right time of day, you should be able to have the place to yourself. Temperatures often drop a bit too low in winter to be comfortable, but fall is a great time to visit when many of Oregon’s tourists have gone home.
Breitenbush Hot Springs – 53000 Breitenbush Rd SE, Detroit, OR 97342
Breitenbush Hot Springs is not right next to Portland. It’s actually a two-hour drive away, but still worth the drive as one of the best hot springs retreats in the state of Oregon. This worker-owned retreat sits on the site of natural geothermal springs that have been popular for many decades, with various Native American people enjoying the warm Breitenbush waters even before white settlers arrived in the area.
There are seven different pools to enjoy, with three rock-lined pools that can hold up to ten people each and four Jacuzzis that can easily accommodate groups of up to six, with water provided by the local geothermal source. For the ultimate relaxation experience, enjoy the additional services offered by the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat, including meditation sessions, massages and yoga. Fully organic vegetarian meals are also served, and guests are encouraged to book in advance, but can simply show up on the day to enjoy some time on the water.
Austin Hot Springs – Clackamas River, Oregon
Located around 60 miles outside of Portland via Highway 224, Austin Hot Springs is an all-natural hot springs location. The climate is heated by volcanic activity and the Mt Hood National Forest offers good protection from the wind and elements. There are several rock pools to enjoy at this location on the beautiful Clackamas River, and the water can get very hot at certain times of the year, depending on geothermal activity, so it’s always wise to dip a thermometer in and test the temperature before going up. . It tends to see the hottest temperatures in Austin Hot Springs, so it’s wise to stay away in the early months of the year, but summer and fall are perfect for long, relaxing soaks in these wonderful waters.