When the air starts getting a little crisper and the temperatures start to drop, many people prefer to stay outdoors, but it's not because the weather has gotten a little colder that you can't get out and enjoy nature. In fact, there are certain natural activities and locations that are even better in the fall and winter months, with hot springs being the perfect example. There's nothing quite like taking a dip in a warm, steamy spring and Portland, Oregon, is one of the best cities in the United States to enjoy this super activity.
There are plenty of natural hot springs located all around Portland, just short drives away from the downtown districts. Many of these locations are conveniently located for scenic nature trails, glamping spots, and more, so you can really make a full weekend or even week-long trip of your Portland hot springs adventure. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some locations and details for the best hot springs near Portland.
- Bagby Hot Springs - Mount Hood National Forest, Clackamas County, Oregon
Located just over 60 miles southeast of Portland, the Bagby Hot Springs are situated among the beautiful scenery of the Mount Hood National Forest. Nestled neatly among the Cascade Mountains, these beautiful natural hot springs are protected from the elements by towering fir trees all around. Very popular at all times of year, the Bagby Hot Springs is equipped with multiple private stalls and bathhouses, with old-fashioned tubs just waiting to welcome you in and extremely warm water waiting to sooth your muscles. The water is actually so hot that you'll have to add in some cold water to cool it off. A 1.5 mile hike is needed to reach these springs, so if you're heading out in the evenings, be sure to leave enough time and bring some flashlights for the trip.
- Bigelow Hot Springs - McKenzie River, Oregon
Also known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, this location is nestled away on the northern bank of the McKenzie River, not far from the McKenzie Bridge. Temperatures can get nice and toasty in summer and fall, but the pool itself is quite small and can only cater groups of 3 or 4 people in general. Fortunately, not too many people know about this hot spring, so if you get lucky enough and choose the right time of day, you should be able to have the place to yourself. The temperatures often drop down a little too low in winter to be enjoyable, but fall is a great time to visit this location when many of the Oregon tourists have headed home.
- Breitenbush Hot Springs - 53000 Breitenbush Rd SE, Detroit, OR 97342, Phone: 503--854-3320
Breitenbush Hot Springs isn't right next door to Portland. It's actually a two-hour drive away, but it's still worth the trip as one of the very best hot springs retreats in the state of Oregon. This worker-owned retreat is located on the site of natural geothermal springs that have been popular for many decades, with various Native American peoples enjoying the warm waters of Breitenbush before white settlers even arrived in the area.
There are seven different pools to enjoy, with three rock-lined pools that can host up to ten people each and four hot tubs that can easily accommodate groups of up to six, with water provided by the local geothermal source. For an ultimate relaxation experience, indulge in the additional services offered by the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat, including meditation, massage, and yoga sessions. Fully organic vegetarian meals are also served, and guests are encouraged to book in advance but can simply turn up on the day to enjoy some time in the water.
- Austin Hot Springs - Clackamas River, Oregon
Located around 60 miles outside of Portland via Highway 224, Austin Hot Springs is a fully natural hot springs location. The weather is heated up by volcanic activity and the surrounding Mt Hood National Forest provides nice protection from the wind and elements. There are various rock pools to enjoy at this location on the beautiful Clackamas River, and the water can get exceedingly hot at certain times of year depending on geothermal activity, so it's always wise to dip a thermometer and test the temperature before climbing in. Spring tends to feature the highest temperatures at 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.