Terwilliger Hot Springs

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Terwilliger Hot Springs is one of Oregon’s Best Hot Springs

Terwilliger Hot Springs (Also known as Cougar Hot Springs) is one of those places that you hate to tell others about.  You like it so much that you want to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.

Simply put, this is a magical spot hidden within this super-natural forest.  (I say supernatural not because it is un-natural, but it is the pinnacle of what we would imagine a pristine forest to be.  It is that lush forest that we might see on an exotic movie set.

Terwilliger Hot Springs are a fantastic place to soak away anxiety and stress that you may have brought with you from the city.  It is also a great place to relax after a long hike, mountain bike ride or a day of skiing at Hoodoo.

The hot springs emerge from a small cave (you can climb into it) and flows out into 5 cascading pools.  As the water flows down into the lower pools the temperature gets a little cooler.

Water Temps

The pools can range from 85 to 112 degrees, with the top (largest) pool being the hottest.


Terwilliger Hot Springs Status Updates

Update 10/21

Road Closure: The main road, Hwy 19 from the north side (the popular route to Terwilliger is closed due to a rock slide.  It will be awhile before the road is open again.

Alternative Access:

  • From Westfir (Oakridge) – Hwy 58 You can access the Hot Springs easily by coming up from the southern edge of Hwy 19 in Westfir (Westfir is next to Oakridge and Hwy 58).  It is a slow road with a lot of twists and turns, yet very pretty.  It is NOT maintained during the winter and close when the snow starts falling.
  • Dirt Road around Cougar Lake You can also drive around Cougar Lake on a 1 lane dirt road, that previously has been rarely used and has a lot of potholes.  We only recommend going this route in a 4×4 vehicle with good clearance – especially during the winter.  It is a slow road, expect the drive around the lake to add 45-60 minutes to your trip there.

Cell service is NOT available in this area.  If you get stuck, you will need to hike or hitch hike out to call for help.

See our Facebook page for any newer posts.


Hours:

Open year round from dawn to dusk.

Don’t risk getting a citations for sneaking in after hours, it can be very expensive.  Belknap Hot Springs is open late evenings – which is great for soaking after sunset in the Fall, Winter and Spring months.

Directions:

For Map and driving Directions – click the “Location” link next to the “About Us” link. 

Terwilliger Hot Springs is about 7 miles south of McKenzie Hwy (Hwy 126) on Aufderheide Dr (Hwy 19) near the town of Blue River.

As you pass the reservoir on your left take a moment to enjoy the sweeping views.  You should see a small shack/kiosk on the right and a parking area on the left.  (Terwilliger Hot Springs is about an hour from Eugene and 90 minutes from Bend)

Park in the lot and walk on the path to the kiosk.  Pay the day use fee at the kiosk.  There is usually an attendant there, if not pay anyway.  (The fees help maintain the hot springs and the fines for not paying are steep.)  Enjoy the view of Rider Creek Falls on your way to Terwilliger.  You’ll continue to walk through the forest for about a 1/8 mile.  (No worries – the path is well worn and easy to follow.)

This is NOT wheelchair accessible.  I would not recommend strollers on this trail.  When snowy/icy

 

Day Use Fee:

$7 per person.  Cash, Check or Credit Cards.

Terwilliger Hot Springs annual passes are available – good for the calendar year – buy your pass early in the year for best value.

 

Soaking Etiquette

Clothing is OPTIONAL – people will be likely be naked there.  Do not make others feel uncomfortable for either wearing – or not wearing a swimsuit.

If public nudity bothers you, don’t visit these springs.

  • No glass containers (for obvious reasons) and no alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not smoke around others – smoking nearby is bothersome for most non-smokers.

Kudos and Awards

8 Best Hot Springs in Wester Oregon – Statesman Journal

In Hot Water: Top 3 Hot Springs in Oregon – WanderLostTravel.com

Top Rated Hot Springs in Oregon – Planetware.com

10 Most Relaxing Hot Springs in Oregon – the CultureTrip.com

8 Amazing Hot Springs to Soak and Chill in Oregon – That Oregon Life

Here’s a fun, older, news style video overview of the hot springs:

Other Area Hot Springs

Belknap Hot Springs – developed site Hot springs are piped into a swimming pool.  Clothing required.

Bigelow / Dear Creek Hot Springs – along the McKenzie River.  This is a very small, luke-warm hot springs that is often under water during winter and spring.  It is pretty, yet it holds maybe 6 people and is often full.  Overuse has made the water murky and removed the solitude one could find here before it got popular.  We and the Forest Service encourage people to skip this until usage drops as it is small and overused.

 

GPS Coordinates: 

Latitude: 44.08389 : Longitude: -122.23194

Elevation: 1700 ft

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Amenities
  • Parking
  • Accepting Credit Cards
  • Restrooms

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