Known for its picturesque shorelines and dense forests that sweep through the hills of Willamette Valley wine country, Oregon is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs, and adrenaline junkies.
However, while the state is known for its natural attractions and outdoor activities, it is also a destination that promises relaxation and features several hot springs scattered throughout its diverse topographical regions.
While several towns in the Beaver State serve as fantastic bases for delving into these thermal pool destinations, the high desert community of Bend is conveniently located with easy access to all of the state’s most enticing thermal oases. Located 3,500 feet above sea level, Bend is within a short drive of several natural springs, each boasting unique experiences and views.
Whether you prefer the all-inclusive comforts of a full-service resort or the simple elegance of an undeveloped primitive thermal pool, these six hot springs near Bend, OR, offer the perfect soothing respite from the state’s otherwise exertive activities. (Distance from Bend city center in brackets).
The Top 6 Hot Springs Near Bend, Oregon
- Paulina Lake
- Deer Creek Hot Springs
- Belknap Springs
- McCredie Hot Springs
- Cougar Hot Springs
- Breitenbush Hot Springs
1. Paulina Lake (54 Miles)
Paulina Lake is located in one of the most active geothermal areas in the United States, the Newberry Caldera. Formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, when the ancient volcanic rock collapsed, the geothermal activity beneath the earth’s surface continues to warm the waters of Paulina Lake, which has since filled the cavity.
The Paulina Lake Hot Springs consist of several springs scattered throughout the region. While the waters average 176 degrees Fahrenheit from the source, they are cooled upon entering the lake for a comfortable soak averaging between 90 and 115 degrees.
Several dug-out thermal pools can be found lining Hot Springs Beach. However, these can only be enjoyed during the summer and fall, as raised water levels often cover them throughout other times of the year.
2. Deer Creek Hot Springs (66 Miles)
Located about an hour and a half northwest of Bend, the Deer Creek Hot Springs is a naturally preserved primitive pool nestled along the McKenzie River in the Idyllic Willamette National Forest.
Also known as the Bigelow Hot Springs, Deer Creek Hot Springs accentuates the pristine environment and offers a comfortable soak in a pool that averages 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, as a primitive pool, the Deer Creek Hot Springs are unmaintained and frequently experience seasonal damage. While the spring does maintain warm temperatures throughout the year, breaks in the rock wall can result in cold river water mixing into the thermal spring.
As a result, the best time to visit this thermal pool is between the spring and fall, when the water is guaranteed to be comfortable temperatures.
Furthermore, while the Deer Creek Hot Springs does not feature any onsite amenities, visitors looking to spend the night in the region can book a site at the nearby Paradise Campground.
3. Belknap Springs (70 Miles)
Also located about an hour and a half east of Bend, near the Deer Creek Hot Springs, the Belknap Springs offers a fully-developed alternative for soaking the Willamette National Forest’s soothing mineral waters while enjoying the full-service luxury of the hot spring resort.
The property’s two thermal pools invite guests throughout the year and boast mineral-rich waters fed by a natural spring beneath the earth. While the Belknap Spring’s main pool is open to day guests and is a perfect excursion for visitors from Bend, the facility’s Upper Pool is exclusively for overnight guests.
It is one of the best hot springs near Bend that combine the region’s natural beauty with a fully-developed setting and added amenities.
4. McCredie Hot Springs (87 Miles)
Nestled along Salt Creek in Willamette National Forest, McCredie Hot Springs is about an hour and a half from Bend and is located off the Willamette Pass Highway. The year-round thermal pool is a famous primitive hot spring known for its soothing waters and breathtaking views of the surrounding environment.
The McCredie Hot Springs features two large shallow pools that typically average between 98 degrees and 114 degrees Fahrenheit. However, these temperatures can fluctuate and reach as high as 130 degrees. For this reason, it is essential to test the waters before completely submerging in them.
Nevertheless, the McCredie Hot Springs are renowned for their high levels of silica, sulfur, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium and are a famous swimming hole among visitors seeking the spring’s numerous health benefits.
While overnight stays are not permitted in the region surrounding the springs, visitors can still spend the night by the mineral waters at the Blue Pool Campground.
5. Cougar Hot Springs (88 Miles)
Located slightly further from Bend, Cougar Hot Springs require just under two hours to reach the city by car but rewards visitors with one of the most pristine primitive pools in the state. Also known as Terwilliger Hot Springs, this thermal pool is tucked away in the Willamette National Forest and offers visitors a serene setting for their soak.
Unlike many primitive pools in Oregon, the Cougar Hot Springs are fairly easy to access and require only a short quarter-mile hike from the trailhead to reach. The springs are comprised of six thermal soaking pools ranging in temperature from 85 degrees to 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, due to the natural beauty, soothing water temperatures, and ease of access to the site, the Cougar Hot Springs are also some of the most popular thermal pools in the state. As a result, they can often experience heavy crowding during the peak tourist seasons.
Luckily, the springs are protected by the National Forest Service, but this does mean there is an admission fee to access them. While no camping is permitted by the springs, campsites can be reserved at the nearby Cougar Recreation Area.
6. Breitenbush Hot Springs (90 Miles)
Situated about halfway between Bend and Portland, Breitenbush Hot Springs is another set of thermal pools in Willamette National Forest. However, unlike many of the primitive pools operating in the region, this hot spring complex is a luxurious full-service retreat and convention center.
The Breitenbush Hot Springs features seven soaking pools separated into two distinct regions The Sacred Meadow and the Concrete Patio. Each pool offers a unique experience, but all are fed directly from the natural spring source and feature waters averaging 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additional onsite amenities include an extensive spa facility, yoga retreat classes, hiking trails leading to different natural attractions scattered throughout the forest, and numerous lodgings and camping options.