The Pacific Northwest is known for its abundant natural attractions and breathtaking vistas. However, one of the best ways to immerse in the pristine tranquility is by soaking in one of the many hot springs that dot the idyllic landscapes.
Most of Washington’s thermal pools are situated in the northwestern corner of the state, making Seattle a fantastic destination to base as you explore the many wonderous hot springs within a few hours’ drive from the city.
From tucked away primitive pools and resorts in the majestic Olympic National Park to natural thermal swimming holes deep in the mountain wildernesses east of the city, these are the 6 hot springs near Seattle, WA, that offer visitors a quiet respite of tranquility from the state’s otherwise rigorous attractions and activities. (Distance from Seattle city center in brackets)
The 6 Best Hot Springs Near Seattle
1. Goldmyer Hot Springs (55 Miles)
While the Goldmyer Hot Springs is the closest hot springs to Seattle, they are also some of the most challenging thermal pools to reach. Thanks to the isolated nature of the site, the springs require an approximate minimum of four hours of travel time, starting with a two-hour drive to the trailhead and a two-hour hike through the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range.
As a result, reaching the picturesque Goldmyer Hot Springs is one of the most rewarding thermal experiences in the state. The 20-acre wilderness preserve boasts three unique soaking opportunities, starting with its mine shaft-fed thermal pool, which feeds into the site’s rustic cave pool. From there, the water plummets into an outdoor pool surrounded by foliage.
Upon its extraction from the horizontal mine shaft, the mineral water averages temperatures of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the springs cool to a much more manageable 104 degrees by the time it reaches the outdoor pool. Also available nearby is a natural cold spring that offers a balancing escape from the hot thermal waters.
As a protected wilderness area, only 20 visitors are permitted to visit the Goldmyer Hot Springs daily to ensure the site’s preservation. Therefore, permits should be reserved before visiting.
2. Scenic Hot Springs (77 Miles)
As the name may suggest, the Scenic Hot Springs are some of the most picturesque and beautiful hot springs near Seattle and are only an hour and a half drive from the city. Nestled in the dense wilderness of the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest, the Scenic Hot Springs offer serene settings for soaking in the warm, tranquil waters.
Requiring a 2-mile uphill hike to access, the Scenic Hot Springs highlight the region’s pristine beauty and is home to various animal and plant species, including deer, mountain goats, elk, and black bears. Also featured along the trail route are some of the best panoramic views of the Cascade Mountain Range.
Upon reaching the hot springs, guests are invited to soak in three pools, all serviced with a wooden deck. Alternatively, visitors can soak in one of the large plastic tubs, each featuring various temperatures.
Since the hot springs’ land is private property, guests are only permitted to access the springs by invitation, and visitors are required to request permission and pay a fee before making the hike. Finding exact directions to the Scenic Hot Springs can be difficult and is only given out by the landowner after making reservations.
3. Olympic Hot Springs (101 Miles)
One of the most pristine, publicly accessible primitive hot springs near Seattle, the Olympic Hot Springs occupies an untouched corner of the Olympic National Park along the state’s northwestern coast. About three and a half hours from the city, the hot springs are surrounded by dense foliage accentuated by the surrounding pine trees.
The hot springs feature five unique pools boasting temperatures reaching as high as 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, getting to the springs can be arduous and requires a 15.5 miles hike to access. Still, the path is picturesque and features fantastic views and even a bridge crossing.
While camping is not permitted at the springs, visitors are encouraged to spend the night at the nearby Boulder Creek Campground to make the journey more manageable.
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4. Sulphur Warm Springs (106 Miles)
Nestled in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Sulphur Warm Springs require a nearly three-hour drive and a 4 mile out and back hike to reach. Still, these primitive pools are one of the most rewarding hot springs near Seattle and promise plenty of adventure and breathtaking views of the rugged landscape throughout the journey.
Despite being a well-maintained trail, the path to the Sulphur Warm Springs experiences less foot traffic than some other hot springs in the area. As a result, the Sulphur Warm Springs promises an isolated setting to reconnect with the natural environment free from the crowding that can occur at similar sites.
While the hike itself is the true attraction of the region, the hot spring does offer a much-needed rest from the arduous journey. While small, the thermal pool can hold about two adults. The waters average about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and visitors may need to clear the source pipe to refill the reservoir.
5. Doe Bay Resort & Retreat (118 Miles)
Offering one of the most opulent hot spring resort experiences, the Doe Bay Resort and Retreat occupies an isolated property within the beautiful San Juan Islands. While only 118 miles from Seattle, visitors traveling from the city will have to fly to the islands or take the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas before finishing the drive.
While this hot spring may be more challenging to access from the city than others, it also offers one of the most peaceful settings to unwind in after exploring the region’s daring adventures. The full-service retreat features plenty of soaking opportunities, including a separate bathhouse styled after a quaint cabin hall.
At the bathhouse, visitors have a selection of soaking tubs, sauna, and outdoor showers to enjoy, or they can opt for one of the facility’s massages options, enhancing the complex’s overall bliss.
While the bathhouse is open to day visitors, the resort offers onsite accommodation, which may be preferred after the extended journey to the complex.
6. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort (123 Miles)
Another luxury hot spring retreat, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, is much more accessible to visitors from Seattle and is located 12 miles in the Olympic National Forest. Conveniently located within the park, visitors who stay at the resort have several opportunities to explore the region’s breathtaking countryside.
And after an exhausting day of hiking, biking, and other adventurous activities, there is no better way to unwind than at the facility’s onsite hot springs. The complex features three mineral pools ranging from 99 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and a cold freshwater pool for visitors seeking an escape from the heat.
Also featured at the resort are luxury accommodation options, onsite dining services, a primitive campground, and much more.