Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: February 22nd, 2023

Nestled along the North Umpqua River in Southern Oregon, the Umpqua Hot Springs are a collection of thermal pools situated on a cliffside of travertine terraces. Protected within the borders of the Umpqua National Forest, this primitive hot spring features plenty of natural foliage and pristine landscapes for visitors to enjoy while soaking in the site’s mineral waters.

Unlike many primitive hot springs within the country, the Umpqua Hot Springs are relatively easy to access and require only a short walk from the purposed parking lot. However, despite its proximity to the nearby road, the pools maintain their isolated atmosphere and offer visitors a simple immersion into the serene setting of Oregon’s natural environments.

As a result of their isolated nature and relative ease of access, the Umpqua Hot Springs has become one of the most famous thermal pool destinations in the state for local and international visitors. Furthermore, the springs are located just south of the Willamette Valley Wine Country, making it a convenient escape from the region’s many vineyards.

From how to access the primitive pools to the best nearby attractions to explore, this is everything you need to know before visiting the Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon.

History of Umpqua Hot Springs

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Umpqua Hot Springs Via Eran

The Umpqua National Forest was established over a century ago, in 1907. However, the Umpqua Hot Springs within its protected borders have a history that predates this establishment for thousands of years.

According to archeological evidence, the Umpqua Hot Springs was first visited by the region’s indigenous inhabitants, at least 8,000 years ago. Over the following millennia, the natural thermal pool played an essential role within the cultures of several tribes that resided in the region.

Throughout its history, the hot springs were considered a center of spirituality and healing and were even designated an area of no conflict between at least four indigenous groups.

While these prehistoric cultures have since disappeared, visitors can still soak in the Umpqua Hot Springs fed from the same natural spring source enjoyed by the ancient inhabitants.

Umpqua Hot Springs Facilities

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Umpqua Hot Springs Facilities Via Stephen Wood

Located 2,649 feet above sea level, the Umpqua Hot Springs is a collection of primitive pools with minimal development and only basic conveniences.

Like much of America’s west coast, the Umpqua Hot Springs are located within the Pacific Ring of Fire and owe their naturally heated waters to the plethora of volcanic geothermal activity occurring below the planet’s surface.

Also known as the Toketee Hot Springs, the Umpqua Hot Springs are operated by the National Park Service, which protects designated lands such as the Umpqua National Forest. As part of their measures to protect the site and ensure the safety of visitors, the Umpqua Hot Springs only operate during the day and can often be closed on days of heavy snowfall.

Additionally, the Umpqua Hot Springs charge a small $5 fee per vehicle which goes to the general maintenance of the complex. Further amenities featured onsite include maintained pathways and a wooden fence surrounding the complex’s larger pool.

In total, the Umpqua Hot Springs features about eight separate thermal pools located along the region’s travertine shelves. These pools vary in temperature, ranging from 100 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The entire complex is fed from a geothermal spring beneath the planet’s surface and boasts high mineral concentrations. As such, the waters are renowned for their therapeutic properties, known to soothe skin conditions and other ailments, and are the perfect spot to unwind after exploring the more physically demanding attractions of the national forest.

Attractions Near the Umpqua Hot Springs

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When visiting the Umpqua Hot Springs, travelers should plan to spend an extra day or two exploring the Umpqua National Forest. Spanning 1536 square miles of pristine wilderness, the national forest boasts several breathtaking landmarks.

Toketee Falls

Located along the route to the Umpqua Hot Springs, Toketee Falls is a convenient attraction to visit on the way to the thermal pool. Starting from a trailhead about 10 minutes from the hot spring’s parking lot, the Toketee Falls Trail guides visitors along a short 0.9-mile path along the North Umpqua River before giving out to the breathtaking water feature.

One of the most famous waterfalls in Oregon, the Toketee Falls features a two-step descent of 113 feet, with a small pool with a deep alcove separating the two drops.

This easy-to-access waterfall in the national park is a perfect way to explore the park’s natural environment before embracing the healing properties of the spring to soothe your hiking muscles.

Mount Thielsen Trail

Offering a more challenging hike, the Mount Thielsen Trail is a less trafficked trek with a 10-mile out-and-back journey up the nearby Mount Thielsen.

The walk features a total elevation gain of 1,133 meters. Still, it rewards visitors with some of the most breathtaking views of the breadth of Umpqua National Park and its thick canopy of trees sprawling across the horizon.

Visitors can expect to complete the hike in about seven hours. However, the final 80 meters to the summit is a steep spire, and only experienced mountaineers should engage in this last portion of the path.

Accommodations Options at Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

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To further ensure the preservation of the hot springs, the National Forest Service does not permit camping or overnight visitors in the area surrounding the thermal pools. Luckily, several fantastic campgrounds are located nearby, perfect for hosting your visit to the springs.

The nearest campground to the Umpqua Hot Springs is the Toketee Lake Campground, located about three miles from the hot springs complex. These basic campsites include picnic tables, vault toilets, and fire pits. Unfortunately, no drinking water is available within the grounds, so pack enough liquids to keep you hydrated during your stay.

For a more comfortable camping experience, visitors can instead stay at the Umpqua’s Last Resort. Located 16 miles from the hot springs, this facility features a selection of wilderness cabins, RV Parking, and glamping setups for best enjoying the national forest while embracing additional comfort amenities.

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Getting to the Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

Located about four hours from Portland near Oregon’s southern border, the Umpqua Hot Springs is an easily accessible hot spring that can be reached by car. The easiest way to reach the hot spring is by taking the I-5 to Roseburg.

From Roseburg, take Highway 138 for about 59 miles. After passing Toketee Falls on your left, visitors to the hot springs should turn left onto Toketee-Rigdon Road, which they will follow for about 4.5 miles to the Umpqua Hot Springs.

Visitors must finish the trek on foot from the parking lot along a short 0.4-mile hiking trail leading to the thermal pools.

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About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. He began his professional writing career while in school as a sports journalist. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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