Autumn is in full effect and the fog and crisp air have come to Oregon. The comfort-seeking weather welcomes visitors to embark on cozy outings, prop up at coffee shops, and take a dip in our hot springs! All around Oregon there are many geothermal hot springs that welcome visitors with a warm presence. There is no better time to take a soak than during the Autumn, when all the fall foliage colors are at their peak.
Fall Foliage in Each Region
Portland Metro Area: Portland is beginning to be past peak for fall foliage while Southern and Eastern Oregon still have some fall foliage remaining. There are still some fall colors, but they are predicted to begin to change within the next week.
Columbia River Gorge: Columbia River Gorge is beginning to be past peak for fall foliage. There are still a lot of yellow maples as well as some oranges, but they will most likely begin to change colors within the next week.
Willamette Valley: The Willamette Valley is currently in peak fall foliage and some leaves have begun to fall off trees due to some rain. Halloween will bring the leaves in the Willamette Valley to past peak, while Southern Oregon will still be colorful.
Central Oregon: Central Oregon is at peak fall foliage and there are a lot of reds, oranges, and yellows. This next week will be the best time to visit Central Oregon for fall foliage.
Southern Oregon: Southern Oregon is coming into its peak for fall foliage with some yellows and oranges.
Eastern Oregon: Eastern Oregon is in its peak for fall foliage this season. There are a lot of yellows and the leaves are predicted to stay in color for the next week.
Bagby Hot Springs
Hidden among fir trees along the Clackamas River, southeast of Estacada, lies Bagby, a popular Oregon destination featuring cedar plumbing and handcrafted tubs. A 1 ½ mile hike through the forest leads you to the day-use facility, which is managed by the Forest Service. Bagby has a $5 cash only soaking fee and camping is available for an additional cost at nearby Bagby Campground.
Terwilliger Hot Springs
Terwilliger Hot Springs (AKA: Cougar Hot Spring) is accessible via a windy scenic mountain drive on the Aufderheide Drive, and then a short hike to six natural pools in a gorgeous waterfall setting under shady trees, surrounded by new vegetation springing up from a recent wildfire. The spring is day use only, strictly enforced by the Forest Service. Clothing is optional in the pools, and soakers can utilize changing areas and nearby bathroom facilities. $7 cash per day (Children under 12 free). No camping. Recreation passes not required but it is important to note that camping is not allowed, however, camping is available nearby.
Paulina Lake Hot Springs
Located near the Newbury Volcanic Monument in the Deschutes National Forest, you can hike 1.2 miles to soak along the sandy banks of Paulina Lake overlooking the serene Cascade range. We recommend calling the ranger station before heading out on your trip as sometimes lake levels affect access during the colder months. Paulina Lake and Little Crater Campgrounds are close by, have potable water and restrooms but it is worth nothing that they are only open May – October. Dispersed camping options are located nearby at North Cove Beach if you visit in the off season.
Umpqua Hot Springs
Located near the impressive Toketee Falls is the equally impressive Umpqua Hot Springs. The springs boast a birds’-eye view over the Umpqua River with loads of hiking trails nearby. The site features a tub with six small shallow pools carved into the hillside. Restrooms are available and parking access is available for $5 a day, which is managed by the Forest Service. The hot springs are day use only, but nearby camping is available at Toketee Lake Campground. Recreation passes accepted at this location!
Alvord Hot Springs
At the base of the majestic Steens Mountain range and edge of the Alvord Desert lies the idyllic Alvord Hot Springs. The rustic structure and wooden deck add to the charm of this isolated desert soaking spot. The crisp fall air is the perfect juxtopsotiion to the geothermal springs. Public access is $8 a day managed by the Alvord Ranch (Children under 12 free). Changing rooms and a gift shop are on-site as well as overnight camping for a small fee.