Thousands of years ago, powerful geologic activity created the diverse landscapes of this southern Oregon gem. Alpine lakes, rushing rapids, lush vegetation and tumbling waterfalls await visitors exploring the Cascade Mountain Range.
You will even find some of the tallest and most visually stunning waterfalls anywhere in the state, some of those located in the Umpqua National Forest.
The distinct natural habitats dispersed throughout the forest are home to hundreds of plant and wildlife species. You can explore every stretch of terrain on roughly 350 miles of scenic hiking trails.
Fishing, kayaking, camping, biking, and skiing are just a handful of other ways to explore the diverse wilderness.
In this post, we’re sharing all about Umpqua Hot Springs: what to expect and essential tips to know before venturing out to this iconic spot!
CAMPING NEAR UMPQUA HOT SPRINGS
If you want to stay close to Umpqua Hot Springs (maybe you want to visit for sunrise AND sunset!), the closest campground is Toketee Lake Campground. However, there are so many backcountry spots in the area.
THINGS TO KNOW WHEN VISITING UMPQUA HOT SPRINGS IN WINTER
The average temperature for the Umpqua National Forest in winter is in the high 20s and low 30s. This is perfect conditions for icy roads, so come prepared for winter driving and be careful!
It’s also important to pack an extra pair of dry clothes in your car, in case your spare gets wet on the journey.
PLAN YOUR VISIT DURING CLEAR WEATHER
Like stated above, the wet conditions of the Umpqua National Forest making it a perfect place for icy road conditions. On rainy days or cold winter months, the road could be in bad shape! Before heading out to visit Umpqua Hot Springs, check Oregon Road conditions for a safe passage.
PURCHASE THE RIGHT PACIFIC NORTHWEST PASS
It’s important to remember that a visit to the Umpqua Hot Springs in Oregon requires a Northwest Forest Pass OR it is $5 for a day pass (in cash).
These passes are very easy to obtain. You can purchase one online, or pick them up at a local vendor. You can even purchase a day pass and print it out at home!
Make sure to properly display your pass on your car’s dashboard or hang your pass from the review mirror. This will ensure you won’t be ticketed!
THE PARKING LOT IS SMALL
The parking lot at Umpqua Hot Springs Trailhead is small, enough for about 10 cars. It’s unlawful to block the road, so if the lat is full, you’re out of luck! To increase your chances of getting a spot, come during the weekdays, and early in the morning for fewer crowds.
BRING PROPER SHOES FOR HIKING
The trail to Umpqua Hot Springs from the parking lot is not long, but that doesn’t mean proper shoes should be forgotten. This 0.3-mile trail (0.6 total round trip) is fairly steep, with 206 feet in elevation gain in this short trail. Wearing hiking shoes will make the quick but steep trail much easier!
Once you arrive at the hot springs, there’s also more of a chance of losing your footing on the slippery surface near the pools. Protect your feet and make sure to wear proper shoes to avoid injury!
Like you will read below, this place is notorious for leaving garbage, so wearing proper shoes will prevent you from accidentally stepping on glass or other garbage.
THERE IS MORE THAN ONE POOL
Did you know that Umpqua Hot Springs is a series of several pools? The ones closest to the top tend to be the warmest, and get gradually cooler as you reach lower pools. This is likely because the source water is fed from the top and cascades down, losing heat as it goes.
IT’S LOCATED ON A CLIFFSIDE
Umpqua Hot Springs is located on a cliffside, right about the North Umpqua River. Similar to Pine Flats Hot Springs in Idaho, they are both located on cliffs, but Umpqua has larger, rounder pools that seem to stack up on one another. As you go between pools, remember to watch your step – the rocks are extremely slippery!
OTHER HOT SPRINGS ARE CLOSE TO UMPQUA HOT SPRINGS
Umpqua Hot Springs is not the only hot springs in the area! There are several others gorgeous & natural hot springs in Oregon, especially located in the Cascades. If you are planning an Oregon road trip, consider adding Cougar Hot Springs, Bigelow Hot Springs, and McCredie Hot Springs as potential stops.