Umpqua Hot Springs

Umpqua Hot Springs is a series of geothermal hot springs in the Umpqua National Forest.  It has recently been reopened.  The road to the hot springs is however currently gated as of February 9, 2016.  The gate is closed 2 miles before the hot springs due to downed trees, snow, and ice and and thus a 2 mile hike in on Road 3401 is required to reach the trailhead.  

Our hike down FR 3401.  It got even snowier and icier.  It was February though. 

We called the Umpqua N.F. ranger station in advance to check current conditions.  (541) 957-3200

The road to the hot springs along HWY 138 is a scenic drive along the wild Umpqua river.  Look for forest road 34 at mile marker 59.  Once on FR 34 turn left over a concrete bridge, drive down a couple miles to FR 3401 on the right.  If there is a gate closed here, you will have to hike in 2 miles to the trailhead.  If you go when the road has been cleared, you can drive up to the parking area at the trailhead.  You will be required to pay a day-use fee of $5 per vehicle at this small parking area. 

From the trailhead it is a steep 0.3 mile trail up to the hot springs.  Be sure to stop and enjoy views of the beautiful Umpqua.  

umpqua.jpg

It appears that there have been 2 soaking tubs added.  The park had closed down the hot springs for several months.  I suppose they were not only cleaning the tubs but installing 2 new ones.  

One of the new soaking tubs


There are 6 or 7 soaking tubs up top (one is covered with an open-air roof).  And I have heard rumor there is another down the hill closer to the river.  I will definitely want to check that one out next time.  The main soaking tubs are all set on a rock face overlooking the Umpqua from 150 feet above.  You may also be able to spot Surprise Falls across the river.  

The soaking tubs are not professionally maintained.  Using the hot springs is at your own risks.  They are not cleaned to regulatory safety standards.  The water ranges in temperature from 115 degrees in the hottest tub to 100 degrees in the lower tubs. 

The hottest tub at the top of the hill

Don't expect to enjoy these tubs in solitude.  They are very popular.  Please be respectful while at the tubs and help clean up any trash left by others.  Also, expect nudity at the tubs.  Take plenty of water to keep hydrated while soaking and a towel to dry off after the soak.  Be aware that dehydration and quick changes in body temperature can lead you and others to feel woozy.  If you don't drink enough water or jump out of the soaking tub too quickly, you can experience light headedness.  Take breaks from the tub to cool off and ease your body out of the hot soak by gradually sitting further out of the tub.

Camping is available nearby.  There is an official campground near the trailhead (a 1/4 mile upstream of the trailhead) or you can camp at Toketee Campground at Toketee Lake which you will see on the short drive between the trailhead and hwy 138 which may offer more privacy as it is further from the hot springs.  

At Toketee Lake Campground

Don't miss Toketee Falls nearby.  If you haven't seen it.  It is well worth the 1 mile hike in (with stairs).  It is perhaps the best waterfall in Oregon... And enjoy the wild Umpqua River and North Umpqua Trail which skirts the banks for almost 80 miles.  The adventures await.