Welcome to our article on the amazing Umpqua Hot Springs of Oregon. We are Kat and Alex (@craving2create) – both 23 year olds born and raised in Northern California. We met during college at the University of California, Davis and are currently videographers who love to cook and travel!
Our passion for travel comes from learning about different people and places. We love trying new activities and also enjoying the simple pleasures like eating at new destinations. Recently, we set off on a US road trip. One of our good friends was staying in Portland that winter and we had already discussed the idea of taking a road trip during Christmas.
So we decided that our final destination would be Portland with a couple of stops along the way. We left Davis, California and spent two nights in McCloud at this really cozy Bed & Breakfast, did a few waterfall hikes in the area and then drove to our little cabin at Umpqua (Umpqua’s Last Resort).
After one night there, we went to the Umpqua Hot Springs, drove north through Eugene for lunch and then spent four days in Portland. In a last minute twist, we decided to drive back along the Oregon Coast – staying in another cozy Bed & Breakfast in Golden Beach. It was an awesome trip!
Visiting the Umpqua Hot Springs
We decided to wake up at dawn to visit the hot springs. However, getting up that early is always a little hard even though we went to bed pretty early. In the morning, Alex made oatmeal and let Kat sleep until it was ready.
Once we had eaten we packed our towels, clothes and camera gear into the car and hoped that there wasn’t too much snow so we could skip using chains on our car (there wasn’t any snow, thankfully). The night before we were based at Umpqua’s Last Resort – a small and nice cabin/glamping site only 15 minutes or so away from the parking lot for the hot springs.
It was the perfect place to stay to get to the springs early and beat the crowds. The cabins even have a fire pit – if you are brave enough to cook in the cold – but also come with a microwave and fridge, so you have options.
The Hike to Umpqua Hot Springs
Hiking to the Umpqua Hot Springs is beautiful, albeit a little bit icy and dark before dawn. You start by going over a bridge and then it’s a quarter mile hike uphill through the forest to the springs. It took us about 20 minutes and there is no signal – so definitely have your map downloaded.
The signage is okay but parts of the trail where the trees have fallen can be especially icy on early winter mornings. Once we arrived we felt a sense of excitement and a little bit of dread knowing that we needed to shed off all of our warm layers to get into the hot springs. It was quite cold, after all!
Stunning Views at the Hot Springs
The view from the hot springs was spectacular with fog still lining the trees and the sun not even over the treetops yet. The water temperature varied depending on which pool you were in. The higher up ones felt hotter than the lower ones. However, since we got there before anyone else, we got our pick of the ones we felt had the best temperature and view.
We spent a good 30 minutes at the Umpqua Hot Springs before the first group of people arrived. After them there was a total of four other groups that were there for the entire 90 minutes or so that we spent at the springs. If you want to get the pick of the warmest and best pools we would recommend getting there as early as possible, especially in the winter.
Need to Know Before you Go
If you are planning on visiting the hot springs make sure you are ready for a big shift in temperature from the hike, getting into the waters and then getting out. Bring a towel, hat and gloves for winter and be sure to rinse off. Also, it’s worth noting that the springs are clothing optional. So if you have issues with nudity, you might want to mentally prepare yourself!
We had such a great time at the Umpqua Hot Springs. It was lovely being surrounded by this beautiful view and simultaneously feeling like you were being given this warm hug from nature. What made this special was that we experienced it together – our first hot spring visit as a couple 🙂