Warm up in Oregon this winter with a visit to Terwilliger Hot Springs in the Willamette National Forest. Also known as Cougar Hot Springs, this attraction is comprised of six small pools ranging in temperature from 85 to 112 degrees. The pools are open year-round but will likely be less crowded during the winter.
The hot springs are about 50 miles east of Eugene and are closest to the towns of Blue River and McKenzie Bridge. To get to the pools, make your way to the hot springs parking lot, pay the $7 entrance fee and walk about a quarter mile on a gravel path through old-growth forest.
The hot springs are clothing-optional (though the parking lot and trail are not), but many visitors choose to wear bathing suits as they relax in the warm waters. The pools are also cleaned once a week by volunteers, so you can just relax and experience the winter forest scenery around you, worry-free.
To learn more about the hot springs, including how to get there, visit the U.S. Forest Service information page at fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette and search for Terwilliger Hot Springs. A summer 2018 wildfire closed access to the hot springs, so before you go check the website to make sure the site has been reopened to the public. For more things to do in Eugene and Lane County, go to eugenecascadescoast.org.
This article appeared in our November/December, 2018 issue.