Created by the tumultuous relationship between molten rock and water, dozens of hot springs emerge seemingly scattershot across Oregon's landscape, illustrating our geologic past and providing the adventuresome with a broad spectrum of relaxation opportunities.
Paulina Lake Hot Springs
Found in the crater of the Newberry Caldera, Paulina Lake is rife with geothermal activity. Hot springs are found on the northeast shore of the lake and are accessed by the Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail. There is a marked spur trail leading to the hot springs area. Look for the little pocket springs framed out with felled logs. Contact the Paulina Visitor Center for more information.
Summer Lake Hot Springs
A bit of a trek from Bend (two hours southeast via Highways 97 and 31) these privately owned hot springs marry the lonesome beauty of the high desert with the modern conveniences of a rustic resort. Summer Lake is home to a historic 1928 bathhouse that looks like it belongs in the pages of Dwell Magazine with its straightforward tin and lumber loveliness. The resort also has outdoor pools for soaking under the sun or stars. Accommodations include cabins built in the late 1990s, pet-friendly and fully furnished, ranging from $85 to $195 a night. Tent camping and RV hookups are available as well.
Kah-Nee-Tah Resort and Spa
Less natural hot spring, more commercial water park, the pools at Kah-Nee-Tah are arguably the closest, cushiest, most kid-friendly place to get away and soak your bones. This is the hot springs for the would-be Disneyland crowd. Located about an hour away on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, the resort offers golf, dining, a full service spa, and most importantly, water slides. Kahneetah.com
Geothermal pools in Oregon are found on both private and publicly held lands. As such, there are often, but not always fees associated with visiting them. There are some great resources on the web for finding hot springs throughout the state. One of the most thorough is soakoregon.com.