Umpqua Hot Springs

Umpqua Hot Springs

  • Easy (to hot springs)
  • 0.6 miles round-trip
  • 120 feet elevation gain
  • Open except in winter storms
  • Use: hikers, horses, bicycles

  • Easy (to Columnar Falls)
  • 0.6 miles round-trip
  • 100 feet elevation gain

A new footbridge in the fall of 2010 should reopen the shortest hiking route to Umpqua Hot Springs, where you’ll find a rustic shelter and a series of spa-sized pools as hot as 110° F overlooking the North Umpqua River. Even if the new bridge is not in place, a planked log 200 yards downstream allows adventurers to cross the river.

After a soak in the hot springs, return to your car and stroll another section of the North Umpqua Trail upstream to a pair of astonishing cold springs—a roaring gusher and a mysterious waterfall with no apparent source or outlet.

To start, drivie …

All the springs in this area resulted when geologically recent High Cascade lava flows buried thousands of stream channels, leaving snowmelt to percolate underground to find an outlet. Here the water has seeped through a hot, active fault. Hot water dissolves minerals well. Umpqua Hot Springs doesn’t smell of sulfur, but it has carried enough alkali over the centuries to build a 100-foot dome-shaped rock knoll above the river’s bank.

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.