Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs
As you walk the 1/4 mile trail to this clothing optional hot springs, you are enveloped in the dark hues of primeval woodland, touched by mottled light filtering down from treetops high above and the invigorating scene of the lagoon with the gorgeous Rider Creek waterfall spilling into it.
There are four soaking pools spaced apart by rock walls laid out in steps down a ravine. Temperatures range from 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the lower pool to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper pool. The pools are 3-12 feet across and an average of 2-3 feet deep. The pool floors are mostly bedrock but some gravel, sand and debris remain at the bottom of the pool.
If you do visit this popular hot springs, please preserve the experience for you and for future visitors by observing the following: There is no alcohol allowed, the hot springs are for day use only and camping is restricted to developed campgrounds in the Cougar Recreation Area.
Parking is limited at this location. If you have a RV, bus, or vehicle with a trailer, please park at the pull out along the road near Forest Service Road 1985/1986 or in the Cougar Crossing Day Use Area. Please do not double park vehicles within the parking lot or park along Forest Service Road 19; this creates hazardous conditions for other drivers and pedestrians.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||12/22/22: This site was heavily impacted by the 2018 Terwilliger Fire. While hazard trees have been mitigated around the hot springs, other risks persist. When visiting, other potential hazards include: loose rocks, flooding, debris flows, and weakened trees falling. Please, avoid the area during high winds and heavy rain.|
|Operational Hours:||Day use only. Closed sundown to sunrise (strictly enforced). Closed Thursdays from 8 a.m. - 12 noon for cleaning.|
|Reservations:||First come, first serve. Up to 50 people are allowed in at a time with a 2 hour limit. Now currently 50 people, 2 hour soak time & no dogs (exception service animals)|
|Closest Towns:||Blue River, OR
McKenzie Bridge, OR
|Passes:||No passes honored.|
|Operated By:||American Land & Leisure|
|Information Center:||McKenzie River Ranger Station|
Road conditions may change rapidly and visitors should use extreme caution when traveling on Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Forest Road 19), especially in the winter. This road is not maintained for snow and ice and travel is at your own risk.
FROM HIGHWAY 126: From Blue River, OR, travel 4 miles east on Highway 126 to Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Forest Road 19). Continue on south Aufderheide Drive, taking a right at the Y to the top of Cougar Reservoir. Continue south on Aufderheide Drive for 5 miles to Terwilliger Hot Springs parking lot.
FROM HIGHWAY 58: Take Westfir Road across from the Middle Fork Ranger Station and turn left at the stop sign. Continue to the red covered bridge. Go past the bridge and the road becomes Aufderheide Drive (Forest Road 19). Continue on Aufderheide Scenic Byway for about 50 miles until you reach the Terwilliger Hot Springs parking lot.
Information kiosk, clothing rack, garbage receptacles, there is NO water
- Rider Creek Trail #3319
- Slide Creek Campground
- Slide Creek Day Use Area
- Olallie Trail Area
- Three Sisters Wilderness
- Cougar Crossing Campground
- Cougar Crossing Day Use Area
- Sunnyside Campground
- Indian Ridge Lookout
- French Pete Campground
The .25 mile long trail to the hotsprings is composed of densely packed gravel and soil and is not maintained for wheelchair access. The trail is generally low gradient, however in a few areas there are short, steeper grades that may be difficult for people with mobility limitations. During the winter, snow and ice accumulations may make the trail particularly difficult. Narrow rock steps lead to the pools and are not wheelchair accessible and may pose a challenge for someone with mobility limitations.
The parking area is approximately 300 yards away from the entry station for the hotsprings and the Rider Creek Trail #3319 continues west another 1/4 mile to Terwilliger Hot Springs.
Parking lot capacity is limited and parking with any portion of a vehicle on the paved surface of Forest Road 19 is prohibited.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Alerts & Warnings
- FIRE CLOSURES: Cedar Creek, Beachie Creek & Lionshead, Holiday Farm, Potter, etc
- Forest Road 46 open for 11 miles; portion closed to vehicle traffic
- Pile Burning November-March 2023
- Helicopter Operations Near McKenzie Bridge Oct. 19-Feb. 1
- Carmen Diversion Reservoir closed through 2023