If you don’t follow along on Instagram you might not have seen our epic road trip around the northwest we did last month with a group of photographers. Umpqua Hot Springs had been on my 2019 bucket list so when the group I was traveling with mentioned visited I was so pumped!
Umpqua Hot Springs is just a day trip from Crater Lake, and I recommend trying to do both over a long weekend or while you’re visiting Crater Lake. This area is pretty remote so if you can see and visit a few different spots while out there it can make your trip a little more worth it.
How to get here from Crater Lake
Umpqua Hot Springs is about an hour drive from Crater Lake National Park. It’s fairly straight forward trip and actually quite a few signs to let you know you’re headed the right way. You will get to a point where you’ll be on a dirt road for a couple of miles, I recommend going slow because those potholes are sneaky.
There’s a small parking lot at the trailhead, where you’ll need to pay $5 for the day. We got there around 7:00am I believe and the parking lot was nearly full! Even on a weekday this place can get busy and fast. The earlier you can come the better.
The hike up to the springs is fairly easy, but mostly up hill which I wasn’t excepting at first. It’s not even a half a mile to the springs, and mostly through wooded areas. It is rated moderate because it is steep in a few areas. If you don’t have Alltrails already it’s a helpful hiking app while you’re out there.
Things to Expect While You’re at Umpqua Hot Springs
Sadly this area is known for getting dirty and people leaving their trash behind. Our visit was not bad at all but remember to pack out everything you pack in and leave the place better then you found it. Areas like this that as heavy trafficked could be closed in the future if we don’t do a good job taking care of them.
Clothes are optional here. Remember to respect everyone, if you wish to soak naked go for it, and respect others if they are as well. There is more then one pool so there should be room to have some privacy if you go early.
The pools are hottest toward the top and get progressively cooler as the water pools down. You can go from hot all the way down to the river for a cold plug and back if you wanted too!
We soaked for about an hour or two and decided to head back to the cars to eat breakfast.
If you’ve come out to Umpqua Hot Springs, stopping at Toketee Falls is a must! You literally drive right by the trailhead to get to the springs. The hike is easy, less then a mile total and it takes you to a lookout platform over the waterfall.
Things to note about this area, I’ve seen a lot of photos taken from eye level with the waterfall. Just because you’ve seen photos taken somewhere doesn’t mean you should be there. While there is a way to get down if you hop a fence, going off trail leads to erosion and can be dangerous. We live in a day and age where we see a lot of photos and want to visit these places to get the perfect Instagram photo, but we should still respect nature and respect boundaries that have been put in place. Resist the urge to jump the fence and just enjoy the falls from the viewpoint.
After our stop at the falls we headed back to Crater Lake and enjoyed a nap and an afternoon there.
What to Pack
Pack hiking shoes with good tread on them and that are waterproof. I hiked in Chacos for both of these hikes and they worked out great for the time of year we were hiking. If you’re hiking in the winter you’ll probably want boots since there will most likely be snow on the ground.
- Water (Here’s the bladder we use for longer hikes)
- Water Bottle (32 or 40 oz), We love Hydroflask bottles
- Hiking Boots
- Lunch (I like to pack my lunch in Stasher bags to help with creating less trash)
- Backpack, one similar to ours
- Lightweight Jacket
- Download AllTrails so you have your route on your phone
- Lightweight towel
OVERALL THIS HIKE WAS AWESOME AND I WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE! IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR OTHER HIKES TO ADD TO YOUR SUMMER TIME LIST CHECK OUT RAMONA FALLS , THE TRAIL OF TEN FALLS, AND TAMANAWAS FALLS