Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon (from Shirley)

The Rangers have got the right idea . . . if you can't deal with nudity
then don't  bother continuing in as we (the Forest Service) don't
consider it an issue.

July 6th is not a day I would recommend to others for visiting a hot springs.  I usually save hot spring trips for the cooler winter months.   If visiting in the summer I usually arrive a day break.  Finding myself in the Umpqua Hot Springs area I could not resist. 

Most of my previous soaking trips were in the 70’s when I lived at Steamboat USFS Ranger Station.  The springs have changed drastically from those days.  I did visit in 2010 so the changes were no surprise this visit.  Arriving at the parking area around 10 am there was only one motor home and two other cars.  That was a good sign that I might be able to find room in the large area to get in a soak.

Fee continues to be $5 per car and my Federal access pass was accepted!  It was nice to see that Umpqua Hot Springs have not been contracted out to a concessionaire. 

Once at the pools two young (everyone seems young when you are approaching 62) men working hard at cleaning the pools.  One man in the large area and all were nude.  I enjoyed a nice soak and took the opportunity to take pictures.

The smaller pools

Shortly after getting pictures the place was packing out with folks.  Once back at the parking area and counting eleven vehicles I mentally added up seeing 33 people.  The number included sixteen young college age students hiking in.  They carried no towels or water bottles so I assume they would not be taking the time to remove those long hot looking skinny jeans to take a soak.  One family arriving as I was getting out of the soaking area covered the eyes of their young son who appeared to be about 5 or 6.  

Shirley soaking in the larger pool at Umpqua Hot Springs

While I was prepared to pick up litter the place was clean and I credit the two young men working so hard at cleaning the pools.

Shirley G.

GPS GeoCoords: 43.296376,-122.364019

Driving Instructions: Umpqua Hot Springs is 64.6 miles east of Roseburg. From I-5 Exit 125 in Roseburg, head east on Garden Valley Boulevard to the junction with Highway 99 0.6 miles. Turn right and go to Highway 138/North Umpqua Highway, 0.1 miles. Turn left and head east to Toketee Lake Turn off, Toketee-Rigdon Road/Forest Road 34, 58.6 miles, between mileposts 58 and 59. Turn left and go to the turn off for Umpqua Hot Springs, Forest Road 3401/Thorn Prairie Road, 2.4 miles. Turn right and drive on gravel to the parking area on the left, 2.0 miles

Hiking Instructions: Walk over the bridge next to the parking lot and hike to the hot springs, 0.3 miles. Bear right where the trail forks, generally following the North Umpqua River upstream. The trail is steep in spots. Take caution on the rocky portions of the trail and after coming over and around the hill, bear left at fork and go up towards hot springs.         Rick

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