Umpaqua Hot Springs, OR

Leaving Florence I head south on 101 on my way to Bandon. The rain and wind at my back, I have only been a day ahead of bad weather. I take the scenic route thru town and up the bluff to a nice paved look out. Chewy and I enjoy lunch and I chat with Joe on the cell phone. We head outside for a quick walk and I take some pictures. The wind was blowing at least 40. I thought Chewy was going to fly off the rock! I must have laughed for 15 minutes watching him walk around with those ears flapping! With one last picture we’re on our way to the hot springs. I have been looking forward to this since I left my hot tub in Granite Falls.

 So we head East on 40, cross I-5 and head North East on 132. We make it to the Glide Ranger station 20 minutes before it closes. I spoke to the ranger about the hot springs. I was given the impression there is a large enough lot to turn the home around and the trail head is marked. He was kind enough to call up to the other ranger station so I could inquire about the trail and snow. Appears the weather is actually in my favor, clear sailing for camping and a hike. I head back out to HWY 132 and it’s dusk. I drive for another 20 minutes or so and find a nice wide spot in the road to pull over by the river. The next morning I head out early in search of the hot springs. I stop at a little store and inquire again about the hot springs. I’ve asked three people and have had three different stories. Her version is a 3.5 mile hike, she’s been there and I’m told there is not a sign off 132 so I need to look for the ranger station sign.

There are definitely no signs for the hot springs but with the description from the woman at the store I find the parking area and campground where the trail head should be. It’s now early afternoon so I decide to wait until morning to hike to the hot springs. Happily there is both cell phone and Internet here. So I caught up on FB and Hulu. Had a nice chillin’ evening.

The next morning it’s pouring! It takes me until 8:30 to motivate to find the trail head. I took my raincoat, mace, compass, energybar, headlamp and my water. I find a sign that marks the Umpaqua north trail and go for it. I know the hike could be anywhere from 1.5 to 7 miles although I didn’t bring a pedometer or time piece. I was really enjoying my hike, taking pictures, a nice casual pace, I kept thinking the springs were just around the corner. I figured I could walk a 20 minute mile easily at this pace, I should be at the hot springs by eleven and back to camp by 2.

During my hike I never felt that I was lost or would not be able to find my way back. The trail was well used and maintained and I was following the river bank the entire time. I was just about feeling I should turn around and abort my mission when I saw a hydro plant and a man working the screens. I walked over watched him for a while & decided to ask what time it was, thinking maybe 1pm. I introduce my self and inquire about the time. Turns out it was 5:30 and I had walked 16 miles! John was nice enough to offer me a ride back to the home. I gladly accepted and thanked him profusely. Once in the truck I explained to him that I had intended to hike to the hot springs. He was not surprised to hear the “Umpaqua Hot Springs, clothing optional” sign was gone it is apparently a high theft item. Seeing my disappointment he decided to show me the “local” spot, where to park and the “down tree”. The hot springs are a mere 1/4 after that!

John was kind enough to drop me at my door, wished me luck and was off to a call at another plant. Chewy was happy to see me, and we did a quick tour of the park marking everything in his path. We had a wonderful site right on the river edge, I fell asleep to the sound of the river.

I woke the next morning stiff and sore, looking forward to my soak. Now that I knew the secret squirrel spot I drive the motor-home further up the dirt road. I brought the camera and my towel, ready!

Sure enough over the log and up a super steep hill and there it was!!! Ten minute walk, five of them were spent catching my breath at the top! I think I soaked for a couple hours, I tried all the pools and my favorite for view and experience was right on the edge over looking the river. I enjoyed the hottest pool at 105 but it was quite shallow and had an odd shape to it.

 

  

Umpaqua Hot Springs
Category: attraction

Comments

By Ron Cook on January 28th, 2010 at 9:52 am

You are getting some amazing images Lori! im jealous!! keep posting.. the world is watching! 🙂

 

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