Cougar Hot Springs Near McKenzie Bridge in Oregon

Located deep beneath a canopy of primeval forest, clothing optional Cougar AKA Terwilliger Hot Springs features a chain of stair stepped pools fed by a small cave in a wooded ravine. Each of the 5 rock walled pools are slightly cooler than the other starting from 112 and ending near 90 degrees.

Cougar Hot Springs is open year-round and lies in wait at the end of an quarter mile stroll through the Willamette National Forest. Northwest Forest Passes are no longer accepted here, the only way to soak is to pay a $6/day fee or purchase a season pass for $60/year.

Despite the presence of a manned kiosk, Cougar maintains it’s station as one of Oregon’s finest. The current commercial operator American Land & Leisure has helped reduce the amount of vehicle break-ins and vandals that have plagued this hot springs for years.

Cougar Hot Springs is closed from sunset to sunrise and heavily patrolled day and night. Because of Terwilliger’s colorful history, brutal fines are doled out to all violators. FYI, Cougar is closed every Thursday from 8am to 12pm for cleaning.

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Cougar Hot Springs Map and Directions


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Travel east 4 miles on Highway 126 from Blue River and then take Forest Road 19 AKA Aufderheide Drive 5 miles to the signed Terwilliger Hot Springs parking area. Hike 1/4 mile west on Rider Creek Trail #3319 to Terwilliger Hot Springs.

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Cougar Hot Springs Soak Stats:

Season: All (check roads during winter – frequent closures)
Type: Hike
GPS: 44.083 122.233
Map Quad: MCKENZIE BRIDGE 15 or Willamette National Forest Map
Elevation: 1,700
Land: Willamette National Forest
Fee: Yes ($6/day or $60/year)
Restrictions: Nighttime closure
Usage: High
Visibility: Moderate
Temp: 112-85
Water Clarity: Clear
Odor: n/a
pH: n/a
Area Features: Cougar Reservior, Rider Creek Waterfall
Closest Food/Gas: Eugene/Bend
Trash: Moderate-Low
Bugs: Moderate-High (seasonally)
Wildlife: Moderate
Camping: Nearby, no on-site
Clothing Optional: Yes
Pit Toilet: Yes