Austin Hot Springs

Austin Hot Springs

Austin Hot Springs Clackamas River Oregon

Approximately 60 miles outside of Portland along Highway 224 lies Austin Hot Springs. This natural hot spring, heated by volcanic activity, sits in and along the Clackamas River, among the pristine trees of the Mt. Hood National Forest. There could be several rock pools along the river suitable for qualification depending on the season.

Please be aware of Austin’s 200+ degree bursts of hot water and use extreme caution when soaking in this spring. There are suitable spots to soak, just be very careful to not scald yourself. A waterproof digital thermometer can help locate burst zones.

Austin Hot Springs Map and Directions

From Estacada, travel 30 miles southeast on HWY 224, which becomes the Clackamas River Road. Approximately 4 miles east of River Ford Campground the pools can be found nestled along the Clackamas River.

The Latest Austin Hot Springs Instagram Photos

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Austin Hot Springs Video

Austin Hot Springs Soak Stats:

Season: Summer, Fall (avoid during spring runoff, access road often closed during winter)
Type: Roadside
GPS: 45.021 122.009
Map Quad: FISH CREEK MTN. 15 (or Mount Hood National Forest Map)
Elevation: 1,750
Land: Private
Fee: No
Restrictions: Officially closed
Usage: High
Visibility: High
Temp: 116-105 (use thermometer)
Water Clarity: Semi-Clear
Odor: n/a
pH: n/a
Area Features: Clackamas River
Closest Food/Gas: Estacada
Trash: High
Bugs: Moderate-High (seasonally)
Wildlife: Moderate
Camping: Nearby, no on-site
Clothing Optional: Mix
Pit Toilet: No

30 Comments

  1. Yes I am curious if Austin hot springs is on forest service land or if it is privately owned? I have some clients looking to purchase a hotsprings even if it is undeveloped. A creek or a river on the property is a must. Thank you please let me know if you know of any.

  2. There was a big clean up save the spring party in Sept 2011. the week after I had a lovely soak, with some other visitors. just be sure to pay your parking pass at the ranger station. then park on side of road and walk in. during the fall the river is low enough to walk over to see springs on the other side of river also.

    Keep mixing the water with hand or feet. I found that if you sit still too long, the very hot water floats on the top and can initially be very hot. but just a swirl and then very nice . Plus you can cool it down by moving rocks to let river water in. There were 4-5 pools that you can sit or lay in. About 2 feet deep?

    White rocks and green algea show you where hotest points are. test before you go all the way in and to be safe stay closer to the river side of rocks.

  3. According to the Oregon Forest Service (Estacada Ranger Station) , the Austin hot srings are closed, and privately owned. Additionaly, if anyone is caught and escorted of the property, it comes with a $500 fine and a tresspassing charge. HAPPY SOAKING!!! 11/04/2011

  4. If you were paying attention, google will tell you all you need to know! no the forest service doesnt own the land its private! PGE in some way shape or form owns the land in the form of a trust!

  5. If YOU were paying attention Planted38, you’d know that J. Frank Schmidt now owns the land. PGE had it in the 60’s and 70’s, where it once had a campground. But PGE closed the campground in the late 70’s because Russian immigrants were living there full time and threatening others who attempted to camp there. PGE turned it into a day use only park for a few years. After a few lawsuits in the early 80’s for people being scalded, PGE closed the park and tore out the footbridge. They then sold the property. Schmidt bought it hoping to develop it into another Brightbush Resort type location… but failed to gain the permits and codes to do such. After being sued twice, he took measures to make access to the area difficult. It has been up for sale for at least 3 years now, but he is wanting too much for it.

  6. I found it too hot to keep feet in. That week, news said 2 people were burned there, and it is privately owned, and not supposed to be open to the public, though many use it daily

  7. If it is below the high water mark it is completely legal in Oregon. You can own river front property here but if the shore is below water in winter time then people can use it during summer.

  8. I first soaked in Austin at age 7 in 1978. And once again I found myself there last weekend. The one thing I found about these springs is that if you want to enjoy them.. Be willing to put some work into them. Dig until you are about 2-3 feet deep, place all rock you dig out into the walls of the pool. Start with large rock, then smaller rocks, and then sand to keep the river out. in the end you should have only sand on the bottom and a nice warm pool. the hot water is about 2-3 inches on the top. just swirl that downward and it will heat the cooler water on the bottom. How big of a pool you want to dig is up to you…Have a great soak:)

  9. Can someone tell me exactly where to go? I drove out there and followed the gps but just saw river. Nice drive though and bagbys were hoppin.

  10. This is a beautiful hot spring. The pools along the southern bank of the river were shallow and some lovely folks thought it’d be a great idea to carpet the hot spring with old rugs and such. My party removed the rugs.. gross! But watch out for broken glass. If you continue east along the river about, I don’t know, 300 feet or so there’s a path down to the water and a rope strung across it to use as a ferry line. We blew up rafts and pulled ourselves across. There is a much better pool on this side, it is much deeper and at the perfect temperature. Some other lovely folks (probably the same ones with the carpet) put a broken bench and metal table into this one but it’s big enough so that you can sit away from them. There is a beautiful maple over hanging the shore here and birds abound. Gorgeous!

  11. Hello I am thinking of going here in February. Have a thing for Aqwa. Is it do-able?

  12. Anyone ever visit Austin in the winter? If the road is closed how far of a hike in is it? Doable?

  13. you can hike or ski into there in the winter but distance all depends on how far from the ranger station they plow the road. One bit of advice is set up camp before you soak. We failed that our first time and had trouble putting up our tents after soaking as it drained us of needed energy.

  14. Made the trip here today. Road was open, just a bit of construction at mi. marker 38 had to wait 10 minutes. Unfortunately the pools were all cold from the fast flowing river. What a beautiful site of a spring right on the river though with steam bellowing. Hope to attempt again in spring.
    The amounts of trash at and around this site is so sad. And whoever put carpet in a river bed is an idiot. Couldn’t reach it to pull it out but this place definitely needs a clean up.

  15. please leave the carpet in place until you can replaces it…this spring is know to throw off random plumes of VERY VERY hot water!

  16. I have been going to Austin longer than it has been popular and the carpet in nasty. There is no need for it. If you feel you need something under yourself when you go into the springs you should bring something that you can take out yourself. This is a natural area not an area to leave carpet for your relaxation spot.

  17. Are these springs still available to access?

  18. Was going to go here next week but these comments have me second guessing that decision.

  19. Also curious if it’s accessible, think I’ll check it out tomorrow.

  20. Angie, did you go?

  21. Not accessible, the ranger station said a native american tribe has purchased it, which I can only assume is the Warm Springs Indians, also said the sheriff has been up every other day to enforce no trespassing. I hear they are being secretive about there plans. Let’s just hope they have good luck and good intentions developing thecplace.

  22. I was up there last week and didn’t have any problems! Please if you go up, take your trash with you,

  23. Wow iam totally disgusted with Oregon. I was born and raised in Portland Oregon I’m 50 years old my parents took my family up to olallie Lake and the national forests around the area our intire childhood at least 10 times a year . Austin Hot Springs was most definitely included in our familly outtings . I have memories with Campground and a well maintained sanitary system . I haven’t been up there for the last 7 years and after going up there this Labor Day weekend I do not know if I will return sad to say the entire Forest around the hot springs he’s being used as a toilet nobody seems to teach the children or others how to dig a hole and bury your fecal matter. I mean I went on a trail that led to another deer trail and every 10ft there was toilet paper piles as far as you can see disgusting. this is what happens if it’s not maintained by our Forest Service because clearly the general public can’t maintain it either or won’t. disgusting totally . Come on people teach your children how to clean up after yourselves be proud of you in Oregon and what happened to The Pride I am just makes it saddens me. I have lost for words to describe how I feel our forest or turned into a toilet and yet 150 years ago we live it off these forests go visit it tell me if you want to live off of it now help make Oregon cleaner place to live

  24. I am getting hep a and b vaccines since so many places in the wild/urban interface are so overused and no one wants to pay to clean up. Its what happens when population outstrips support systems

  25. Angela DePriest

    October 18, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Blame dirty nudist materialistic wannabe “consciousness ascension” festival goers (in other words: millennials) who think the world is their oyster, that they’re at the center of their own universe while being seeped in sheer narcissism; and that its all about orgies, drugs and rainbow glitter sex… Idiots. I am so ashamed to be a millennial, I don’t even associate with my own generation any more. Yeah, they’re really at the “frontier” of consciousness ascension (excuse me while I fall over laughing).

  26. Angela DePriest

    October 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

    That was me below, and no.. I didn’t go. Judging by recent descriptions, I don’t plan on it.. God I wish there was some hot springs SOMEWHERE that wasn’t packed full of ascension consciousness wannabes running around spewing their trash and narcissism everywhere.

  27. I’m fascinated to read the cultural decline and total lack of sustaining in and around Portland. With what the state consumes in the rate of income taxes, you would think there was plenty of funds to keep Oregon, “postcard beautiful” but I guess all the revenue is being pissed away on attracting millions of Homeless folks that add to the litter in and around the urban cesspools. My family was outright lied to in the recruitment process to relocate here to Oregon. We will take our earning (income) and flee to a better state. One that actually cares about their parks and their people, and refuses to tolerate indigents.

  28. So sad to read most of this.i have lived here most if my 63 years.my children are Oregon native.i choose this place for our home.i lived in colorado.i choose Pacific northwest. I use to hike weekly.every week,till I no longer could.i can’t figure out why people need to trash such a beautiful place.we get so many outsiders,I don’t consider myself an outsider.i have volunteer for many things an
    d many ways to give back.why is it so hard to pick up your own trash and waste.when you g9 into one of our beautiful places leave it without any thing that’s not natural.take a shovel bury you human waste.take a garbage bag and leave it better than you found it.it will last forever that way.Dam just care a little.please.

  29. Just disregard the majority of the above comments. There’s a lot of ignorance spewed here. Austin is a hor spring with distinct seasonal moods and is very definitely not public land. I can be the most beautiful place or a sesspool of idiots. To start with, it has been continually used by the public forever, that continues unabashed. It was a PGE park, then was sold to some guy, foreclosed to some investors that tried to fill it with landfill unsuccessfully, and now recently it is owned by the Warm Springs Indians. According to locals and long-term summer campers there has been no particular push by the tribe to kick the public out. Over the years the sheriffs do occasionally come and chase every one out. Technically the springs are under the high water mark of the river and are therefore legal for anyone to access. If you access with a watercraft, you can stay. The trespassing comes from crossing the land from the street. Although camping here is common, it is gross as slobs just leave their feces and trash everywhere. Group do come and voluntarily clean up sometimes. If you come bring a bag and haul some trash. In the summer its very popular-probably over 50 people crowd in, leaving their trash and diapers everywhere. This is also when the pools are huge and deep. Family oriented-don’t go nude- the large regular group of Orthodox Russians will throw rocks at you. If you have to, wait until night or early morning. Spring and late fall the springs are quiet and gorgeous, but also smaller and prone to moving uphill, so bring gloves and a bucket and build your adventure. The springs are useable in winter, but you will have to dig and will hold only a couple people. Also you must always sit on a rug or hot bursts will scald your bum. The hot pool will melt skin off children and dogs, but is great for boiling eggs. I’ve seen boiled lobsters and canned food cooked in that pool too. Seriously. No, you can’t win a law suit-they made a law special for it. Dusk during the meteor showers is amazing-so many bats swooping and shooting stars. If you’re really brave cross the river upstream a bit for another large very well controlled hot spring.

  30. Has anyone been up there lately? Wondering if it’s too early in the year to go being as you have wait for the river to be low enough.

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