Cougar Hot Springs

Cougar AKA Terwilliger Hot Springs Near McKenzie Bridge in Oregon

Attention! Cougar Hot Springs is currently closed due to wildfire. Please check the latest Terwilliger fire closure information before planning a visit. Estimated re-opening date is summer 2019.

Located deep beneath the canopy of a primeval forest, clothing optional 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 is 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 a 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 number of vehicle break-ins and vandals that have plagued this hot springs for years.

Cougar Hot Springs - Top View

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 8 am to 12 pm for cleaning.

Cougar Hot Springs Map and Directions

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.

Terwilliger Hot Springs Videos

Cougar AKA Terwilliger 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, near Belknap Hot Springs
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
Instagram #CougarInstagram #Terwilliger
Wikipedia

10 Comments

  1. Sad news friends, access to Cougar is currently closed in both directions until further notice due to a landslide. Here is the news article: http://kval.com/outdoors/landslide-blocks-access-to-oregon-hot-springs

  2. Does anyone know if the hot springs are open again?

  3. Are the springs open now?

  4. Just what’s up there this weekend and the road is still closed they haven’t even started to move it rocks out of wood be a couple months

  5. Access to Cougar has been CLOSED winter and spring 2018 due to a massive rockslide on access road Jan 2018.
    Here is latest from FS https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4391

    “3/26/2018: Access to Terwilliger Hot Springs and the west side of Cougar Reservoir and from Forest Service Road 19 (Aufderheide Scenic Byway) remains blocked due to rockfall. There is no safe way to reach the hot springs at this time. Forest Order 06-18-01-18-06”

  6. Claire Hulstrom

    May 5, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    When I went there 2 weeks ago road was closed to everything. Foot traffic and all 🙁

  7. Does anybody know if the road has reopened at this time? I am coming to Oregon in mid June and I would love to visit the springs.

  8. Still closed in both directions. Rockslide to the north, road construction to the south. No official word on when. Even though it seems the trailhead should be accessible from the non-rockslide side, the local officials have been telling folks that nobody is allowed at the hot springs.

  9. Here’s the latest info about the Terwilliger fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6160/

    Hoping and praying the hot springs survived.

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