Cougar Hot Springs

Cougar AKA Terwilliger Hot Springs Near McKenzie Bridge in Oregon

Attention! Cougar Hot Springs is currently closed due to damage resulting from wildfire. Please check the latest closure information before planning a visit. Estimated re-opening date is late 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.

Cougar Hot Springs - Top View

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 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.

See Nearby Hotels in McKenzie Bridge

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

Thermometers, Giant Towels & Waterproof Backpacks!
Guidebooks & Soak Supplies Store


  1. I also am curious if they’re open right after they’re cleaned on Thurs. That’s the only day I have off.

  2. Visited yesterday and loved it. However, two things have changed since the text on this site was written. There is no longer a cave above the pools; it was completely filled with stones at some point. Additionally, the top pool is only around 102 degrees now. This number was provided by the person who accepted our fee at the kiosk, and it felt accurate when we got in. Happy soaking, fellow travelers!

  3. Are they open thanksgiving?

  4. Sure are! Get there early! Happy Trails!

  5. Nice, thanks for the update!

  6. I believe they are.

  7. There are a couple forest service campground nearby along with a few dispersed (primitive) camping options. Closest is Slide Creek Campground.

  8. Awesome, thanks for the update guys!

  9. Dogs are not permitted in or around the pools. However, there is an area to tie up well behaved doggies not far from the pools.

  10. Thanks for the reminder! Always pack your trash out and never bring glass! Do bring a smile! 😉

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