Cougar Hot Springs

Cougar AKA Terwilliger Hot Springs Near McKenzie Bridge in Oregon

Attention! Cougar Hot Springs reopened on Monday, July 1st, 2019 along with Aufderheide Drive AKA Forest Road 19 after a 10-month closure due to wildfire damage. Please treat this area with care.

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.

Pictures of Cougar Hot Springs

Above Photos Courtesy Alison Catanese Tompkins

General Information

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.

Nightime Closure

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.

See Nearby Hotels in McKenzie Bridge (Expedia paid link)

Terwilliger Hot Springs Videos

Cougar Hot Springs





A profile on Terwiliger Hot Springs in Terwiliger, OR.

Terwilliger / Cougar Hot Springs Music Video





Video series about Cougar hot springs, Oregon. Piano music “Summer Stream” by Bill Pease. The place never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

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

53 thoughts on “Cougar Hot Springs”

  1. 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

  2. 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”

  3. Claire Hulstrom

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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