Find your favorite hot spring
The Pacific Northwest is a geothermic wonderland, home to dozens of natural hot springs. While summer draws the largest crowds to these mineral-rich pools, autumn and winter months are my family’s favorite time to stop in for a hot, restorative soak or swim. Even with a serious chill in the air, these mineral pools stay nice and steamy. And at the end of a brisk autumn hike in the Cascadia backcountry there are few things more satisfying than dipping into warm water under a ceiling of fir trees.
Northwest hot springs come in many varieties. Some are scenic, natural basins set deep in the woods. Trails to primitive hot springs are usually short in length and well-trodden, as thousands come in search of their relaxing minerals and rumored curative powers.
On the other end of the geothermal spectrum are traditional in-ground swimming pools filled with hot mineral water piped in from a nearby source, often with onsite lodging and restaurants that add up to an easy family getaway. Still, as appealing as the hot spring swimming pools are to families, there’s a special “wow” factor for kids who have the opportunity to hike into natural hot springs.
We recommend you try both to see for yourself. Here are six hot-springs getaways in the Pacific Northwest to get you started. (Note: Sol Duc closes for the winter season.)
Safety tip: Always supervise children very closely when they are in and around hot springs pools. Some kids need to be reminded to step out of the pool every once in awhile to cool off . Check in that they are not getting over-heated, and push water to keep them hydrated.
Browse all the springs or skip to your favorite: