8 clothing-optional hot springs where you’ll get in touch with your wild side

A person soaks in a rustic tub inside a relaxing hot springs.

The Pacific Northwest’s snowy winters and rainy climate make taking a dip in a steaming thermal bath an enticing choice throughout the year. We’ve listed some of our favorite clothing-optional hot springs resorts and off-the-beaten path spots nestled under the region’s dense forests or next mountain streams. To get the full relaxation experience, where you’ll be able to soak up all the vitamin-rich minerals and not stain your white swimwear, we suggest going in the buff.

Two men embrace inside of a forest thermal bath in Breitenbush Hot Springs.
Credit: Breitenbush Hot Springs

Breitenbush Hot Springs – Oregon

Although more developed than your average remote thermal baths, Breitenbush does not have cell phone service or internet which will aid your digital cleanse. You can buy a day pass or stay in a variety of accommodations throughout the property ranging from yurts to camping. This retreat center in Oregon has a storied queer following, and in fact, has been hosting Radical Faerie queer gatherings since 1982.

A view of Breitenbush Hot Springs from the trail.

Kirkham Hot Springs – Idaho

Only 38 miles from Boise, Kirkham Hot Springs is located at the base of a steaming waterfall that pools into various temperature baths along the South Fork Payette River. This undeveloped spot can get quite busy in the summer but is almost vacant during the snowy winter months.

A man dunks into the frigid stream in ecstasy.

Bigelow Hot Springs – Oregon

Nestled on the banks of the Mckenzie River in Western Oregon, this small, 2-4 person sand and gravel pool is free to the public. We wouldn’t suggest spending all day at Bigelow Creek Hot Springs, but if you’re passing through it’s a suitable place to soak and picnic during a road trip or hike.

Soaking in the naturally terraced riverside hot springs.

Umpqua Hot Springs – Oregon

Located only two hours from Bend, these terraced pools overlook the serene stream. Umpqua Hot Springs is heavily trafficked so we suggest arriving early to get a good spot.

Doe Bay's rainbow flags show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Credit: Doe Bay Resort and Retreat

Doe Bay Resort and Retreat – Washington

Overlooking a peaceful bay in the San Juan islands in Washington, Doe Bay is more than a hot spring and retreat center. It also hosts a summer music series through its artist-in-residence program that aims to showcase emerging Pacific Northwest musicians. If that is not enough to keep you entertained, check out a variety of activities such as whale watching, sea kayaking, or feasting on seafood at its on-site restaurant. The property also houses a tranquil garden where it grows most of the food used to feed its guests.

High in the remote Washington wildnerness you'll find a fern laden steaming bath of healing waters.
Credit: Goldmyer Hot Springs

Goldmyer Hot Springs – Washington

Getting to Washington’s most remote hot spring requires a four-wheel drive vehicle and a 10-mile roundtrip hike. Those lucky enough to win the monthly reservation lottery should expect an adventure into the Washington wilderness to reach Goldmyer. This remote resort has been warming weary travelers’ bones since the early 1900s, and the indigenous people of this region for far longer.

Cascading pools in a small lush gorge make Cougar Hot Springs an inviting prospect.

Terwilliger Hot Springs – Oregon

Only an hour and a half east of Eugene, these natural pools lie at the banks of the Cougar Reservoir in the Willamette National Forest. Once you park and pay the nominal fee, there is a short half-mile hike to Terwilliger’s cascading forest-laden pools. Each pool decreases in temperature starting from the primary pool, where the hot spring originates.

A women with eyes closed soaks in the tranquil waters.

Olympic Hot Springs – Washington

Expect a roundtrip hike of five miles to reach these pools within the infamous Olympic National Park in Washington. At one time there was a road leading to a shorter trail, but one of the bridges has been washed out for years due to flooding. We suggest making this an overnight hike and camp situation unless you’re a fan of hiking in the dark.

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