Deer Creek Hot Springs, also known as Bigelow Hot Springs, is a unique soaking pool nestled along the McKenzie River near the small town of McKenzie Bridge, Oregon.
If you’re planning a trip to Willamette National Forest, consider adding these hot springs to your list of activities to do.
We planned our day trip to Deer Creek Hot Springs without a lot of information. Although we knew that the hot springs were located along the shores of the McKenzie River, there wasn’t a lot of information available about this pool.
Similar to other hot springs in Oregon, this pool can hold approximately 4 people at a time; luckily, I think these hot springs fly under the radar compared to the nearby Terwilliger Hot Springs, so you’ll likely have the hot springs to yourself.
When we ventured to this off-the-beaten-path location, we found the hot springs filled with leaves. It was a bit uncomfortable and slimy for my taste, but still an epic setting in the deep Oregon forest.
Our favorite part about Deer Creek Hot Springs was the neat grotto that was carved out of the river bank. Although a bit spooky, it made the pool really unique.
How to Get to Deer Creek Hot Springs
The most difficult part of our journey to Deer Creek Hot Springs was getting there and finding the location of the hot springs along the river bank. We had heard that it was hard to find the pool and we didn’t want to drive 2 hours for nothing.
Luckily, it was quite easy for us to find the hot springs. If you’re coming from Bend, simply follow Hwy 126 south toward McKenzie Bridge. If you’re coming from Eugene, you’ll follow Hwy 126 east along the river.
Once you’ve reached the turnoff from Hwy 126, follow the bridge over the river. Park on the right side of the road immediately after the bridge.
On the left side of the road, there will be a path that leads to the river bank. Use the picture and map below for visual reference.
Follow the trail that leads down and hugs the river. The hike from the parking lot to the hot springs is very short. Keep an eye out for the grotto that’s carved out of the river bank; this makes it easy to locate.
Is it Worth the Visit?
This is one of the coolest soaking pools I’ve ever visited with the most epic central Oregon setting. With large, moss-covered trees surrounding you, and the beautiful McKenzie River rushing by, it truly is an amazing experience.
My only suggestion is that you don’t visit these hot springs in the fall, winter, or spring. We went to Deer Creek Hot Springs in late November. Although the weather was near freezing, we figured the hot springs would keep us warm.
I froze the entire time I sat in the hot springs and it wasn’t fun; it was lukewarm at best. So, if you plan on visiting, only go on a day with warm weather.
Camping Near Deer Creek Hot Springs
Willamette National Forest is brimming with amazing campgrounds. Although there aren’t any sites in the same location as Deer Creek Hot Springs, here are a few of the best campgrounds nearby:
Paradise Campground – Paradise Campground is located just a few minutes from Bigelow Hot Springs. It is very peaceful, private, and shady.
My favorite part about Paradise Campground is that it’s close to the small town of McKenzie Bridge. We loved this town when we drove through and enjoyed a delicious lunch and beer at the McKenzie Station Restaurant.
Olallie at McKenzie Bridge – another campground located just minutes from the hot springs is Olallie at McKenzie Bridge. This campground is very quiet and right along the river.
Our favorite part about this campground is its close proximity to the Tamolitch Blue Pools, Sahalie Falls, and Koosah Falls. The activities in this vicinity are never-ending; there is so much to discover.
More Hot Springs Near Deer Creek
Oregon is filled with hot springs, which is one of the reasons why I love this state so much. If you’re planning a trip to Deer Creek Hot Springs, why not add a few other hot springs to your itinerary, too?
Belknap Hot Springs – this is a commercialized hot springs resort, so if you’re looking for free soaking pools, this isn’t what you want.
However, if you’re willing to spend some extra money, this is a fantastic place to enjoy some bathing.
Terwilliger Hot Springs– one of the more popular hot springs in Oregon is Terwilliger Hot Springs, also known as Cougar Hot Springs.
If you want the ideal setting with hot pools, this must be on your list of things to do in central Oregon. The only thing I would consider is that these are very popular soaking pools. Choose a time (early in the morning or late at night) to visit when the pools won’t be as busy.
The Wrap Up: Deer Creek Hot Springs
Visiting Deer Creek Hot Springs (also known as Bigelow Hot Springs) is one of the most unique places to visit in central Oregon. Use this guide to plan your trip to these epic soaking pools.
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