We’ve always found that bathing in the warm mineral water of natural hot springs is one of the best ways to relieve stress and relax. It’s that ‘ahhhh‘ feeling you get when slipping into the water, shuffling around and finding that perfect position, and then looking out on a breathtaking landscape. That’s why McCredie Hot Springs, just outside of Oakridge, Oregon in the Willamette National Forest, is an absolute must visit when you’re in this part of the world.
These wonderful hot springs are fed by hot natural mineral water that collects in pools that form thanks to man-made rock walls. The result is the chance for a refreshing hot spring dip in an accessible destination!
There’s lots to do here than just relax your muscles in a soothing hot spring. There’s hiking, camping and even kayaking opportunities available here too.
We’re going to cover all of that right here, as well as what to expect at McCredie Hot Springs. We also share some of our favorite hiking trails, and places to eat near the springs!
Visiting McCredie Hot Springs: What to Expect
McCredie Hot Springs are in a beautiful natural setting where you can relax and take in the sights and sounds of the Willamette National Forest. Spend some time soaking here and just enjoy after a long day hike (we give you our favorite hikes later).
Thankfully McCredie Hot Springs is very easy to access. It’s located just of Willamette Highway and you can get there by parking at the McCredie day use area and following the path there – a short walk will take you to the springs.
There are two to four hot springs available for use. The exact number and size of the pools will vary during different points throughout the year. The depth is usually around two feet.
In fact, the temperatures of the hot springs can vary significantly throughout the year as well. But in general, expect the temperature of McCredie Hot Springs to be a very pleasant 100-115F. At the source it tends to range around 125-130F, but cools down as the mineral water makes its way to the pools.
Because of the variation in water temperature throughout the year, it’s recommended to test the water before jumping in to avoid burning yourself. However the hot springs also border a cold salt creek that you can cool off in if you want too – it’s the best of both worlds!
It’s best to keep in mind that the McCredie Hot Springs are in a natural setting, so there are no amenities on site when there. Although there is a restroom at the parking day use area, but it’s rustic and minimally stocked.
Additionally, clothing at the hot springs is optional, so keep in mind that different visitors might have varying levels of attire when there – and some may have no clothes at all!
Tips for Visiting McCredie Hot Springs
While it’s accessible, McCredie Hot Springs is still remote, so it’s likely you won’t have cell service when visiting. Keep this in mind when factoring in GPS directions.
As we mentioned above, there are no amenities at the springs, and the restroom at the parking area is pretty basic so you may want to plan your bathroom breaks accordingly.
You’ll also want to bring water with you as you’ll need it when soaking. Any additional items like snacks, towels, change of clothes, etc. you should bring with you as well.
McCredie Hot Springs: Nearby Activities You Should Try!
While the McCredie Hot Springs are definitely worth visiting in themself, they likely won’t take up your entire day, no matter how much you enjoy wallowing!
Thankfully there’s plenty of things to do around the springs. Why not spend the other half of your day doing some sightseeing or hiking through the beautiful surrounding national forest.
Here are our top picks for things to do near McCredie Hot Springs.
Salt Creek Falls
Just 8 miles up the road from the hot springs is Salt Creek Falls.
At roughly 286 feet, Salt Creek Falls is the second highest waterfall in Oregon! Set in ancient woodland, this cascade has a plunge pool that adventurous souls sometimes decide to have a cold dip in.
However if you want to keep warm after your hot spring soak, you can drive up to an observation platform that is accessible for everyone. From the platform you get a fantastic view down towards the waterfall and surrounding forest.
One thing to keep in mind is that the falls are much higher in elevation than the hot springs. The weather, therefore, will be much cooler. Plan accordingly and dress in layers if you want to visit Salt Creek Falls.
Hiking at McCredie Hot Springs
The McCredie Hot Springs is inside Willamette National Forest, so there’s plenty of hiking options nearby.
Many of the trails nearby are challenging because of the terrain and dramatic changes in elevation. That means you can make a trip here a real adventure by boondocking while hiking in the region (Related: Dispersed Camping in Oregon).
Those that are experienced hikers and backpackers can explore trails like the Maiden Peak Trail, which is a 17-mile hike that will take you to some stunning lakes – see the trail map here. This is a difficult trail but is barely used, so you may have it all to yourself.
The High Divide Trail is another challenging hike that will take you through meadows and lakes and into the Waldo Lake Wilderness. In total the elevation is 1200 ft, but you’ll need a self-issue wilderness permit to do the hike – you can get that here. The trail map is here.
If you’re looking for a less intense hiking experience, Salmon Creek Trail makes an excellent day hike in combination with the hot springs. Salmon Creek Trail is an easy 4.8 mile out and back trail that will take you through forest with some time as you follow this pretty creek. See the trail map for that hike here.
You can also access the huge Pacific Crest Trail at Willamette Pass. Hike a portion of this iconic trail and enjoy some time outdoors in a beautiful natural setting. Bliss.
Roughly 30-45 minutes away from McCredie Hot Springs is Waldo Lake – an absolutely gorgeous lake with wonderful hues of blue.
Waldo Lake is surrounded by wilderness on three sides and is the second deepest natural lake in the state. It’s one of our favorite places in Oregon, and a real must visit when passing by this area.
Activities at Waldo Lake include canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and enjoying some serene time near the water. In particular, kayaking and camping at Waldo Lake is one of the best ways to really experience the natural surroundings here.
What to Eat: Nearby Restaurants at McCredie Hot Springs
You’ll likely be hungry after visiting McCredie Hot Springs, and food options in the immediate area are somewhat slim.
However there are some great options that we’ve discovered on previous trips here. Your best bet for restaurants is to drive to Oak Ridge, which is a nearby town that many outdoor enthusiasts use as “base camp” for their adventures in the wilderness. There you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and options for food.
To help you along, here’s our top restaurants in Oak Ridge for food and drinks while visiting the area!
Stewart’s 58 Drive In
Stewart’s 58 Drive In is a popular diner that is a relaxed place to drop in for a quick bite. The décor is fun, and the food is delicious. Stop here to enjoy some burgers, fries, and other diner food. There are vegetarian options too.
Deep Woods Distillery
Deep Woods Distillery is a great place to enjoy a local cocktail or spirit. This local distillery has a lively night scene, with outdoor live music during the summer months.
Food is also available here, but the main focus is the locally crafted spirits and cocktails.
A fantastic place for some well deserved drinks after a day or two of hiking and hot spring soaking!
3 Legged Crane
3 Legged Crane is an ale house and brewery that is well worth a stop. Many go for the beer but there’s also a good selection of classic American food that hits the spot after a full day outside. A must visit!
Our Final Word: McCredie Hot Springs
When planning your trip to Oregon, McCredie Hot Springs is definitely worth the day trip. While there you can also pack in a lot of other activities for a full day within Willamette National Forest. There’s plenty to do and see while here – which is why we keep coming back!