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Home: Oregon Hot Springs: Cougar (Terwilliger) Hot Springs
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Cougar (Terwilliger) Hot Springs in Oregon

Season: All Type: H (hike)
Willamette National Forest Overall Rating: A+
2,000 ft Water Temperature: 96 to 110
Blue River Area Usage Level: Heavy

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06.25.04: What more could you ask for?

06.25.04: Happy soakers, crystal-clear pools, perfect temperatures

Up | Down | Top | Bottom
Pool Condition

Deep and wide rock and gravel pools laid out in stair formation - the hottest pool is at the top, and cold water is channeled in from the creek via log flumes.

Cougar Websites:
Willamette National Forest Cougar Information
Cougar Hot Springs on

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
06.25.04 Low Low

Water Clarity:



Wildlife Sighted: Deer

Seasonal Notes

Accessible year-round.

Click for Eugene, Oregon Forecast

Camping Notes

There are primitive campsites and cushy campgrounds nearby, camping or nighttime use of the springs is not permitted.

Usage Fee Information

As of May 2005, Hoodoo Recreation Services now operates Terwilliger Hot Springs (see link above). Northwest Forest Passes are no longer accepted at this location. Soakers now have to purchase a $5 parking pass and pay an additional $5/person fee. The only other option is to purchase a $50 annual pass. Parking passes, per person fees and annual passes can be purchased directly from Hoodoo Recreation Services, on-site from the attendants, at Patio RV Park in McKenzie Bridge, the Campstore at Hoodoo Ski Lodge and at Umbrella Properties in Coburg.

Trip Reports

Wow! Awesome! We hit Cougar AKA Terwilliger early in the AM hoping to have a semi-private soaking experience, especially since it was our first time. The brief hike through the primeval forest was nothing short of lush, and the trail and surrounding area was well kept. Keep in mind you are supposed to have a Northwest Forest Pass in order to visit the springs. We had ours, and were definitely among the minority despite that many of them had received their share of $50 tickets.

Upon arrival to the pools we greeted a couple in their mid to late twenties (much like ourselves) that were taking a 'smoke' break. There was also an older fellow that the couple identified as a longtime Forest Service Ranger soaking in one of the pools. After about an hour, a steady stream of people began to trickle in. It should be noted that the bulk majority soak au natural here, and do so legally according to all of the signs.

We chatted it up with some of the more talky soakers but were also able to enjoy a few nice quiet moments. I found out that the couple has been coming to the springs since childhood, when they lived in Eugene. He spoke of a story in which a father was slain in the pool here on his birthday by a crazy man with a shotgun, which resulted in nighttime closure. He also said that the hippies and loggers have shared many a skirmish on these grounds. I was a bit sad to hear about all of the violent stories surrounding this hot springs. It made me think about how the Native Americans valued hot springs as sacred grounds, and would not fight on premises regardless of who was at war.

None the less, Cougar was stellar! The soaking was great, and the soakers were friendly too. I've soaked all over Idaho, and have been pleasantly shocked at how much friendlier and environmentally conscience Oregonians are.
Rating: A+

Average Rating: A+


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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