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Home: Oregon Hot Springs: Juntura Hot Springs
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Juntura Hot Springs in Oregon


Vale District (BLM), Malheur Resource Area Overall Rating: A-
3,000 ft Water Temperature: 105 to 115
Juntura Area Usage Level: Heavy

Picture Viewer


04.03.07: Memorial and weed removal


04.03.07: What more could you ask for?


04.03.07


04.07.07: Sagebrush Lizard warming on an old railroad tie


12.18.05: Things have changed... a little


12.18.05: Daniel Dean enjoys a soak amidst falling snow


12.18.05: Frozen tundra


12.18.05: Where did the other bench go?


12.18.05: Excellent soaking temperature


12.18.05: The other bench... sunken seating


12.18.05: The semi-frozen Malheur River


06.26.04: Tough crossing to the hot springs island


01.11.04: How Sweet It Is


09.11.03: Juntura Hot Springs


09.11.03: Sagebrush Lizard


03.19.03: Hot, Clear Water


03.19.03: What A Sight


03.19.03: Easy River Crossing


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[ View 04.03.07 Juntura Hot Springs Video Clip ]

General Description
Juntura Hot Springs, located in the high desert of southeast Oregon features a large and deep rock-walled pool with a semi-soft sand and rock bottom along with light amounts of algae - the 2 benches have finally been removed from the pool after being torn down and utilized in the pool. The concrete slab adjoining the large pool remains along with a memorial marker for a young man that died at the hot springs (see below).

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
04.07.07 extreme light
04.03.07 - 04.04.07 extreme light
10.18.06 n/a none
12.18.05 high none
01.11.04 low to moderate none
09.11.03 - 09.13.03 high moderate flies
03.19.03 high none

Water Clarity:
Clear

Visibility:
Moderate

Odor(s):
None Noticed

Wildlife Sighted: Mule Deer, Prairie Falcons, Northern Harriers, Sagebrush Lizards, Kingfisher

Seasonal Notes
Road could turn into muck-pots in rain and deteriorates the closer you get to the HS (4x4 recommended most times of year). During winter; once you turn off hwy 20 the road is pretty much snow and ice covered - don't even attempt without 4x4 and chains. The Malheur River is impassible during most of runoff.

Camping Notes
There are 2 to 3 great sites just before you cross the river to the hot spring island. Plenty of other camping opportunities nearby as well.

Briefings

04.03.07 - 04.04.07 and 04.07.07
Juntura was a rare high-desert treat, as usual. The ford was barley manageable - on the 3rd Beulah Reservoir was let-out, thus beginning high-desert spring runoff. I would imagine within a week or two the water will be moving too swift for a safe ford. On the 3rd the river was about 3 feet deep, on the 4th close to 3.25 feet and on the 7th above 3.5 feet. The soaking was great, although approximately 2 feet of depth in the pool was lost due to someone dumping a bunch of sand into the pool. The result - no change in bottom softness, if that was the intended goal. Thousands of tiny bits of trash litter the hot springs, primitive site and surrounding area. New are 2 illegal fire pits, both are next to the pool and river - all fire pits have to be 200 feet from any water source! Beer trash everywhere and plenty of traffic in and out of the hot springs.
Rating: A-

10.18.06
Now I know why I've heard this place referred to as 'Hunter's Hot Springs' many times. Note: Not to be confused with the commercial hot springs of the same name further south. There were pop-tents, RVs, canvas tents with stoves and a hoard of trucks. I've never seen so many here before... Needless to say I wasn't around long.

01.15.05 News Update
A Nampa man drowned in Juntura Hot Springs today (click for full story)

12.18.05
It has been too long since my last visit to this stellar soak. Albeit; the road (once off the hwy) was pretty icy with a couple inches of snow to boot, and the drive out of the area was somewhat sketchy in a few spots due to rapid snowfall and temps below freezing. Near Mile Marker 207 on Highway 20 (between Vale and Juntura) is where the shoe tree stands - see picture >

I would not recommend driving across the semi-frozen river to access the hot springs island - while most of the path was frozen there were wet spots where the ice was broken that clearly revealed water beneath. See picture to view conditions >

The soaking was awesome! The cold weather has most definitely tempered the usually toasty water; I got consistent 105 readings from different places in the pool. The worst thing about the whole trip (besides all the frozen trash to pick up) was getting out. While we were in the pool ice would form on hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and even skin exposed in the direction of the wind. Soaking in the snow was awesome, but the downside was that it covered everything... no big deal - just made life a little cooler.
Rating: A

01.11.04
Juntura doesn't disappoint during winter. In fact, this is the best time of the year to soak in the big pool because of it's hot temps. We had this baby to ourselves for the 1st half-hour then were joined by 2 girls and a guy from Caldwell, all of which were very nice. Then, moments later 2 trucks rolled in, both crashing through the icy water to reach the island and park right next to the pool. The guys from the truck seemed somewhat nice, but they kept staring at everyone until some of us decided to leave, then they stared at us while we got dressed... which was a little much. Dem boys need to be learned some manners. That's the thing with hot springing, you never know who you'll run into. Besides all of the drama, we all left feeling completely refreshed from the full-body soak in Juntura's bubbling hot water.
Rating: A-

09.11.03 - 09.13.03
It's tough to beat this desert hot springs retreat. Last time I was here I saw no one, this time each day brought a steady flow of visitors. However, almost everyone who visited only soaked only for a half hour before leaving (I strongly believe this is due to the hot temp. of the source pool). In fact, we were the only campers/hikers in the vicinity.

There are a couple of great campsites just a few paces away from the hot springs that both sport nicely designed fire rings. Be cautious of visiting this HS during hunting season as this is a popular and favorite spot for hunters. There is also a small tunnel nearby that once was for trains but is now partially collapsed that makes for a cool excursion from Juntura.
Rating: A-

03.19.03
What's better than a hot soak next to a river? ...A hot soak on an island in the river!! This HS was pretty nice even despite the light amount of trash and hot source pool (108). This HS is labeled as a warm spring in a few other listings, but it has been my experience that warm springs are typically in the 80s and maybe low 90s (temp. wise). Just in case, I would bring a bucket or one of those collapsible buckets so you can cart in some cold river water and at the very least enjoy a short soak if the source pool temp. is on the hot side or if you plan to enjoy this pool during warmer weather. I'm estimating Juntura's prime soaking season to be from November through February. From the looks of it some kind people keep a stock of wood in a box near the pool for nights when the pool is too hot and the outside air is too cold. The 2 wood benches are a nice complement to this HS and are relatively new. They have replaced the decaying car seats that adjoined the pool in previous years.
Rating: A-

Average Rating: A-

Traffic Updates

06.26.04
We tried to soak in Juntura on our way back to Idaho from the Oregon Cascades, but the Malheur River was raging! It was moving swift and the water level was as high as I've ever seen. It could be possible to cross as long as you know what you are doing.

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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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