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Home: Washington Hot Springs: Olympic Hot Springs
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Olympic Hot Springs in Washington

Season: All Type: H (hike)
Olympic National Park Overall Rating: A-
2,062 ft Water Temperature: Varies per pool
Near Lake Mills Usage Level: Extreme

Olympic Hot Springs Map

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Olympic Hot Springs Picture Viewer

Additional Olympic Hot Springs Pictures

03.29.06: Pool 2 of 5

03.29.06: Lake Mills on the drive to the trailhead

03.29.06: The way across the 1st (of 3) trail washouts

03.29.06: Pristine mini-waterfalls were abundant on the hike in

03.29.06: This bridge is right before the 1st hot springs pool

03.29.06: Pool 1 of 5

03.29.06: What more could you ask for? (Pool #3)

03.29.06: Close-up of pool 2

03.29.06: Pool 4 of 5

03.29.06: Pool 5 of 5 - don't soak in this one!

03.29.06: Qualifying pool #3 of 5

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[ View 03.29.06 Video Clips ]

General Description

Nestled in the majestic Olympic National Park, the hike to Olympic Hot Springs is 2.5 miles from the trailhead during warmer months. When there is snow, road barricades are erected, and increase the hike in from 2.5 to 6.5 miles during winter. The hot springs emanate from multiple locations to feed a group of 5 pools; where 3 out of the 5 are typically a sweet soak.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
03.29.06 moderate light

Water Clarity:
semi-clear to murky


moderate sulfur

Seasonal Notes

While the hot springs are usable all year, snow shoes might be in order during winter months. Road barriers are pushed back 4 miles during the winter because of snow and snow drifts - extending the hike to 6.5 miles, 1-way. This significantly increases the elevation gain as well.

Click for Port Angeles, Washington Forecast

Wildlife Notes

To protect raccoons, bears and other wildlife, all food, garbage and scented items must be secured from all wildlife 24 hours a day. If staying overnight; all food, garbage and scented items must be hoisted to keep it from Bears and other wildlife.

Dog Notes

Dogs are not allowed on any trails in the Olympic National Park, they are only allowed in select campgrounds while on-leash (strictly enforced).

Camping Notes

Nearest campground: Altaire/Elwha (5 miles from trail head). There are 2 camping sites near the hot springs for backpackers, one even features a pit toilet.

Trip Reports

My first time in the Olympic National Park proved to be an excellent experience. The goal was to visit Olympic Hot Springs just after the 8 feet of snow melted and road barriers were pushed back, and before the continuous wave of geo-soakers hit the NP and hot springs for the warmer season. The timing of my soaking party's arrival couldn't have been any better.

As we hiked toward the hot springs through the lush and vibrant green forest  we passed a group of 5 on their way out. They had spent a couple nights at the hot springs and had the whole place to themselves. The hike along the slightly elevated old, paved forest service road was fairly easy. The only problem is that the trail was washed out in 3 places. The first required a slight walk-around to a fallen tree and a dip-route through a huge broken stump. The 2nd had a semi-narrow earth bridge, and 3rd a single log bridge with handrail.

Snow only slightly came into play on the hike in. We encountered about a foot within the last quarter mile of the hot springs. At most, there was about 2 feet on the ground at the backpacker campsites, which are located just before the bridge that leads to the hot springs. The trail itself was worn enough for easy passage without the need for snowshoes, albeit a bit icy.

The hot springs, ahh yes... the hot springs. They were awesome. I tracked down 6 total pools, 4 soakable (the others too hot and goober laden). The water felt great, and having the whole place to ourselves was amazing. Full-qualification of all 4 pools could be had. It's muddy around the pools, and to combat this there are many mats nearby. Although, the mats are fairly gross after heavy use. Here's a tip: stand on a trash bag. When you're done (changing/soaking) put trash in the bag and haul it off utilitarian style.

There was a slight sulfur odor at each of the pools, along with some algae stemming from lack of use over the winter break. The water was near clear, and the pool temperatures ranged from 98 to 104. On the hike back out we passed 17 soakers! Once back at the car 3 additional vehicles arrived while we ate a late lunch. Good timing indeed.
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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