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Home: Oregon Hot Springs: Willow Creek (Whitehorse) Hot Spring
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Willow Creek Hot Spring in Oregon

Season: All Type: R (roadside)
Alvord Desert / Vale District (BLM) Overall Rating: A-
4,520 ft Water Temperature: 102
Fields Area Usage Level: High
pH: 7+

Picture Viewer

03.03.08: Stellar High-Desert Soak

03.03.08: Tons of mud - be careful!!

03.14.05: How sweet it is

Willow Creek HS

10.18.02: Overhead shot

10.18.02: The hot pool

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[ View the 03.03.08 video clip of Willow Creek Hot Spring ]

Willow Creek Hot Springs General Description

Miles away from nowhere, Willow Creek Hot Springs features a single pool out in the middle of southeast Oregon's high desert region. An all-season gravel/dirt road will get you most of the way there, but the last bit is on soft dirt, which is impassible during rain. Choose your season wisely.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
05.08.12 - 05.12.12 low moderate
03.03.08 low none
03.14.05 low-moderate very light
03.26.03 low none
10.18.02 low moderate amount of flies

Water Clarity:


Slight Odor

Wildlife Sighted: Wild Horses, Pronghorn (Antelope), Rabbits (plenty of them!), Bobcats, Cougars, Deer, Owls (spotted 2 of them), Coyotes, Bats and Foxes (oh my) - don't even think of driving out to this one at night, all of the animals listed above are all over the road after dusk [there are also Thunder Eggs in this area]

Seasonal Notes
Accessible all year.

Camping Notes
BLM camping right next to the hot springs and in the surrounding area.

Willow Creek Hot Springs Trip Reports

05.08.12 - 05.12.12

Trip report and pictures on HSG

I miss this place. Looking back though my records, I couldn't believe it had been 3 years since my last visit. The northwest has too many incredible places. My return visit to Willow Creek Hot Spring was on a blustery day, very windy and chilly. The soak was stellar, whew! Thank goodness, because I didn't bring any firewood!

On my way to the hot springs I came across two herds of wild horses. I was awestruck. The only other time I experienced such a thing was 6 years ago, just a few miles west of my present location. Wild horses! Can you even imagine!

Please note, the entire BLM area surrounding the hot springs and pit toilet were extremely muddy! There was one small area near the entrance wide enough for a couple vehicles that was just barley dry enough to park.
Rating A

Excellent! Our Monday all-day-long visit to Willow Creek was a great example of what hot springing is all about. When we arrived early in the am two fishermen were enjoying their last soak before heading into Idaho for some good fishing at Mann Lake. One of the fishermen was a friendly fella from San Francisco, making his way through the desert and forest via bright yellow Volkswagen van. The soaking was awesome, however the rocks in the pool were slick which resulted in a couple minor injuries that occurred while entering and exiting the pool. I wasn't happy to notice an increase in trash despite how light it was. Other than the trash increase, it looks like this area isn't suffering from additional usage related abuse.
Rating A

The BLM camping area around the HS was FULL! Wow! There were a couple sets of people that looked like they had set up stake for months judging by the amount of equipment on premises. This in addition to 6 other groups of people... maybe there was some sort of convention going on. We took a quick soak, chatted, then blasted off to find somewhere less crowded.
Rating B+

Willow Creek is the 2nd nicest HS I have visited in SE Oregon. The first being Alvord HS. This HS is located in a BLM managed area and is chiefly visited by the RV crowd because of it's location. You can park your vehicle practically right next to the pool. Perfect temperature and nice depth were what really made this HS a prime soak. Prepare yourself for a long, dusty, bumpy, long ride as this is located in the middle of nowhere.... perfect!
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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