Months before July 4th weekend I obligated myself to be a shuttle driver for an otherwise all-woman mountain bike event. Originally it was going to go around Mt Hood, but the cool wet spring caused the originally planned trails to still be snowed in, so a more southerly lower elevation trip was scheduled. One of the ladies got sick and canceled, but that left 4 and myself.
Umpqua Hot Spring is not right on the trail biked, but it was close enough that we had to check it out. If you want to visit, see this Forest Service brochure. The brochure map does not show it, but Toketee Lake is just off State Hwy 138 (goes to Crater Lake). After turning onto Forest Road 3401 (north of Toketee Lake), there is a parking area about 2 miles ahead on the left. Google map location. To add to the confusion, the Diamond Lake Ranger Station is next to Toketee Lake.
The parking area near the spring is a ‘day-use’ area with a $5 charge. Near the restroom there is a sign post that includes the following…
The hike to the spring took me under 10 minutes, but it is not without effort. Part of the trail has hand rails and it’s like going up a 200′ flight of stairs. But once at the spring you are rewarded* with a nice view and maybe a nice dip.
Notice the * above. We came to the spring on July 3, which I don’t recommend as a visit date for two very good reasons. The place was overwhelmed with visitors and mosquitoes. I don’t know why we would have expected otherwise. Mosquitoes in camp were relentless in the early evenings. But we were there, and it was an opportunity, so into the pools we went.
The sun had just gone down and the upper pools were full, so I tried the bottom pool first. The ladies joined in after the photo. These pools are shallow and too cool for my liking, so after a group left, we tried the main pool above, fighting mosquitoes on the way back up. The sign said the pool temperature was 108 degrees, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that hot. It felt more like 102-103. We tried one more of the upper pools, but could stand the mosquitoes no more, so we left.
The area is nice and scenic, and there are lots of reasons to visit in general. But I don’t recommend the hot springs as a sole destination, especially on July 4th weekend. Spring or fall during the week should be a better time if you choose to check it out.