Bigelow Hot Springs are a hidden gem deep in the heart of the Western Oregon wilderness. They’re a small natural spring located right on the banks of the McKenzie River.
Bigelow Hot Springs
Bigelow Hot Springs, otherwise known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, is a small pool capable of fitting around 6-8 people comfortably, although it reached that number while we were there and it never felt overly crowded.
The pool has an outer area but it also extends into the rock into a small, dark cave where the water is warmest. It’s not the most scenic hot springs in the area, but it’s still beautiful and a nice place to relax to the sounds of the river rushing by.
There are no facilities like some of the other springs, so you’ll have to throw your clothes down on the ground/rocks adjacent to the pool.
Bigelow is more of a ‘warm’ springs
I’ve heard reviews of Bigelow that said it was quite chilly, but it was moderately warm while we were there. I did have to submerge most of my body to stay warm though, and I would call it more of a warm springs than a ‘hot spring’.
A little grubby
Bigelow Hot Springs are also one of the muddiest I’ve experienced, with the water being virtually black and opaque while we sat in it. Sitting still for any amount of time left us with large patches of dirt settled on our bodies. It’s not the crystal clear or even blue water that you might have come to expect from other springs.
This might have been due to the high traffic stirring up the water, but it could also just be the way Bigelow is. Either way, we definitely didn’t come away feeling clean, and we both rushed for the shower as soon as we got back to our hotel.
Bigelow, like most springs, is clothing optional. Most people were nude so expect to be the exception if you’re wearing clothes.
Overall, we liked Bigelow, but it was definitely not our favourite. Umpqua Hot Springs and Cougar easily blow this one out of the water. Perhaps this is a good thing though, as it was also far less crowded. Bigelow was warm, scenic and relaxing, and it was a nice addition to our day full of hot springs. I think if you’re headed to Cougar Hot Springs, then you might as well add this to the itinerary as well.
Not too far away to the south you’ll also find Umpqua Hot Springs, Toketee Falls and Crater Lake. All places worth spending some time!
How to get to Bigelow Hot Springs
Bigelow Hot Springs are just over an hour’s drive from Eugene, Oregon, along the McKenzie highway (126). The springs across a small bridge on the other side of the road, so there’s virtually no detour whatsoever.
Make sure you have it plugged into your GPS because there’s no cell service in the area at all. We knew the springs were very nearby, but had to backtrack about 30 minutes to find somewhere with cell service and wifi.
Your best bet is to download the offline maps for the area which you can do very easily on the Google Maps mobile app.
In a pinch, there’s a tiny purple caravan hidden in the backstreets of a tiny hamlet about 20 minutes from the hot springs that sells coffee and somehow provides wifi. It’s called the Indigo Cafe (click for the google maps link). It’s not super high speed, but it’s great to support local business and the wifi will get you where you need to go!