written by Kelly Hervey | featured photo by Ken Reppart
With snow beginning to blanket the state of Washington, what better way to warm up than by taking a trip to a mineral hot springs. We found hot springs destinations from the rustic and historical to the hidden and remote. Some will appeal to those looking for a beautiful resort experience, while others can only be reached after trekking through the Olympic National Forest. Here our favorite places to take a dip.
Carson Hot Springs | Carson
Old-world charm is the best way to describe this historic Victorian-era hot springs located along the Columbia River Gorge. Originally built in 1901, Isadore St. Martin discovered this piece of property while on a hunting expedition. He saw the waters bubbling up from their natural springs, marked the spot and returned home to apply for an Indian Homestead claim for the site. His wife had been suffering from neuralgia and he thought the waters may have healing properties. He brought her back to the property and, to their surprise, the spring provided immense relief. Word spread and the hotel was constructed so that more people could benefit from the healing powers of the springs. The original hotel, cabins and bath house are still used today. Notable features at Carson Hot Springs are the antique claw-foot tubs filled with mineral water, pumped directly from the Wind River at 104 degrees. While you’re here, there are other spa services to indulge in like the popular warm wrap or traditional massage.
Olympic Hot Springs | Port Angeles
This remote hot springs sits in Olympic National Park at the end of the Boulder Creek Trail—and it may be the most beautiful springs in the Pacific Northwest. Olympic Hot Springs is a favorite for its peaceful and private setting, usually unoccupied because of the 2.5-mile hike to get there. The well-maintained trail leads you to this off-the-beaten-path destination. Take in the breathtaking forest scenery, waterfalls and river canyon while you soak in one of the seven pools tucked away along the river. Temperatures range from lukewarm to 138 degrees.
Sol Duc Hot Springs | Port Angeles
Sol Duc Hot Springs is a bright, all-cabin property located in Olympic National Park along the Sol Duc River. Originally built in 1912 as an elaborate resort, it was called “the most noted pleasure and health resort on the Pacific Coast” until it burned down in 1916. The resort was rebuilt on a more modest scale in the 1920s, featuring cabins, three mineral pools—the visitors’ favorite being the fountain pool—and one freshwater pool ranging in temperature from 98 to 104 degrees. The old-growth forest and riverside setting is a perfect backdrop for these charming rustic cabins. The property also has seventeen RV and eighty-two tent campsites, along with dining and a spa. Multiple hiking trails are accessible directly from the resort, with the most popular trail taking guests to Sol Duc Falls.
Doe Bay Hot Springs Resort | Orcas Island
Orcas Island has long been a popular destination in the San Juans for its small-town feel and sprawling scenery. Lesser-known is the hot springs resort located on the island. This family owned, 38-acre destination offers a rustic lodging experience in a serene setting. Stay in a cabin, yurt or bring your own tent and enjoy a campsite. Doe Bay is best known for its soaking tubs overlooking the ocean, with temperatures between 85 -105 degrees. A special feature is the café, specializing in a farm-to-table menu with most ingredients provided by the organic garden on site. While visiting, enjoy a waterfront yoga class, a relaxing massage or a visit to the sauna.
Goldmyer Hot Springs | North Bend
At the end of a 4.5-mile rugged wilderness trail, you’ll find Goldmyer Hot Springs. Located just off Dingford Creek Trailhead in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this location has many open pools and an upper hot springs cave. A covered cabana overlooks the springs with many campsites for visitors to choose from. Surrounded by a natural landscape, these crystal clear geothermal hot springs range from 111 degrees inside the cave to 104 in the open springs. You must make a reservation to visit Goldmyer Hot Springs as only twenty people are allowed per day.