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Hiking and Hot Springs - Castle Rock and Terwilliger Hot Springs

An easy 2 mile round trip hike with just 630' of elevation gain. Castle Rock is near Cougar Reservoir, with views of the McKenzie River Valley down below, and the Three Sisters to the east. After the hike, we will travel along the reservoir to enjoy a nice relaxing soak at Terwilliger Hot Springs, also known as Cougar Hot Springs.

Details: Plans are to enjoy a short hike with a view, relax afterwards at the hot springs, and then a possible stop at Takoda's for some great food before heading home.

Directions: From Best Buy, head south on I-5.  Take the exit for Springfield and Highway 126 East.  Follow the McKenzie Highway 45 miles, just past Blue River.  Between mileposts 45 and 46 turn right onto Aufderheide Road 19, marked for Cougar Reservoir.  At a fork after a half mile, keep left on Road 410 toward the Cougar Dam powerhouse.  After another 0.4 mile, turn left onto paved Kings Road 2639 for 0.5 mile. Then turn right onto Road 480 and follow this one lane gravel road uphill 5.8 miles to its end at a very small parking area.

For Terwilliger Hot Springs, return to Road 19 and take a left, then to the right at the fork.  Follow Road 19 for 7.5 miles to a parking lot on the left.  Cross the road and walk along the roadside to a Forest Service kiosk, where you will need to pay $6 per person.  The trail to the hot springs is 300 yards along part of the cove, before heading up into the woods. 

Fees and Regulations: There is a small fee of $6 for each individual to use the hot springs. Also, bring a Northwest Forest Pass for parking, but the fee covers your vehicle as well.  The hot springs are quite nice and worth the fee. The Forest Service has worked hard to keep the place well kept over the last several years.

Disclaimer: Hot springs in Oregon are typically enjoyed in the nude. Please respect the decision of others in their enjoyment of the hot springs as they feel comfortable. Swimsuits are welcome, and be sure to bring a towel and sandals for the hike in. Absolutely no drugs or alcohol will be tolerated. Authorities will be notified immediately if there is a problem.

No dogs allowed on this trip. Be sure to bring cash for the drivers for providing transportation to and from the hot springs. As well as correct change for the hot springs.  A reasonable $10 - $15 each for the trip for gas as well as wear and tear of the driver's vehicle is highly encouraged.


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  • BW

    Steven---Thanks so MUCH ! ! - Now I have to find out where to buy new Mountain House Type cooking bags .

    October 15, 2013

    • Monique

      BW did you ever find one of these? I have made them for myself, my kiddos and a few friends.

      1 · October 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Matt and BW, here is the link I food about freezer bag trail cooking. http://www.trailcooking.com/

    1 · October 14, 2013

  • Mona

    Missed the I-5 exit and hence got to Best Buy too late to catch the group! Darn! Hope it was a fine hike for those who made it.

    October 13, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Sorry you missed the trip, Mona. Hope to see you next time.

      October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a wonderful day hiking, soaking, and dining out. A great group of Meetup folks smiling, laughing, and enjoying each others company. While at Terwilliger, another woman moved to our soaking pool because she heard so much laughter coming from us. A special thanks to Matt for all his efforts!

    2 · October 14, 2013

  • BW

    What a bunch of FUN PEOPLE ! The worst part of of my Sunday was the trip had to END !

    2 · October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great hike. Good company

    2 · October 14, 2013

  • Easwara M.

    Hi..I'm new to this group and Eugene. I would love to attend this event. I don't have a car..Can anyone do a car pool?

    1 · October 9, 2013

    • l3db3tt3r

      Did you get my reply? 7:10 your place. Left my # if you needed to call text.

      October 12, 2013

    • Easwara M.

      Yes I did..I texted back to your cell.. Meet you in the morning :)

      October 12, 2013

  • Roy W.

    Sorry, not going to make it this time. Have a fun day!

    October 12, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    I'll be at Best Buy in the morning. Hopefully with a large cup of coffee in hand. I'll have the Suburban, and will be driving and offering rides to those that want to go and enjoy the day hiking and soaking at the hot springs. If you are in a hurry to get back, probably not best to ride with me. I'll bring a small cooler for us to put water in, as we will want some also for the hot springs, not just the hike. I'll print out a few copies of the trail and driving directions, for others to have. I look forward to seeing people in the morning.

    1 · October 12, 2013

  • BW

    My plans have changed I will be busy after we return to Best Buy so I will just get there in the morning by my self.

    October 12, 2013

  • Robin P.

    Sorry.knee injuries, not healed enough. Can't go. Posted comment, soon as I knew. Please, someone come in my place & enjoy. Sounds like there are 'car poolers' too, maybe. Next time, I hope* Thank U 4 opportunity

    October 12, 2013

  • Rachelle

    I am not going to be able to go after all. It sounds like a great hike and experience, I have wanted to get up to those HS for a while now. Perhaps next time. Enjoy everyone and I will look forward to meeting some of you in the future.

    October 11, 2013

  • l3db3tt3r

    Checking in.. I will go Sunday. I will ride or drive, I have a VW Golf TDI (great gas milage!) And can seat 3 more, with room in the hatch for day packs and other gear.

    1 · October 9, 2013

  • BW

    Dose any one still want to go up Sat. am, or pm and camp out Sat. Night? What 2 times would you like to leave Sat.? Maybe hiking , or hitting the hot springs Sat. Besides Matt that might have to work Sat. and just do Sun. I can take up to 2 in my station wagon ( I will be sleeping in it, so there won't be storage room in my car after arriving for any of your gear) . If there is room I might be able to bring fire wood for a fire..

    October 9, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      BW, I have to work Saturday. Was told today. I'm not sure for how long, they have mentioned from 6:00AM to 2:30PM, so that would be most of my day. I'll be going up Sunday with the group. I will be setting up other trips as I can for future dates. I believe Amy Marino was planning on going up on Saturday for some camping. You could talk to her. See you on Sunday.

      October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, maybe not this time as I don't do 'waiting list' and there is little point in hiking without Louie. Have fun.

    October 7, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      I have some trips set to waiting list that we don't damage the trails with large groups of people. If someone changes their RSVP, someone takes the spot. As for dogs, there simply are some hikes they are welcomed on and some they aren't. I have nothing against dogs personally.

      October 7, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    I had mentioned the possibility of getting a camping site for Saturday, somewhere near the area of the hot springs. With longer hours at work, and possibility of working more Saturdays, I can't commit to being able to do that. Those that wanted to go a day early and set up camp, please feel free to do so. I will see everyone on Sunday for the hike and hot springs.

    October 6, 2013

  • Andrea Brown (.

    We're out on this one too. Another kid weekend.

    October 2, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    I have added four more spots for this event. I know some people change their minds, and attendance varies with the weather as well. I'm looking forward to the hike and soaking in the hot springs afterwards. Hopefully others are as well.

    September 29, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    Paradise Campground, along the McKenzie River, has walk up campsites available. If some people are interested, I'm thinking of going up early Saturday morning to get a camping spot. Set up camp and go explore some of the trail along the river, or another spot I know about. If others are willing to go and understand that uncertainty comes with not being able to reserve a spot. We'll make due with what we can find. We will then meet others at the trailhead or Ranger Station on Sunday morning.

    September 23, 2013

  • DW

    Oct. 13 is my birthday! I'll be out of town until that afternoon, but it sounds like fun!

    1 · September 19, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Enjoy your birthday and we hope to see you on another trip soon.

      September 19, 2013

    • DW

      One of these days! No really, I will..has to work out eventually, right?

      1 · September 20, 2013

  • BW

    Mat - thanks for trying to set up a camp ground site , I will stay at any site the Group decides on.

    September 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    the camp grounds near the hot springs have closed for the season except cougar crossing

    September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I was just passing along info that was posted on the friends of cougar Facebook page, I'm not familiar with the campsites myself, the hot springs are a favorite destination of mine tho :)

      1 · September 18, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      I'm going to see about getting a spot at Delta.

      September 19, 2013

  • BW

    Thanks sadie for info.,cougar crossing is the camp ground I wanted to and will stay at Sat. night. 1 night for camp site is $12 etra car is $6.I will bring a little wood for a little camp fire ( camp fires are a most for me when camping if legal).

    September 17, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      I found a few that offer first come first serve for camping. Reservations for some campsites end on September 29th.

      September 17, 2013

  • BW

    Matt -- camping would make it a great week end, (the icing on the cake for me,I will be staying in Chateau Burgundy,my camary wagon- No tent packing and cleaning). ------Count me in. ( I will probably get to camp grd.or the hot spr. in early AM on Sat.----------- What time would people like to meet up there Sat. I have stayed at the unimproved camp ground ( name ? ) by the bridge where the lake intake is.

    September 17, 2013

    • Matthew H.

      Please wait. There are others also going, and I'm looking to see which campgrounds are available. I'm looking up information on Delta Campgrounds. Also, I'm looking at setting something up for Saturday. I just got home from work and read the comments. You can do as you please, but I will be setting things up, if you care to join us.

      September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be on retreat at Deer Park Monastery.

    September 17, 2013

  • Kathy

    Not sure I can do an over-nighter. I'll be working, most likely, since it's a tax deadline weekend. I'm crossing my fingers, hoping that I won't have to work on Sunday.

    September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Alright I'm in! Anyone want to camp near by Saturday night?! I'm coming up from Coquille, so I want to make a weekend of it. I am going to look into reservations at near by campgrounds Delta and Echo (any other ideas of campgrounds?). I'm also going to look into near by day hikes for Saturday. So if anyone wants to carpool out for camping, let me know and we'll arrange a time to meet Saturday morning.

    1 · September 16, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    An idea was passed around the other night during the pizza get together, and again tonight. If anyone is interested in finding a campsite near the hot springs, such as Delta Campgrounds, and staying there Saturday, please leave a comment. We could set something up.

    September 16, 2013

  • BW

    Matt - sounds like this will be the perfect hike in any weather,for those that care about rusting in Org wet Sun shine,thanks setting it up

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Matthew H.

    I have added a date, and I hope it works for several people. I know it might not work for everyone, but I went with some of the suggestions.

    September 14, 2013

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