Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center is located along the Breitenbush River in the fantastic Willamette National Forest, 9 miles northwest of the town of Detroit.
Over the years, Breitenbush has developed a reputation for being a great destination for people who like soaking and relaxing in the hot mineral water while enjoying the natural beauty of the ancient forest and mountains.
Breitenbush Hot Spring source water is extremely hot with a temperature of about 180°F (82°C). The temperature of hot pools varies between 101°F to 109°F (38 to 43°C). Soaking pools and tubs operate on a flow-through basis. For this reason, no chemical treatment is required.
On the lower level, there are four Spiral Tubs; each is maintained at a different temperature from warm to very hot. There is a deep cedar tub with cold water for plunging.
On the upper level, there are three natural pools. Lined with the river rocks, these pools overlook the river, a meadow, and mountains. One of the pools, named "Silent", is the hottest and designed for a quiet soaking.
Breitenbush Hot Springs offers well-being programs such as yoga, EDGU (Spinal Health Exercise), meditation, massage, and different workshops.
Payment per day varies, although its popularity means that advanced reservation is required. Check availability on the Breitenbush Hot Springs website. You can also reserve a cabin or lodge room.
The river and hot springs were named after a hunter Lewis Breitenbucher, who explored this place in the 1840s. By 1897, the hot springs, under the successful management of John Hollingsworth, had become a popular place for visitors who were looking for relaxation, healing, and rejuvenation. In 1904 the upper and lower pools were separated.
Upper Breitenbush Hot Springs
In 1904, the upper hot springs were granted to Claude Mansfield by President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Bruckman family.
Later, a new lodge and spa were built. Breitenbush Hot Springs prospered during Bruckman's ownership. The resort had a large 100-foot pool, post office, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, and dance hall.
In 1957, Merle Bruckman retired and sold the property. Two devastating floods in the 1970s damaged the resort and, finally, Breitenbush was closed.
In 1977, Alex Beamer purchased the property. During the resort development, he focused on self-sufficiency, personal growth, and natural beauty preservation. Together with the volunteers who shared his vision, he restored the property.
In 1985, the resort was purchased by a cooperative that supported Alex Beamer's goal. Now, for more than 30 years, Brietenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center has been managed by a worker-owned cooperative.
Lower Breitenbush Hot Springs
In 1913, Mark Skiff received a permit from the Forest Service to use the lower springs to build a resort. Skiff's camp on both sides of the river consisted of several cabins, a hotel, bathhouse, restaurant, and footbridge across the river.
Unfortunately, two large floods in the 1970s damaged the property. The upper hot springs were restored in 1977. The lower hot springs were never rebuilt. Hopefully, the Forest Service that manages this area will find a way to restore this beautiful spot.
Breitenbush Hot Springs | General Description
Open: Year-round, Day-use: 9 am - 6 pm (reservation required)
Managed: Private Property
Location: Willamette National Forest
Development: Retreat Center, soaking tubs, sauna
Service: Gift shop, dining room, library, massage, yoga
Activities: Soaking, hiking, fishing, meditation
Accommodations: Lodge, guest cabins, camping
Distance from parking: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes, reservation required
Elevation: 2,225 ft (678 m)
Breitenbush Hot Springs is located:
- 10.4 miles northeast of Detroit
- 62 miles east of Salem
- 107 miles southeast of Portland
- 110 miles northeast of Eugene