Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center is located along the Breitenbush River in the beautiful Willamette National Forest, 9 miles northwest of the town of Detroit.
Over the years, Breitenbush has built a reputation as a primary destination for people who enjoy soaking and relaxing in the hot mineral water while enjoying the natural beauty of the ancient forest and mountains.
Breitenbush source water is extremely hot, with the temperature reaching 180°F. The temperature of hot pools varies between 101°F to 109°F. Soaking pools and tubs operate on a flow-through basis. For this reason, no chemical treatment is required.
There are four tubs named "Spiral Tubs" on the lower level. Each of them has a different temperature, from warm to very hot. In addition, there is a deep cedar tub with cold water for plunging.
On the upper level, there are three natural pools lined with river rocks. These pools overlook the river, the meadow, and the mountains. The pool, called "Silent," is the hottest and is designed for quiet soaking.
Breitenbush Hot Springs offers wellness programs such as yoga, EDGU (Spinal Health Exercise), meditation, massage, and a variety of associated workshops.
Payment per day varies. Considering the site's popularity, an advance reservation is highly advisable. You can check availability on the Breitenbush Hot Springs website. You can also reserve a cabin or a lodge room there.
The river and the hot springs were named after Lewis Breitenbucher, a hunter who explored this area in the 1840s. By 1897, the hot springs, under the successful management of John Hollingsworth, had become a popular destination for visitors who were looking for tranquility, healing, and rejuvenation. In 1904, the upper and lower pools were separated.
Upper Breitenbush Hot Springs
In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt gifted the upper hot springs to Claude Mansfield. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Bruckman family.
Later, a new lodge and spa were built. Breitenbush Hot Springs prospered during the Bruckmans' ownership. The resort had a sizeable 100-foot pool, a post office, a grocery store, a gas station, a restaurant, and a dance hall.
In 1957, Merle Bruckman retired and sold the property. Two devastating floods in the 1970s damaged the resort, which was eventually closed.
In 1977, Alex Beamer purchased the closed resort for further development and renovation. He was looking to create a self-sufficient sanctuary amid Oregon’s natural beauty, where customers could focus on their personal growth, mental and physical health. This mission was shared by the volunteers who helped restore the property.
In 1985, the resort was purchased by a cooperative that supported Alex Beamer's vision. For more than 30 years, Brietenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center has been managed by a worker-owned cooperative.
In 2020, one of the most devastating Oregon wildfires destroyed almost everything. Restoration and rebuilding began immediately after. Today, the hot springs retreat center is open again.
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, a bathhouse, a restaurant, and a footbridge across the river.
Unfortunately, two large floods in the 1970s damaged the property. The upper hot springs were reconstructed in 1977. The lower hot springs were, however, never rebuilt. Hopefully, the Forest Service that manages this area will find a way to restore this beautiful site.
Breitenbush Hot Springs | General Description
Location: Willamette National Forest
Managed by: Private Property
Development: Retreat Center, soaking tubs, sauna, gift shop, dining room, & library
Activities: Soaking, hiking, fishing, and meditation
Accommodations: Lodge, guest cabins, and campground
Distance from parking: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle, chains are required from November 1st to April 1st
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.
Directions to Breitenbush Hot Springs
From I-5 in Salem,
- Take exit 253 for Highway OR-22 toward Detroit
- Drive east for about 48 miles to Detroit
- Turn left onto Highway 46 (Breitenbush Road) and follow approximately 9 miles to NF-2231
- Turn right, cross the bridge, then bear left, and follow NF-890 to Mi Pst Road
- Turn left, the destination will be on your left.
Address: 53000 Breitenbush Road, Detroit, OR 97342
Phone: (503) 854-3320
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