Breitenbush Hot Springs – Cascades

Breitenbush Hot Springs - Meadow Hot Pool

Breitenbush Hot Springs

Breitenbush Hot Springs - Sauna

Breitenbush Hot Springs - Silent Pool

Breitenbush Hot Springs - Hot Pool

Breitenbush Hot Springs - Hot Pool

Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center is located along the Breitenbush River in the fantastic Willamette National Forest, 9 miles northwest of Detroit, 60 miles east of Salem.

Brief History of Breitenbush Hot Springs

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 Breitenbush Hot Springs - Old PoolBruckman family. Later, new owners built and managed the lodge and spa. During Bruckman's ownership, Breitenbush Hot Springs prospered. Breitenbush resort had a large 100-foot pool, post office, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, and dancehall. After Merle Bruckman retired and sold the property in 1957, it changed a few owners. After two devasting floods, the resort finally was closed to the public in 1972.


In 1977, Alex Beamer purchased the property. 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 vision. For more than 30 years Brietenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center has been managed by a worker-owned cooperative which includes 50-70 people.

Lower Breitenbush Hot Springs

In 1897, Mark Skiff received a permit from the Forest Service to use the lower pools. Skiff's camp grew on both sides of the river and became very popular. The resort included 35 cabins, store, the footbridge across the river and bathhouse. Unfortunately, big floods in the 1970s damaged the upper and the lower hot springs. The upper hot springs were restored in 1977. However, the lower hot springs were never rebuilt. Hopefully, the Forest Service that manages this area will find a way to restore this great spot.

Breitenbush Hot Springs Features

Over the years, Breitenbush has developed a reputation for being a great spot for people who like soaking and relaxing in the hot mineral water while enjoying the natural beauty of the ancient forest and mountains.

The surface water temperature of the source is about 180°F (82°C). The temperature of the hot pools varies between 101 to 109°F (38 to 43°C). Soaking pools and tubs operate on the 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; also, here 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 offer well-being programs such as yoga, EDGU (Spinal Health Exercise), meditation, massage, and different workshops. Other features include a steam sauna, cozy cabins, conference center, library, forest trails, Stone Labyrinth, and gift shop.

Payment is $16-30 per day, although its popularity means that advanced notice is required. Check availability on the Breitenbush Hot Springs website. You can also reserve a cabin or lodge room.

General Description

Access: 365 days a year, for day-use from 9 am to 6 pm (reservation required)
Development: Retreat Center, soaking tubs, sauna
Clothing: Optional
Service: Gift shop, dining room, library, massage, yoga, meditation
Accommodations: Lodge, guest cabins, camping
Distance from the parking: Short
Day-use fees: $16-30 per a person (day use)
Children under 4 are free
5-12-year-old are half the adult price
Lodging rates are available on the official website

Elevation: 2,225 ft (678 m)
GPS: 44.781, -121.976

Breitenbush Hot Springs are located:

  • 10.4 miles northeast of Detroit
  • 62 miles east of Salem
  • 107 miles southeast of Portland
  • 110 miles northeast of Eugene

Address: 53000 Breitenbush Road, Detroit, OR 97342
Phone: (503) 854-3320

Water Properties

Water temperature: 101°F (38°C) to 109°F(43°C)
Water acidity level: Neutral (pH=7.3)
Type of spring: Sodium Chloride
Chemical used: None

Average dissolved solids: 2650 Mg/L

Chloride - 1300 Mg/L
Sodium - 720 Mg/L
Carbonate - 144 Mg/L
Sulfate - 140 Mg/L
Calcium - 100 Mg/L
Silica - 83 Mg/L
Potassium - 31 Mg/L
Bromine - 5 Mg/L
Boron - 4.1 Mg/L
Fluoride - 3.4 Mg/L
Lithium - 1.8 Mg/L
Magnesium - 1.3 Mg/L


Bagby Hot Springs: Soaking, camping, hiking

Detroit and Detroit Lake, North Santiam River: Fishing, boating, camping, swimming

Willamette National Forest: Mushroom hunting

Directions to Breitenbush Hot Springs

  • From I-5, take exit 253 in Salem
  • Drive on Highway 22 east for about 48 miles to Detroit Lake
  • Turn left onto Highway 46 (Breitenbush Rd), and follow approximately 9 miles to NF-2231
  • Turn right, then left, and follow NF-890 to Mi Pst
  • Turn left and the destination will be on the left.
Lauren S. Forcella. "Geochemistry of Thermal and Mineral Waters in the Cascade Mountains of Western North America". 1981

Weather Forecast

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High 62° / Low 41°
Chance of Rain
11/14 40%
Chance of Rain
High 53° / Low 37°

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