Carson Hot Springs Golf & Spa Resort is a historic spot located on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, 14 miles east of Bonneville Dam and 50 miles east of Portland.
The hot springs were discovered on a bank of the Wind River in 1876 by Isadore St. Martin. Isadore Martin kept a secret about his discovery until he could obtain property rights to the land where hot springs were found.
Martin’s wife has been suffering from neuralgia and both of them believed in the power of healing mineral water.
Once Isadore Martin obtained property rights on the land, he dug a hole in the ground around the area where steam was coming out. His wife used the pool with mineral water to bathe in nature to cure her disease. The hot mineral-rich water improved the health conditions of Isadore’s wife and shortly people in the surrounding area learned about the healing properties of the hot springs.
The new landowner realized that healing geothermal water can help him to earn money and he decided to build a resort with a bathhouse and hotel.
The resort was open to the public in the 1880s, while the historical hotel which is still in operation was built and open in 1901.
Isadore St. Martin died in 1910 from a knife wound after being stabbed by one of the visitors. His family continued managing the property for 64 more years after Martin’s death. In 1923 another bathhouse and 14 one-bedroom houses for visitors were constructed. The old bathhouse still functions offering mineral baths almost the same way it was done nearly 100 years ago.
The bathhouse is divided into male and female areas. Generally, the bathing itself is a 25-minute session that ends with 25 minutes of traditional linen wrap to warm and soothe the body. Bathhouse usage has to be paid by the hour.
An indoor mineral water pool with added chlorine can be used by overnight visitors with no extra charge. Day visitors will have to pay a day-use fee.
If you would rather enjoy geothermal water without chlorine, you can rent one of the rooms in the new hotel building and enjoy hot mineral baths on your balcony. If you rent a room in the old hotel building, there are not many amenities available to you. Those rooms don’t have a TV, microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. However, you can always use a microwave and a coffee maker in the hall of the main hotel building.
Carson Hot Springs | General Description
Managed: Private Property
Location: Columbia River Gorge, Washington
Development: Resort, indoor soaking pool, hot tubs in some rooms
Service: Bathhouse, spa
Distance from the parking: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle
Day-use: Yes, check the price on the resort website
Elevation: 300 ft (91 m)
Hot Lake Springs is located:
- 50 miles east of Portland
- 96 miles northeast of Salem.