Settled on an island in the Malheur River, Juntura Hot Springs attracts many visitors because of its proximity to Highway 20, secluded location, and scenic views of the river in the foreground and reddish rolling hills in the background. The springs are also known as Horseshoe Bend Hot Springs, named after the sharp bend of the river.
Open year-round, Juntura Hot Springs cannot be easily accessed all the time. Only during dry weather and a low water level, visitors can ford the river. It is not safe to cross the river during high water and spring runoff.
The hot springs consist of two pools. A large one is a 15 by 30 feet pool and sits in the center of the island. It is fed by thermal water at a temperature of 115°F directly from the source. It's typically too hot for soaking during the summer heat. However, when air temperatures get cooler in the fall, the main pool may offer a great soaking opportunity for as many as 20-30 people at a time. There is a concrete slab that assists bathers with getting into the pool.
The mineral water flows down from the main pond to the riverside pool which provides a more comfortable temperature for soaking during the hot summer months.
It is easy to locate the pools as they lie only a half-mile walk from the old bridge. The bridge is closed for vehicles. Leave your car near the bridge, cross the bridge, turn right, and hike along the river to Horseshoe Bend.
If you have a high-clearance vehicle, you can drive directly to the spot where you can ford the river. Check the directions below.
In the fall during hunting season Juntura Hot Springs is extremely popular.
Juntura Hot Springs | General Description
Location: Malheur River Island
Accommodations: Anywhere on BLM lands
Distance from the parking: 0.6 miles
Road Access: Any vehicle to the old bridge
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 2,900 ft (1,097 m)
Juntura Hot Springs is located:
- 2.9 miles northeast of Juntura
- 61 miles east of Burns
- 127 miles west of Boise, Idaho
- 191 miles east of Bend.
At the edge of the main pool, there is a memorial board devoted to Aaron Carney, a 22-years-old man who lost his life here in 2006.
According to the news report (The Argus Observer), after a few hours of soaking, Aaron's father left the pool to get dressed. When he came back, he found his son floating in the water. Police suspected that alcohol was involved in this incident.