Settled on an island in the Malheur River, Juntura Hot Springs attracts many visitors because of its secluded location, proximity to Highway 20, 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 of the Malheur River, you can ford the river between the river bank and the island. It does not safe to cross the river during high water and spring runoff.
The hot springs consist of two ponds. A large, 15 by 30 feet pool, is nestled in the center of the island. It fed by 115°F thermal water directly from the source. In the summertime heat, it's too hot for soaking, but during a colder time of year, 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 closed old bridge. There is a dirt road, just after a bridge on Highway 20, that runs along the Malheur River to the spot where you can ford the river. However, this road is rough and a high-clearance vehicle is required.
This thermal spring in eastern Oregon finds most visitors when hunting season is at its peak.
Access: 365 days a year
Accommodations: Anywhere on BLM lands
Distance from a parking: 0.6 miles
Elevation: 2,900 ft (1,097 m)
GPS coordinates: 43.776, -118.04767
Beulah Hot Springs are located:
- 2.9 miles northeast of Juntura
- 61 miles east of Burns
- 127 miles west of Boise, Idaho
- 191 miles east of Bend.
Water temperature (source): 115°F (46°C)
Water temperature (main pool): 115°F (46°C)-105 °F (41°C)
Water temperature (riverside pool): 105 °F (41°C) and less
Directions to Juntura Hot Springs
- From Juntura, drive east on Highway 20
- Between milepost 191 and 192, just before a bridge turn left
- Go 0.1 miles to the old bridge and park your car near concrete blocks
- Cross the bridge and walk for about 0.5 miles along the river to the spot where you can cross the river.
If you have a high-clearance vehicle, during good weather you can use a dirt road. Just after the bridge on Highway 20 turn left and drive 0.4 miles along the river to the old bridge. Continue next 0.5 miles to the parking and the place where you will ford the river.
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.