Paulina Lake Hot Springs are numerous thermal springs emerging in Paulina Lake. Most hot springs secured by the lakes, coming from its bottom and mixing with the cold water. Fortunately, there are hot springs on the shore of the north part of the scenic Paulina Lake, accessible by foot or boat.
Paulina Lake is one of two alpine lakes nestled in the 5-mile in diameter the Newberry Caldera. The second lake of the Newberry Caldera is the East Lake, located 2 miles east of the Paulina Lake. The East Lake has hot springs on its shore as well, known as East Lake Hot Springs. The caldera, also known as the Newberry Crater, is one of the most active geothermal areas in the United States. As a result of volcano activities, the caldera was created sometime between 2,000 and 500,000 years ago when overlying volcano's rocks collapsed.
There are five or more man-made hot springs pools, located on the quarter-mile length gravel shoreline, named the Hot Springs Beach. Some of the pools are reinforced by logs. The hot springs bubble up from deep through the black and red volcanic gravel. By USDA Forest Service, this is a riparian zone. Please, use existing soaking pools, do not dig.
In spring, when water has the highest level, the hot springs on the beach are submerged with the lake and become exposed only when the water level drops. The best time to visit Paulina Lake Hot Springs is May through July when the soaking pools have enough water to cover a bather. When the water level in the lake is the lowest, the hot springs don't have enough water even for feet soaking.
The actual temperature of the water depends on the time of year and varies between 90 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the source that located directly out of the ground has been reported as high as 176 degrees Fahrenheit. The geothermal water has no smell of sulfur.
Camping and fires are prohibited on the Hot Springs Beach.
Hiking to Paulina Lake Hot Springs
Hot Springs Spur Trail. A part of the Paulina Lake Trail and the shortest way to access the hot springs is a two-mile stroll along the east shore of the Paulina Lake from the trailhead at the farthest end of the Little Crater Campground.
Paulina Lake Trail. The 7.5-mile loop trail around the Paulina Lake offers a truly unique hike. You will enjoy picturesque views, green water of the lake, the Big Obsidian lava flow, exotic plants, and bubbling hot springs.
Access: May - mid-October from sunrise to sunset
Service: No services are available
No camping near the hot springs
Little Crater Campground - 2 miles east
Distance from the parking: 2 miles
Day-use fees: Yes or Recreation Pass at Little Crater Site
Paulina Lake Hot Springs are located:
- 39 miles southeast of Bend
- 131 miles east of Eugene
- 200 miles southeast of Portland.
Elevation: 6,350 ft (1,935 m)
Water temperature: 90°F (32°C) to 115°F (46°C)
Water acidity level: Acidic (pH=6.82)
Type of the springs: Sodium Chloride
Chemical used: None
Directions to Paulina Lake Hot Springs
- From Bend, travel approximately 23 miles south onto US 97 to Paulina East Lake Road
- Turn left onto Paulina East Road and drive 14 miles east to the sign Little Crater Campground
- Turn left onto Little Crater Campground Road and travel to the end of the road (the Paulina Lake Hot Springs Trailhead).
Points of Interest
Paulina Lake is one of two deep mountain lakes inside Newberry Caldera, within the boundaries of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
There are over 100 miles of trails within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The trail can be used for horseback riding, mountain biking, and in winter for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.