Paulina Lake Hot Springs

• Paulina Lake Hot Springs is located at the north edge of the Paulina Lake
• Features five or more man-made pools

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Paulina Lake Hot Springs consist of numerous thermal springs emerging from the bottom of the Paulina Lake. Most of the hot springs are secured by the lake and mixed with its cold water. Fortunately, there are a few hot springs on the north shoreline that are accessible by foot or by boat.

Paulina Lake is one of two alpine lakes nestled in the Newberry Caldera. A large volcanic crater is one of the most active geothermal areas in the United States. As a result of past volcano activities, the caldera was created hundreds of thousands years ago, when overlying volcano's rocks collapsed. The second lake of the Newberry Caldera, East Lake is located 2 miles east of  the Paulina. East Lake also has hot springs on its shore, known as East Lake Hot Springs.

On the shore of the Paulina Lake, you can find five or more man-made pools along the quarter-mile length gravel Hot Springs Beach. Some of the pools are reinforced by logs. The hot springs bubble up from the depth through the black and red volcanic gravels.

In early springs, when the 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 too low, the hot spring pools 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 located directly out of the ground has been reported as high as 176°F. The geothermal water has no smell of sulfur.

According to USDA Forest Service, because this is a riparian zone, you should use existing soaking pools, new pools digging is not allowed.

Camping and fires are prohibited on the Hot Spring Beach.


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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 from the Paulina Lake Campground 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.

Paulina Lake Hot Springs | General Description

Open: May - mid-October from sunrise to sunset
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Newberry Caldera

Development: Undeveloped
Services: No services are available
Activities: Soaking, hiking, boating, fishing
Clothing: Swimsuits would be handy

No camping near the hot springs
Little Crater Campground, Paulina Lake Campground, Paulina Lake Lodge
Distance from the parking: 2 miles
Road Access: Any vehicle to the trailhead
Day-use fees: Yes or Recreation Passes

Elevation: 6,350 ft (1,935 m)

Paulina Lake Hot Springs is located:

  • 19 miles east of La Pine
  • 39 miles southeast of Bend
  • 131 miles east of Eugene
  • 200 miles southeast of Portland.

Water temperature: 90°F (32°C) to 115°F (46°C)
Water acidity level: Acidic (pH=6.82)
Type of the springs: Sodium Silicate
Chemical used: None

Silica - 205 Mg/L
Sodium - 140 Mg/L
Magnesium - 60 Mg/L
Calcium - 56 Mg/L
Potassium - 17 Mg/L
Chloride - 6 Mg/L
Fluoride - 0.57 Mg/L

Adventures Nearby

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).

From the trailhead at Little Crater Campground, hike 2.3 miles on the Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail.

GPS (Hot Springs): N 43°43.920' W 121°15.102' | 43.732, -121.2517

GPS (Trailhead): N 43°43.084' W 121°14.485' | 43.7181, -121.2414

Menlo Park. "Chemical and Isotopic Data for Water from Thermal Wells and Springs of Oregon". United States Department of the Interior. Geological Survey. 1980.
US Forest Service

1 Comment

  1. There are no hot springs already made. You need to mention that ou have to walk 2 miles from your parked car then you have to dog your own hole and wait for it to fill up.

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