Located in the Grant County on the bank of the Middle Fork of the John Day River, Ritter Hot Springs are ideal for all those wanting a secluded and remote location to beat the summer crowds. The perfect destination for hot spring seekers as well as those looking for a relaxing weekend trip.
Ritter Hot Springs was discovered more than 120 years ago. The first wooden structures were built in 1886 but they were destroyed in the fire. Surprisingly that a building of the General Store, constructed in 1894, still stands as a historical evidence of the old time, time of settlers and cowboys.
The source of the natural hot springs can be reached via a suspension bridge built over the river leading up to a hillside. A small walk up the hillside leads to a rustic bathhouse with three concrete cider block tubs that have been painted blue and earthen-red. While open towards the sky, the tubs are enclosed from all other directions to maintain privacy. If a soak in the hot springs leaves you yearning for a quick cool off, a swimming hole is conveniently located down the road from the springs.
The Ritter Hot Springs water is piped across the Middle Fork of the John Day River into the 40x60-foot swimming pool, located near a rustic hotel. A temperature is comfortable enough to enjoy swimming and soaking in mineral water. There are a lot of toys in the pool to play with for fun activities.
Ritter Hot Springs offer rooms in hotel, cabins, and campsite. Next, to the river, you will find a single pipe wrench for your neck and shoulders massages with hot mineral water. There are restrooms and shower in the changing area for day-use guests.
Visitors to Ritter can also enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming, hiking a rock collecting. Rockhounds will be thrilled with the plethora of zeolites found in the area including heulandite, chabazite, analcime, stilbite, and apophyllite. If you desire to avoid the crowds thronging almost all places this summer, Ritter Springs is the place for you.
Access: Seasonal, from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Development: 40' x 60' concrete pool, soaking tubs
Service: Store, dressing rooms, showers, picnic and playground facilities
Accommodations: Hotel, cabins, and campsites
Walking distance from the parking: Short
Pool: adult - $3, kids under 7 - $2, kids under 2 - free
Hot Bath: $3
Elevation: 2,500 ft (762 m)
GPS coordinates: 44.892, -119.142
Ritter Hot Springs are located:
- 65 miles north of John Day
- 194 miles northeast of Bend
- 293 miles east of Portland.
Address: 40035, Ritter Road, Ritter, OR 97856
Directions to Ritter Hot Springs
From I-84, take Highway 395 near Pendleton, travel 77 miles to milepost 77B, turn west onto Ritter Road, continue for 10 miles, cross the river's bridge. In 0.2 miles turn right onto a gravel road and drive to the destination.