The beautiful Pacific Northwest is home to many natural jewels, but the hot springs nearest to Seattle are some of the best treats. A few of them are located right in the Olympic National Park, adding to the majestic ambiance of the environment during soaks.
While all these geothermal pools are at least a couple of hours out of the city, they are all within distances that make for good road trip options. Some are doable on a day trip, while others are best for an overnight or long weekend getaway. And one is located in British Columbia, Canada, just over the border, so bring your passport to this one.
Even though Washington is in the northern part of the country, there can be some hot and humid days, so prepare accordingly. No matter the time of year, bring enough water to stay hydrated. Have a terrific time soaking in Washington’s hot springs.
Here are the closest hot springs waters to Seattle, WA, in order of proximity.
Goldmyer Hot Springs – 55 miles | 2-3 hours
The trip to Goldmyer Hot Springs isn’t for the faint of heart, as the total travel time for the drive and hike is roughly four hours from the Seattle area. This might be an even more arduous day trip from the Olympic National Park area; however, visitors will argue that it’s a fantastic experience.
The Northwest Wilderness Programs privately own these springs, and reservations to visit are offered on a monthly lottery system. From the trailhead, the 4.5-mile hike takes trekkers through a natural gem of lush trees, stunning waterfalls, and rural terrain and ends at a pristine geothermal pool.
Four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended to travel to the trailhead, even in the summer. Even if you’ve been notified that you’re eligible to make a reservation, remember that an NW Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead, and you have to check in upon arrival.
The hot springs are clothing optional, cleaned twice a week by caretakers, and open year-round. There are three hot pools that have a temperature of 104℉ and a cold pool nearby for cooling off. Camping at Goldmyer is permitted on a reservation basis on Wednesdays-Sundays only and may have an additional fee.
Olympic Hot Springs – 101 miles | 3 hours 30 minutes
Located on the state’s northern coast and within the Olympic National Park, the Olympic Hot Springs is a popular summer destination. Nestled in a thick backdrop of pine trees, this area has a few different soaking pools ranging from lukewarm to very hot, reaching as high as 118℉.
These pools are considered primitive and are not maintained by any person or organization, so it’s imperative to know that bacteria may exist in the water.
Getting to Olympic Hot Springs is more challenging than it used to be. The road to Appleton Pass Trailhead is no longer accessible by vehicle, and to get to that starting point, you must walk or bike the road an additional 4.7 miles each way. The roundtrip distance is increased by 9.4 miles going this route on Olympic Hot Springs Road.
The Boulder Creek Campground also used to be popular with car campers before the path got washed out and shut down. These days, backpackers use the area for overnight stays. To get to Olympic Hot Springs from here, take the left fork of the trail for 2.5 miles.
Another route, the Olympic Hot Springs Trail, is much longer at 21 miles each way but is reportedly closed indefinitely as of August 2021 due to flood damage.
Sol Duc Hot Springs – 123 miles | 3 hours 30 minutes
Situated 12 miles into the Olympic National Park, the Sol Duc Hot Springs is a lovely resort open year-round. It’s a perfect place to unwind and enjoy some of nature’s simplest pleasures thoroughly.
The property is surrounded by wooded peaks, a nearby river, and three geothermal pools perfect for soaking. The spring water is fueled by the melting snow and rain in the region and blends with gasses as it travels on volcanic rock.
The three hot springs pools keep temperatures between 99-104℉, with the two hottest pools being appropriate only for guests ages four and up. The wading pool is the coolest of the three and only goes about 8 inches deep, so it’s perfect for families with young kids. There is a fourth freshwater pool that is much colder and hovers around 50-85℉ and gets to be about 10′ deep.
Sol Duc Hot Springs resort has overnight accommodations and four room types: standard cabin, kitchen cabin, duplex kitchen cabin, and the riverside suite. Pets are allowed in the rooms, and many other amenities like housekeeping are available to guests. Travelers that prefer to camp or stay in an RV can stay at the Sol Duc Hot Springs RV & Campground, which includes pool entry fees.
Harrison Hot Springs – 150 miles | 3 hours 20 minutes
Set just across the USA-Canadian border, Harrison Hot Springs is a resort with everything you need for an outdoorsy vacation. Stay the night in one of their cozy rooms or cottages with incredible scenic views after a day of self-care and soaking in the geothermal waters.
Many visitors also like to dine at one of the resort’s on-property restaurants for a relaxing meal before or after the day’s activities. Fishing, biking, hiking, and skiing (seasonal) are all options to keep yourself busy at this location, but the star of their show is the hot springs pools.
There are five different mineral thermal pools at the resort, and using them is reserved for guests only. An indoor pool, family outdoor pool, lap pool, and two others are options for people to unwind and keep temperatures that vary from 87-103℉.
The springs are some of the most popular in the region and have been visited by a few world-renowned celebrities such as John Wayne, Robin Williams, and Liam Neeson. These springs’ waters dissolve roughly 1,300 parts per million, making the mineral concentration very high.
There is also a Harrison Hot Springs public pool nearby, but as of June 2022, it is closed until further notice. Note that while US citizens won’t need a visa to enter Canada, you’ll want to bring your passport to get into the country, and again for crossing back into America.
Carson Hot Springs – 212 miles | 3 hours 30 minutes
Located in southeastern Washington, the Carson Hot Springs Resort, which dates back to the early 1900s, has a charming bathhouse, inviting lodgings, and a tranquil ambiance. Visitors discover the natural splendor of Washington State while reigniting senses and finding solace in the age-old ritual of “taking the waters.”
This cozy, down-to-earth property does not come with luxurious amenities, but it’s the perfect place to unwind in nature with family, friends, or solo. The mineral therapy pool welcomes both day users and overnight guests.
For guests staying at the resort, using the geothermal waters is complimentary and available from 9 am to 8 pm. Day visitors must pay a fee to soak and are permitted to use the facility from 10 am to 7 pm. The temperature of the water rests at a consistent 104℉.
The resort offers various fun outdoor activities for guests, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and exploring the Columbia River gorge.
Keep this list handy for your next trip to Emerald City and Olympic National Park. When a day trip from Seattle is in order, a journey to one of these hot springs might be the perfect way to relax and explore Washington State.