Often considered one of the most remote areas of Oregon, Three Forks Warm Springs is located at the confluence of the three forks of the Owyhee River. Due to its isolation, nearly forty miles from the nearest paved road, and much of the dirt road is impassable to normal vehicles, this area can be difficult to access.
After successfully navigating the long dirt road, visitors are rewarded with a relaxing soak in one of the many pools in the area. Water emerges from various sources at around 95° F before pooling in a few different pools on both sides of the river.
Mineral Hot Spring Pools
There are a few small pools on the east side of the river, but the best pools require crossing the Owyhee River. When the river is high, this can be incredibly dangerous, so attempts to cross should only be made in safe conditions.
On the west side of the river, there are a few hot spring pools situated around the nearby canyon, adjacent to the river. These pools are larger and deeper than the ones on the other side of the river, so, assuming conditions are safe, it’s worth it to cross.
The highlight of the area is a large pool featuring a waterfall leading to another pool below. Due to the quickly flowing water, the pools remain remarkably clean. While the springs are not as hot as some, the geothermally heated mineral water that flows from them is perfect for soaking in a beautiful riverside canyon on warm days.
What to Know Before Going
A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended to access these off-grid springs. The forty-mile dirt road is poorly maintained, and there are areas where a typical car cannot easily pass, especially in wet conditions.
The normally solid road becomes an impassable, muddy mess, and it becomes incredibly easy to get stuck. For that reason, avoid Three Forks Warm Spring when rain is in the forecast.
The final four miles of the dirt road leading to the springs are particularly treacherous. At this point, the road drops steeply and roughly into the Three Forks Canyon. Most people are uncomfortable with these conditions, so they choose to park at the rim and make the easy hike to the springs.
Near the pools at the bottom of the canyon, there are five campgrounds, a sizeable parking area, and a basic pit toilet. There is no potable water available in the area, so visitors must either bring their own or be prepared to treat water from the river.
Due to its remote nature, there is no cell service in the area. Especially considering the rough road conditions, it’s important to have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
Address: Jordan Valley, Oregon 97910
Season: Year-Round | Check weather conditions before going
Camping: 5 campgrounds nearby; bring your own water