Like many western states, Washington is also blessed with natural hot spring pools for soaking. While they are spread around the state, the majority reside in the western part of Washington. Reap all the benefits of the thermal mineral water while you relax away your worries in the Pacific Northwest.
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List of Natural Hot Springs in Washington
Washington has several hot springs open year-round to the public. There are both free primitive ones that you might have to hike to, and developed resorts that are easy to reach by car. Some even have overnight accommodations on-site, so you can spend the night.
Map of Natural Hot Springs in Washington
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Guide to Washington’s Natural Hot Springs
Washington State is an undisputed jewel in America’s Pacific Northwest. Known for its outdoorsy lifestyle with scenery to match, it’s no surprise to find ample opportunities to soak in natural hot springs while visiting areas that are attractions in their own right.
Whether it’s the deep woods of the North Cascades, the wild, untamed San Juan Islands, the moss-covered forests of the Olympic Peninsula, or the jaw-dropping scenery of the Columbia River Gorge, anywhere worth visiting in Washington State has its own soaking opportunities for those willing to make the effort. And if that wasn’t convenient enough, they also come in a variety of styles and budgets.
While soaking opportunities can be found at varying latitudes in the state, they’re all concentrated in the mountainous (and most scenic) western half of the state. This means that your options are all just a few hours’ drive/ferry ride from the urban sprawl of Seattle, making for long day trips or manageable overnight escapes.
Amenities range from well-developed resorts with spa treatments and bathhouses on-site to primitive pools requiring a substantial trek to get there. Here’s a brief breakdown of two of the most common options available: primitive and developed sites.
Primitive Pools in WA
If you like your nature to be, well, all-natural (with the option of soaking au naturel), Washington’s primitive pools are sure to beckon. Just be sure to bring along some hiking boots, as the journey to get there will often entail more than just a casual effort.
Near Port Angeles, on the stunning Olympic Peninsula and within the national park that bears its name, the totally natural Olympic Hot Springs are only accessible via a ten-mile hike – one way.
Other primitive pools, such as Wind River Hot Springs in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, will require some off-the-beaten-path thinking and hiking to avoid the fiercely-defended private property that surrounds them.
Other options, such as Goldmyer Hot Springs or Scenic Hot Springs, will allow you to combine some truly breathtaking hikes (both literally and figuratively) in the North Cascades, with the reward of a refreshing soak at the end.
Hot Spring Resorts in WA
Since not everyone is physically or mentally fit for a long trek before they can soak their troubles away in a hot spring, developed springs are the preferred option for those who come solely looking to relax. They often include onsite accommodations, amenities, and even spa treatments.
Of course, this being Washington State, it’s hard to resist the appeal of the great outdoors, which is particularly on display in this lovely corner of the world. The wonderful thing about Washington State’s hot springs is that you can easily combine a visit to one of these relaxing oases with other typical outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, whale watching, and camping.
On Orca Island, tucked away in the lightly-trodden San Juan Islands archipelago, the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat brings soakers to a natural getaway. The sounds and sights of nature combine with the healing waters to achieve a blissful state of relaxation.
At the same time, guests to this remote jewel can kayak the gorgeous coastline, or join a whale-watching cruise to see the Orcas from which the island derives its name, all while enjoying the comforts of the rustic onsite facilities.
A visit to see the lovely Columbia River Gorge with its wealth of outdoor activities will also put you in a great position to enjoy historic Carson Hot Springs Resort, where you can enjoy the charm of vintage buildings and an honest-to-goodness bathhouse, while still getting in a round of golf.
Lastly, a visit to the massive Olympic National Park will allow you to naturally soak away your aches and pains at the upscale facilities of the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort with its lodge and manicured pools, located near Port Angeles.
Naturally, determining which option is best is up to you to decide, but therein lies the appeal of Washington’s hot springs: You can have your experience any way you want it, and in most cases, the journey will be just as rewarding as the destination.
And when that destination is the soothing waters of a hot spring surrounded by rich, earthy, alpine scenery, a trip to Washington’s hot springs is a trip that is well worth the effort.
Nearby States with Natural Springs
Learn more about what makes Washington famous on our sister site, La Vida Nomad.