Date: Jan 16-17, 2021
Activity: boondocking, hot springs
Location: Snively Hot Springs in Oregon

We finally got to our first free outdoor hot springs! We first drove into the main drive and noticed a sign that definitely was trying to say “day use only.” So we drove back up the road a hot minute and backed into a prime piece of real estate on BLM land. It was a 5 minute walk down to the hot springs from there. We met people who had parked their campers further down the canyon road, so there seems to be plenty of options for camping nearby. Another family we met at the hot springs were staying at a nearby Airbnb. There is a pit toilet that is very dirty and may or may not have toilet paper or hand sanitizing options. At this time of year (January 2021) the water was low and there were three different pools of warm/hot water. The bottom is rocky. The temperature is controlled by a stream that flows into the largest pool and can be altered by pilling up or taking down rocks. At one point, we got brave enough to hop over the short rock wall and into the freezing mountain stream. The rocks on the cold side of the wall were mossy and slippery and the water is shallow and extremely cold.

boondocking in the hot springs

TIPS And tricks

  1. We quickly learned our own rules for the best hot spring experience: wear a swimsuit, bathrobe and sandals down to the water and pack a bag with a towel and a cool drink.
  2. If we had spent more time at the hot springs, we would have hiked up the canyon walls. As it was, we saw people climbing the steep hills as we sat steaming up in the hot springs.