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6 Must-See Natural Hot Springs in Washington

Roofnest Team

Feb 22, 2024

6 Must-See Natural Hot Springs in Washington
Road tripping up the 101 got you feeling exhausted? Ready for a pick-me-up before heading to your next PNW locale? Find a good stopping point—like Olympic National Park—and take a break with a dip in a scenic hot spring. Packed with natural health benefits like increased blood circulation, reduced stress, and pain relief, hot springs in Washington are the perfect answer for achy road trip muscles. Even better news, these hot springs are surrounded by amazing places to camp. You can make it a day trip, or plan an overnight stay to rest up and soak after a long day of hiking, skiing, or just plain road-tripping. Not only will you feel fresh and rejuvenated, but you’ll also rest easy at night in your Roofnest and get a magnificent view of the stars at nearby car-camping sites. Be sure to add these hot springs to your itinerary. You won’t want to miss a chance to soak in these outdoor oases across the beautiful state of Washington.

Goldmyer Hot Springs

Hailed as the “gem of the wilderness” on their website, this hot spring is tucked into the historic Cascade Mountains, and is accessible only through the incredible trails nearby. Be sure to pack your hiking boots! Expert hikers will love the 4.5-mile hike through backcountry forests to get to the hot springs and accompanying campsites. If you’re coming from a hike through Mount Rainer or on the hunt for the best volcanoes in the West, this should be your first stop. Just make sure you’re prepared to pack in and pack out everything you need for the night, including your camping gear. Sadly, you can’t use your Roofnest for this one! There are several amenities at the campsite, but what you won’t find there is an internet connection—although we doubt you’ll need it with a view like The Middle Fork Valley. The website is updated weekly with weather conditions, reservation details, and everything you need to know about their winter COVID-19 policies. This place books up fast, so make sure you plan well in advance of your next adventure! They’re a little old-school, so you will need to call them after 9 AM to make a reservation for February 2021 and beyond.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Once you’re done exploring Seattle, make a pit-stop near Olympic National Forest at this luxurious and rustic hot springs resort. You can rent a whole cabin to yourself, equipped with everything you need for a cozy night in to relax after a long day. Recent visitors have commented on their clean facilities and the various natural pools reserved only for members staying at the cabins. This resort is currently following all CDC protocol so you can rest easy that you’re safe. On a clear night, you will have quite the opportunity to stargaze! Don’t want to part with your Roofnest for the night? You can set up shop at over 93 nearby campsites surrounded by evergreens and the picturesque Sol Duc River.

Carson Hot Springs Resort

You won’t find a better place to unwind than at this scenic hot spring in Washington. Tucked in the Columbia River Gorge, this resort was built in the early 1900’s and is just as authentic as it is relaxing. With sulfur-rich mineral waters, you can truly decompress from your hectic city life. Be aware: You won’t find any glitz in this place, but rather a “doorway into the beauty of nature,” as they put it. But you can add on a massage for a bit of luxurious relaxation. Once you’re feeling fully Zen, take a walk down the Gorge, a beautifully preserved valley with a lot of history, or take a swing at the Elk Ridge Golf Course.

Baker Hot Springs

Looking for a little challenge? Hike your way up to this secluded natural hot spring and then kick your feet up for a while. The hike itself is only 0.6, miles and is suitable for all skill levels. You won’t need a reservation, as this is about as au naturale as you can get. The hot springs are intimate and small as well. Depending on the time you go, you might see a few people or have the place all to yourself. Just be sure you check the weather before-hand as mud is to be expected after snow or rain. And don’t forget your swimsuits and face masks!

Gamma Hot Springs

If Baker wasn’t enough adventure for you, step it up a notch with a hunt for the legendary Gamma hot springs. FYI: This is a pretty difficult spot to get to. But it’s definitely worth the trouble if you’re willing to break a sweat. It also doesn’t hurt that the climb to the hot springs is exceptionally beautiful, and has some perfect spots to park your Roofnest for the night at the base of the mountain. Once you finish your quest to this hot spring, you’ll find some important directions for how to safely control the temperature of the water (150F!) in a black plastic tube. You’ll also see some directions for choosing car-camping sites near Glacier Peak. If you still have your trepidations, be sure to read this thorough blog about getting there safely and what fun things to expect along the way.

Olympic Hot Springs

Last but certainly not least is the holy grail of hot spring territory: the Olympic Hot Springs. With a National Park Pass ($30/car or $15/person walking or biking in), you can make a whole day of this spot. Stop for lunch at the picnic area near the Elwha River and take a photo or two at Glines Canyon. The trails to the hot springs are well-paved, so you won’t have to bring in any heavy-duty gear for this trip. Once you cross a log bridge, you’ll be able to smell the sulfur of the hot springs just around the corner. You’ll find several hot springs along the trail, and others tucked away in the forest. Just be sure you check the temperature first — this is real Mother Nature, and can get painfully hot!

Ready to explore camping near Seattle?

Washington is a wonderful place to explore the rugged wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. There’s nothing quite like discovering the perfect place to relax and unwind, especially with a steamy hot spring nearby. If you’re looking to escape the Emerald City and unleash your inner wild, pack your bags (and your swimwear), and head out for a camping adventure for the ages. Verlot Campground, Deception Pass, and Bainbridge Island are just a quick car ride away, and provide some of the finest scenery in the Pacific Northwest. Check out these incredible camping locations near Seattle >