Soak in the Summer Lake Hot Springs

Added by Aaron Selig

A nice and relaxing spot in eastern Oregon to soak in some Hot Springs. Beside the bathhouse, there are also outdoor pools to soak in. Summer Lake and Paisley are in a remote area of Eastern Oregon and don't see many visitors, which will allow for a nice escape from civilization. This area also has some of the darkest skies in the country, with no light pollution for at least 50 miles in any direction, making it perfect for star gazing and night photography.

From Bend drive 32 miles south on Highway 97, through La Pine to Highway 31 (2 miles south of La Pine). Turn left (east) on Highway 31 and continue for 92 miles. Summer Lake Hot Springs is on the left side of the road at mile marker 92.

This is a very rustic area, with old barns and farm equipment scattered around the property. There are even old streamline campers available to stay in. Other accommodations include full hook up RV sites, tent sites and cabins which are all within walking distance to the hot springs. There are also day use options available.

After a nice and relaxing soak in the hot springs after dinner, I grabbed my camera and tripod to spend some quality time under the clear night sky. Even with the moon slightly illuminating the area, the stars were shining bright. The winter milky way sloped up above the mountains and arched right over the bathhouse. Coyotes and local cattle were the only sounds in the dark night. In the morning, you can take another relaxing soak after taking in the beautiful sunrise and alpenglow and then venture off to the small rural town of Paisley. If you're up for it, stop off at the incredible Fort Rock on our way home.

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To call this area "The Oregon Outback" is pretty dead-on accurate. Sprawling views, clear air, and a night sky that might as well be it's own light fixture/mural make the Summer Lake Hot Springs incredibly unique. There are camping spots, trailer areas, 4 studio "wood cabin" style cabins, a couple more duplex style adobe cabins, and a 2 bedroom ranch house you can stay in. The bath house is incredible - with a large indoor soaking pool, and just ourside, 3 smaller rock pools. A walk around the grounds to see the open barns and gypsy decor are worth a gander as well. If you forget anything, the tiny town of Paisley is a 10 min drive SE, with a quaint general store, two diners, and a gas station. Having been here a handful of times - it's never too crowded, and never sketchy like some other hot springs to the west. It's perfect for a great time of unplugging and rejuvenation.

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