Enjoy a short, moderate day hike through the old growth forests of Olympic National Park and soak in one of 22 natural hot springs. Take advantage of the local clothing optional tradition and go au naturel in one of the many pools secluded from the trail, if you want.

A local favorite, this moderate day hike winds its way uphill from the Appleton Pass trailhead through old growth stands of fir, hemlock and cedar for 2.2 miles to a cluster of hot springs interspersed among the trees.

Located in the Olympic National Park, the trailhead lies at the end of Olympic Hot Springs Road, several miles above the old Glines Canyon Dam (now removed).

The hike itself consists mostly of a long abandoned road that has since converted into a broad trail. The old asphalt has been removed and replaced with shredded wood to encourage plant growth, making for a smooth and pleasant path.

As you near the hot springs, the old roadway gives way to narrower trail. Here you will cross a newly-built suspension bridge at Crystal Creek. At the top of the slope after the bridge, you'll enter a flat meadow (once a parking lot). Bear right at the fork and follow your nose to the hot springs. Keep an eye out on both sides of the trail, as some of the best pools are tucked away among the trees.

Camping is also available at Boulder Creek Campground adjacent to the hot springs.

Note that the NPS does not monitor the water quality of the hot springs.

Pack List

  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes
  • Water
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Towel
  • Bathing suit (optional)
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RT Distance 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 260 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Absolutely Worth It

We weren’t sure if a 3 hour drive for a soak in a hot spring would be worth it during our short trip to Seattle - I’m so glad we did. Not only is hiking through Olympic a life changing experience on its own, these were some of the best hot springs I’ve been to - and that’s a LOT! We went in the fall (oct) and passed maybe 3 people the entire time, had the springs to ourselves. While some pools are tucked away, the ones pictured were the biggest/deepest we could find. So freaking gorgeous. The water is clear, the top pool was hella hot but the lower, deeper one was very comfortable. Definitely want to go again & go camping!

Road is open! Hike is beautiful.

We were so happy to find the road open to the hot springs! The hike up is beautiful and on a Sunday morning there were only a couple people there. Make sure to check out the hot springs farther up the trail for a more private option.

Road Still Closed, Easy Hike Tho

With the road closed it makes for a tidy 21mi round trip hike, possible to do it in a day (we did). That being said, the road was 95% clear of snow two days ago when we did it and the trail itself was snowy but not bad! I would suggest bringing a good pair of road-running shoes for the hike/jog up and the jog back down on the road, if it's going to be closed! There were a few trees down and a spot that looked like it might slide soon, so I could understand why it was closed. Hot springs were lovely!! Very sulfur-y, as to be expected, but perfectly hot and amazing to soak in for a bit before heading back down! They're all a bit spaced and hidden around once you cross the log bridge (hang a left and stay left [towards the little outhouse with the crescent moon on it] once you cross the suspension bridge), we found the bigger one near the river only on our way out. I felt bad for dragging my not-as-outdoorsy/not-long-distance-running friend with me. She was in pain by the end, but I didn't have to carry her so I was proud!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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