A short uphill offshoot along the Hot Springs segment of the almost 80-mile-long North Umpqua Trail takes you to a cozy, bird's-eye perch above the river where you can soak in 108-degree water.
While the springs make a great resting spot for those hiking the North Umpqua Trail, the easiest access is from the day use parking area. From the parking area, you'll immediately cross a bridge, which was built in 2010, and continue your uphill hike.
After a few minutes on the trail you will see the roof of the wooden shelter that protects the main pool from the elements. Fed by a garden hose that sources hot water from the spring beneath the hillside, this tub is approximately 3 feet deep and will comfortably fit several people. Six smaller and shallower pools that have been carved out of the hillside sit just to the right of the main pool and are terraced down toward the river. The water from the upper pools flows through channels to the lower ones, which means that the higher pools are both warmer and cleaner.
As you relax atop the 150-foot high mineral deposit, you'll have an elevated view of the North Umpqua River as well as a glimpse of Surprise Falls across the way. You can also take a cooling dip in the river by scrambling down the orange hill or at numerous points along the return hike. Backcountry camping in the area along the river and near the bridge has been shut down by the Forest Service as of spring 2016 due, among many factors, to excessive amounts of refuse, including human waste left by campers.