Hike-in Required
Water Temperature
Sensitive Habitat
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Near the confluence of Deer Creek and the McKenzie River you will find the Bigalow Hot Spring, also known locally as Deer Creek Hot Spring. Located adjacent to the river, this hot pool is partially set inside of a cave, which is also the origin of the spring. The pool is rimmed with rocks, and ferns cling to the cliff above the spring. The lush walls of the spring, the pristine river, and the forest setting make this a great place to stop, relax, and lose yourself in nature. 

The water temperature is tepid at best, which can be good if you want to take a long soak without overheating. A rock near the cave entrance makes a great place to stretch out and rest your head. Bigalow Hot Springs is a no-fee hot spring, which is a contrast to the nearby Belknap and Terwilliger hot springs. This makes Bigalow a great place to visit, though when several people get the same idea at the same time, it can easily get crowded.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


No fee. Easy, short hike.


Only one pool.



Number of pools



Nearby Lodging + Camping


This isn't known locally as Deer Creek Hot Spring, that's the actual name. Other than that, I fully agree with the description. Even the rock suggested for lying down to rest was a great spot to stretch out and relax with the lady.

After turning onto NF-2564 from Hwy 126, there will be a small one lane bridge crossing the river. Immediately after that is a small roadside parking lot to the right. Park there, cross the street on foot and take the left fork right at the trailhead, and you won't miss it.

The water isn't clear, but once you get past the larger rocks on the edges of the pool, you have a nice flat ground of comfortable obsidian pebble to walk on. All in all, the water gets no deeper than about 3 feet on the outside of the cave. We didn't venture into the cave to see if it got deeper in there.

This was definitely worth the stop and the soak.
This is a Summer adventure. I just went this weekend and the water temperature was the same as the river. Still, it was a beautiful place and I'll be returning when the weather is warm.
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