Deep in Eastern Oregon, in an undeveloped terrain that boasts of all that is natural and predestined, you will find Juntura Hot Springs. Located on an island in the Malheur River, the hot springs, also known as Horseshoe Bend Hot Springs, are a series of ponds including a large one in the center of the island and smaller pools on the riverbank.
This place gets much attention because of its secluded location, scenic river, and spectacular views of the rolling hills with bright orange arrows on the top of the rocky prominence.
The mineral water comes directly into the large, fifteen by thirty feet pool at a temperature of 115°F and higher. The pool is two-to-four feet deep with a concrete slab that helps to get into the pool. The water temperature depends on the air temperature and, as a rule, in summer it is too hot for soaking. The winter months may provide better opportunities for soaking if the water temperature does not exceed 105°F.
When the upper pool of Juntura Hot Springs becomes extremely hot to stay in, the secondary pool alongside the river is a better soaking opportunity in the summer months. The pool temperature at the edge of the Malheur River can be adjusted by adding a bucket of cold water or by moving one of the rocks to allow river water to flow in.
The hot springs are located 0.6 miles from the old highway bridge. There are two ways to get there. The first one is hiking 0.5 miles from the old bridge. If the weather permits and you have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle, there is another option to drive via a rough road along the river.
To get to the island where the hot pools are, you need to cross the Malheur River. You can easily do it when the water level is low. The river fording during the spring runoff and high water is dangerous.
The hot springs are a popular place among hunters during the falls.
At the south edge of the large pool, there is a memorial board for a young man. He died at the hot springs after a few hours of soaking. Police suspected alcohol was involved in his death. Read More...
Juntura Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 3 miles northeast of Juntura • Eastern Oregon • USA
Service: No services are available
Accommodations: Anywhere on BLM lands
Hiking distance: 0.6 miles
Road Access: Any vehicle to the old highway bridge
Elevation: 2,900 ft (1,097 m)
- Head east on Highway 20
- Before the highway bridge, after milepost 191, turn left (north)
- Continue 0.1 miles to the old highway bridge
- Park your car nearby, walk across the bridge and hike for about 0.5 miles along the Malheur River to the ford.
If you have a 4WD vehicle and the weather as well as the road conditions are allowed, you can use a dirt road just after the bridge on Highway 20. Turn left, after milepost 192 and drive 0.4 miles along the river to the old bridge. Continue next 0.5 miles to the parking and the place where you can cross the river.