If you are on the lookout for an excellent location to enjoy a hot soak, then Snively Hot Springs should definitely be considered. Located around the upper part of the Owyhee River Canyon, this spot offers the stunning vista of the Owyhee River that flows through the colorful geological formations of the picturesque canyon.
The hot water up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit comes out of the ground near the Owyhee Lake Road approximately 300 feet from the riverside. It flows via a ditch to the 2-3 feet deep and 20 feet wide manually built circular rock pool with the gravel bottom situated right in the river.
The water within the pool is shallow, between two to three feet deep. The hot water mixes in with the cold water within the rock and boulder-lined gravel and sand pools. Consistently stirring the water with your hand, in order to mix hot water with cold water, helps to maintain an even temperature and prevent the hot water from floating to the top.
The pool temperatures may vary depending on the distance from the river or the source of the springs. You can find the perfect soaking location by moving towards or away from the hot springs source.
The hot springs area is open year-round but late summer, fall and winter seasons are the best seasons because the springs pool can submerge with the river during spring runoff or when the dam releases water.
The high desert of Owyhee River Canyon offers an attractive set of outdoor adventures including hiking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and wildlife watching.
The springs are situated on BLM land 12 miles below the Owyhee Dam and come with a big parking area, pit toilet, and picnic table.
The Snively Hot Springs recreation area gets overused and littered. To keep the place clean and safe, BLM allows day-use only, camping and fires are not allowed and glass containers are prohibited within 30 feet of the hot springs.
Caution. Watch out for poison oak along the river bank and around the parking area.
Snively Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 31 miles southwest of Ontario • Eastern Oregon • USA
Open: Year-round, day-use
Service: Pit toilet
Accommodations: No camping and fire are allowed within 30 feet of the hot springs
Restrictions: No camping, no fires, no shooting, no glass containers allowed within 30 feet of the pool
Hiking distance: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle
Elevation: 2,400 ft (732 m)
- Drive toward E Idaho Ave
- Take I-84 East and drive 4 miles toward Boise
- Take exit 3 for US-95, turn right onto US-95 South, and continue 7.2 miles to US-20/US-26
- Turn right and continue 2.4 miles to OR-201 South
- Turn left onto toward Lake Owyhee and continue for about 8 miles to Owyhee Avenue
- Turn right onto Owyhee Avenue and drive 4 miles to Owyhee Lake Road
- Turn left and continue on Owyhee Lake Road for 6.5 miles to the parking area on the left.