• Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs is a hidden gem in the high desert
• Two adjoining pools provide a unique soaking experience
Located in the remote part of southeastern Oregon, just 20 miles north of the Oregon-Nevada border, Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs, also known as Willow Creek Hot Springs, is a hidden gem in the high desert.
The hot springs consist of two adjoining perfectly-round pools, separated by a concrete dam. The fairly clear mineral water bubbles up at 114°F through the sandy bottom of the 14 feet in diameter and 2.5 feet deep smaller pool. This pool is hotter with the water temperature between 100 - 104 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on air temperature and wind. The water from the smaller pool flows into the larger and cooler pool where the temperature ranges from 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite being one of the region's most frequented pools, it is quite preserved, generally clean, and, usually, not crowded. There is a BLM campsite nearby where visitors can settle and enjoy widespread nature and the beauty surrounding Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs and Willow Creek.
The campsite is right on the creek's bank and it has everything necessary for a leisurely camping experience including picnic tables, fire rings, parking spaces, and an outhouse pit toilet. Camping at Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs will fill your stay with playful sounds of nature and fabulous sunset and sunrise soaks.
Interestingly, Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs survived a devastating 560,000-acre wildfire in 2012. While the region suffered massive damage, this site remained virtually intact. This was the state's largest fire since the 1860s, destroying many habitats and killing high numbers of cattle, horses, coyotes, and other wildlife.
This site is quite a natural beauty, with plenty of vegetation and wildlife, such as Pronghorn, Bighorn sheep, Greater Sage-Grouse, and many more. Some visitors claim to have seen many of these wild creatures during their stays.
The hot springs are easily reached from the gravel Whitehorse Ranch Road (read driving directions below). The last 2.5 miles of the dusty road becomes soft mud. The road gets pretty muddy on rainy days; thus, it is best to go to the hot springs during non-rainy seasons to ensure you won't get stuck in the mud.
Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 34 miles east of Fields • Southeastern Oregon • USA
Amenities: None except a vault toilet
Accommodations: BLM campground on a first come, first served basis; Camping is not allowed within 100 feet of the hot springs.
Distance from the parking: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle when the roads are dry.
Day-use fees: Free
Elevation: 4,495 ft (1,370 m)
Directions to Whitehorse Ranch Hot Springs
- Take OR-78 and head southeast for 91 miles to OR-78 and US-95 Junction
- Bear right and drive 21 miles to Whitehorse Ranch Lane, between milepost 87 and 88
- Turn right (west) onto Whitehorse Ranch Lane and follow 21 miles to Whitehorse Ranch
- Drive 2.8 miles, past the ranch and turn left (south) onto the dirt road
- Continue 2.5 miles to the destination.
- Take OR-205 south and drive 8 miles south to Whitehorse Ranch Lane
- Bear left (east) onto Whitehorse Ranch Lane and follow 23 miles to the dirt road on the right
- Turn right (south) and continue 2.5 miles to the destination.