Hike to Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Little Crater Campground

Relaxing in your own, lakeside hot spring feels that much better as a stop along this 2.4 mile hike.

Starting at Little Crater Campground, head north toward the hot springs (43.730, -121.247). If you're really looking to stretch your legs, you can extend the out-and-back hike to a full loop around the lake just shy of 8 miles. The water in the springs is around 95 degrees, and doesn't smell of sulfur. You can even dig your own spring on the North Beach.

Photo Credit: Amy Meredith

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Sun protection
  • NW Forest Pass
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RT Distance 2.4 Miles
Activities Chillin, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Hot Springs
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome View!

Amazing. About 4-5 little hot spring pools that are right on the lake's shore facing mount Paulina. It is kind of difficult to find unfortunately but totally worth it. Only recommendation is to bring shoes that you don't mind getting wet and have good coverage. Sadly there were cigarette butts and glass in and around the pools. I went off the trails to find the hot springs at one point and I almost stepped on a used needle and syringe. So don't take your shoes off until you scope everything out and don't go off unless you have too. Directions: Drive to the very end of camp ground and park at the trail head. Follow the trail that hugs the lake for about 30 minutes. Then look for a "Trail" sign to your left that is leaning against a tree. It's on a pretty decent hill and you can't see the lake from that path but it's pretty noticeable trail/well walked on trail (I think there is also a big downed tree laying horizontal on the path too). But just follow that pathway down right to the hot springs. It's about a quarter to 1/3 of the way around the lake. There are multiple pools that are squared off by old trees/logs. They are tiny rocks/pebbles that allow you to easily dig deeper if it's shallow. If it's too hot, just let some lake water in.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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