Breitenbush Hot Springs-A place to bring life into balance

I spent an amazing day at the Breitenbush Hot Springs yesterday.  The entrance fee included activities, hot pools, and an awesome, vegetarian lunch.  This is a place I highly recommend – it really is a place of balance.


First let me tell you what my life has been like lately.  Finances stretched so tight the next ding is going to cause it to explode – I got the flu – husband had to go to the emergency room (additional stretches to the already stretched budget).  I’m trying to find a higher paying job and from five interviews so far, I’ve had five rejections with no feedback.  I was tense, depressed and feeling rather hopeless.

Enter Breitenbush.

A gift certificate to this place was shared with me.  Sounded great!  We got there, checked in, and headed down the path to the lodge.


We got to the lodge first.


We checked out the events for the day and chose which one we wanted to do.  The “Systems” tour at 2:30.  OK – now off to explore.  It was raining a little bit and the flowers outside the lodge held sparkling droplets of water.  I couldn’t resist bringing out my camera!



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As we walked past the lodge, we spotted this little fellow helping himself to the remnants of breakfast!

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We hiked along the Breitenbush river, taking in the beauty of it all.

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Chairs and benches were placed along the river for people to sit and take in nature.

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Some of the staff live on the grounds year around.  We walked past the village and saw this amazing gypsy style camper home!  I think I could live there.



The egg ladies.

As we approached the “silent” pool (a pool where you don’t talk, you simply be present), we sat on a bench to decide what to do next.  We looked up and there was a young doe in the field in front of us.  She came so close I got these photos with a regular lens!  We quietly watched – and then decided to take the plunge!

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Then quietly we slipped into the hot mineral waters.  For twenty minutes we sat in silence – looking at the leaves of the trees that gently canopied the pool and listening to the quiet sounds of the birds, the leaves blowing, and the occasional loud burst of laughter from someone in the distance.  I closed my eyes and intentionally moved my stresses from my toes, up my legs and body and out my finger tips into the hot pool where they vaporized into the air.  Sounds new age, I know, but it was very real and very effective.  Then I just let my body float.  I got out of that pool with a new perspective and a totally fresh feeling throughout my entire being – mind, body and spirit – Soma.


This is the steam room. It accesses one of the scalding pools (too hot to sit in) and disperses mineral steam throughout the room. We didn’t make it in her this time, but it will be a designated stop next time!

Next we headed off to lunch – and what a lunch!  Quinoa and Kasha seasoned with fresh herbs; salad of apples, fennel, and walnuts; a salad bar complete with HOMEMADE dressings and my favorite, lemon cucumbers!  The potato, pesto pinwheels were utterly amazing!  Top it off with cold, spiced rooibos tea – I ate well.

We saw some beautiful carvings and totems on the grounds.

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After lunch we walked more (my fitbit clocked 12K steps for the day here) – we toured the grounds and learned how they use the natural resources of the river and the hot springs to provide heat, electricity, and drinking water for the residents and the guests.  There is no “management”, it’s a lateral leadership and each member of the team works together to get the job done.  It was incredibly interesting to learn about the hot pools and how each is different with different minerals.  The guide, Jerry, also talked about the history of the area.  In the 1910s, people came to the “healing springs”, not to sit in them, but to drink them!  The cabins are heated with radiators that run on water heated by the hot springs.


This is the plaque in front of the gate that traps the water and filters it for drinking. There are also special gates to protect the fish from falling into the flow that goes to the turbine, but instead gives them access safely back into the river.


The pipe off to the right of the photo is what feeds the water into the filtering area.


The turbine is housed in this building.



Mineral deposits build on the rocks and on the equipment. Pipes and machines have to be cleaned regularly.


This is the sulfur pool. The water temperature is 185 degrees. There are many pools like this (with varying mineral compositions) throughout the grounds – they are marked SCALDING WATER.


After our tour we went to the gift shop.  You would think a gift shop would be over priced, but not this one.  Great items (wanted many) at reasonable prices.  I got a book of poetry and a glass Buddha for my home office.

Then, reluctantly, it was time to leave.  We headed back toward the parking lot, discussing coming back.  We’re staying over night next time – Friday AND Saturday night!


And, as if to say, “Thanks for coming”, the beautiful little doe came walking through the main area, nibbling on plants as she passed.

Well, good-bye for now Breitenbush, but I will be back.

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If you think you want to check it out, visit their website – here’s the link.  Reservations are REQUIRED even for day use and they fill up fast.  For $58 we both had entry, access to events and our meal.  I HIGHLY recommend you give it a try.  They say they are “A place to bring life into balance”.  Considering how I entered and then how I left, I believe them.  Completely.


About Helen Fern

I live in the upper Willamette Valley with my amazing husband and four very spoiled cats - three adopted feral cats and one shelter baby. We have lived here since the dawn of 1991 and love every inch of the region.
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7 Responses to Breitenbush Hot Springs-A place to bring life into balance

  1. Mia White says:

    Lovely. Aren’t they a clothing optional place? Growing up nearby it was a known nudist colony.

    • Helen Fern says:

      Only in the hot pools. Clothes are required everywhere else. Most everyone went bare (I took me a couple of hours to work up the courage, but I did it). Once you’re in the pools, you don’t even think about it.

  2. Pingback: Places to Go - In Oregon! · Pleasures of the NorthwestPleasures of the Northwest

  3. Wow…this place looks amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  4. Tianna says:

    what a gorgeous place for a retreat! love the photo of the squirrel! that’s too cute 🙂 bummer about your interviews, but I’m sure you’ll find something even better soon ♥

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