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Falling rock closed hot springs pool

Forest service plans tour

Hot springsCOUGAR RESERVOIR: After a large rock nearly hit a bather in April, the U.S. Forest Service closed off a pool at Terwilliger Hot Springs. Since April 29th, other rocks and debris have continued to fall, and the top pool was temporarily closed. Three pools remain open for use and visitor enjoyment.

“We will be looking into solutions to stabilize the site but first, we want to hear from the public on what aspects of the springs they most value so we can do our best to protect those values, while ensuring visitor safety,” said Duane Bishop, Acting McKenzie River District Ranger. “We also want to convey the safety situation. The area is dangerous and the closure is to protect visitors from getting hurt.”

With that in mind, the McKenzie River Ranger District is inviting the public to go on a field trip to Terwilliger on Thursday, June 12th, at 10:30 a.m. The purpose will be to discuss safety concerns surrounding the top pool and cave and to gather input from visitors for next steps.

Terwilliger Hot Springs, also known as Cougar Hot Springs, are a natural wonder that has been in use for decades. Thousands of visitors from all over the world travel to the site every year to soak in the pools.

To reach the hot springs from Highway 126, turn onto Forest Service Road 19 (Aufderheide) and travel for approximately seven miles to the Terwilliger Parking lot. A dirt trail of approximately 1/4 mile leads to the springs.

No fee will be charged for visitors attending the field trip on June 12th. The site will re-open at approximately noon on that day. Anyone wanting to stay and enjoy the hot springs will need to pay the $6 user fee at that time.

For more information on the field trip, contact Katie Isacksen at 541.782.5355 or at [email protected].

Image above: A falling rock, lower left corner of photo, as well as other debris led to the closure. Photo courtesy USFS.


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