If you're planning on visiting Leslie Gulch hot springs, you're in for a lovely trip to a beautiful, remote destination in eastern Oregon.
Leslie Gulch Hot Springs in eastern Oregon is an awesome destination that features one of the most incredible rock formations in the state (and that's saying a lot!). Most of the land in this area is BLM land, but there is only one designated campground.
What is Leslie Gulch?
Leslie Gulch is a canyon in eastern Oregon on the east side of Owyhee Lake. It's well-loved for its gorgeous, towering rock formations that are unlike anything else in the area.
It's popular with campers, hikers, climbers, and more. There are more than 80 routes in the area, most of which are sport climbs. Unfortunately, improper route development in the area has resulted in the Gulch being off-limits for new development, although you can still climb there.
The area is remote, requiring 15 miles of driving on a gravel road. There is one main road, Leslie Gulch Road, running through the center of the wilderness area with four bathrooms, hiking trails, photo opportunities, a boat dock, and at the west end, camping.
There are several gulches within Leslie Gulch; they are:
Upper Leslie Gulch
Another pro tip! Watch out for rattlesnakes. This area is somewhat notorious for its popularity with these snakes.
The Best Hot Springs Near Leslie Gulch
Leslie Gulch is a fantastic place to go if you're looking for hot springs.
Snively Hot Springs
One of the most popular hot springs near Leslie Gulch. It's located on the banks of the Owyhee River. You can enjoy the warm water with views of the towering, multi-colored walls of the canyon around you.
It's about 19 miles from Nyssa, Idaho, 48 miles from Harper, Oregon, and only offers primitive amenities. To find the hot springs, travel from Highway 201 to Owyhee Avenue and then onto Owyhee Lake Road. You can also take Lytle Boulevard or Chalk Butte Road from Highway 20.
You can use Snively Hot Springs throughout the year. But, it can close temporarily due to runoff. The area is also only open for day use. It closes at sunset. It's also important to know that no glass is allowed near the springs, nor are fires allowed. You also can't camp here.
Givens Hot Springs
Givens Hot Springs was established in 1881 and is certainly the oldest hot spring on our list. It's an hour from Boise and 1/2 an hour from Nampa. It's a fantastic place to enjoy nature with the whole family.
The water is always clean, rarely crowded, and usually at between 98 and 99 degrees. It's also regularly changed. The spring is named for the founders, Milford and Mattie Givens, who made their home in the area. Givens Hot Springs is open 7 days a week from noon to 9:00 PM. It is around an hour and 20 minutes from Leslie Gulch.
Ryegrass Hot Springs
Ryegrass Hot Springs and Grely Bar Hot Springs are close to Leslie Gulch and accessible via the river or hiking. The hike in is quite long, so most people prefer to float in. It takes a few miles to hike into either location and is better suited to those who want to spend the night.
The best time of year to visit is in April and May.
Three Forks Hot Springs
This lesser-known hot spring is located on private land that, for the moment, is accessible to hikers. The springs are accessed from the confluence of the North, Middle, and Main fork of the Owyhee River. The road is very difficult to pass and is usually only attempted by those with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This is particularly true if there is any rain at all.
Read more about Three Forks Hot Springs.
Echo Rock Hot Springs
Echo Rock Hot Springs is another popular Leslie Gulch hot spring. It's on the southern bank of the Owyhee Reservoir and includes a man-made pool and a shower. You can visit any time of day and will certainly want to after you see what this area has to offer!
The hot spring is not easy to reach. It requires hiking four miles along the bank of the Owyhee Reservoir before reaching it. The spring and the shower are both around 106 degrees. Although you can visit any time of year, it's best to make the hike when the weather isn't too hot or cold to make it as easy as possible. Some people choose to boat into the spring along the river as well.
Alvord Desert Hot Spring
Alvord Desert is not as close to Leslie Gulch as Echo Rock or Snively, but it's still well worth a visit. It's at the base of the Steens Mountains and is open year-round. It's far easier to access than Echo Rock Hot Springs and incredibly appealing.
You'll enjoy laying out in the water while taking in the gorgeous, expansive views. The spring is based around a geothermal pool that, without the clever engineering that's gone into the area, would be 184 degrees! But, don't worry! Temps are nowhere near that. On a normal day, the pools are between 100 and 110 degrees.
The hot spring requires a $5 entry fee because it's on private land owned by Alvord Ranch. There is also a changing room and gift shop on site.
Crystal Crane Hot Springs
Crystal Crane Hot Springs is, without a doubt, the fanciest Leslie Gulch hot spring you're going to find. It's a unique experience, one that's located in Harney County, Oregon. You can rent a private tub or enjoy the shared ones. The springs are run by a family and have been for years. They also offer lodging onsite.
Some of the amenities you'll have to enjoy include:
Enclosed, cedar bathhouse
Private cabins for rent
Regularly cleaned baths
Their large soaking pond is 7' deep and around 101 degrees.
Leslie Gulch Camping
Slocum Creek is the only designated camping area in the Gulch, with around 12 sites, some of which have picnic table covers. It's not usually too busy. You'll be able to enjoy fishing, biking, floating, canoeing, boating, hiking, and of course, visiting hot springs!
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