Olympic State Park Hot Springs: A Unique Soaking Experience in the Wilderness

Olympic State Park Hot Springs, nestled in the heart of Olympic National Park, offer a one-of-a-kind soaking experience for adventurous visitors. These natural, untreated hot water seeps along the Elwha River Valley provide a chance to relax and rejuvenate in the stunning natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest.

Accessing the Hot Springs

Getting to the Olympic State Park Hot Springs is a bit of an adventure in itself. Due to a recent road washout, visitors must park at the Madison Falls Trailhead and either hike or bike 9 miles on the Olympic Hot Springs Road. A bypass trail will take you around the washout, but once you reach the Boulder Creek Trailhead, you’ll still need to hike an additional 1.5 miles to reach the hot springs. Bicycles are not allowed on this final stretch.

The journey to the hot springs is well worth the effort, as it allows you to immerse yourself in the serene wilderness of Olympic National Park. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Elwha River Valley and the surrounding mountains.

Exploring the Hot Springs

Olympic State Park Hot Springs

Once you reach the hot springs, you’ll find a series of natural, unmaintained pools fed by the hot water seeps. These pools can vary in temperature, with some reaching up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s essential to test the water temperature before soaking to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.

The hot springs are not monitored or treated by the park, so visitors should be aware that the water may contain harmful bacteria. It’s important to exercise caution and use the hot springs at your own risk.

Camping and Permits

Camping is permitted near the hot springs, but backpackers must follow wilderness camping regulations and acquire a wilderness use permit before their trip. This helps to ensure that the delicate ecosystem of the area is protected and that visitors have a safe and responsible experience.

Nearby Alternatives

For those who prefer a more developed and regulated hot springs experience, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, located off the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road, offers seasonal day use of three mineral pools and one freshwater pool. These pools are tested daily to comply with safety and health regulations, and are only accessible when the resort is open.


The Olympic State Park Hot Springs offer a unique and unforgettable soaking experience in the heart of the Olympic wilderness. While the journey to reach them may be a bit more challenging, the reward of relaxing in the natural, untreated hot water pools is well worth the effort. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-time visitor, the Olympic State Park Hot Springs are sure to leave a lasting impression.


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