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10 Best Hidden Hot Springs in North America

You’ll have to ramble down dirt roads, hike into canyons, and cross suspension bridges to get to these hidden hot springs. But the effort will make the “ahhh” even sweeter when you slip into a steamy bath in the middle of a forest or beneath the glittery Milky Way.

Nothing beats a warm soak outside on a crisp day. You’ll have to ramble down dirt roads, hike into canyons, and cross suspension bridges to get to these hidden hot springs. But the effort will make the “ahhh” even sweeter when you finally slip into a steamy bath set in the middle of thick forest or beneath the glittery Milky Way. Here are 10 of our favorite hot springs in the U.S. and Canada.

Chena Hot Springs, Near Fairbanks, Alaska

At McCredie Hot Springs, a little string of hot pools lines the edge of Salt Creek, where you can sit and enjoy a warm soak with the sound of a river rushing by. Here, in the middle of the Willamette National Forest, bathers shift rocks to create just the right mix of warm and cool water in the pools, which can range from 98 to 114 degrees (temperatures can be dangerously hot, so proceed with caution when enjoying the hot springs). In winter, this area, at an elevation of 2,000 feet, is often blanketed in snow, so you can have a roll in the white stuff and then watch it melt off your skin in the hot springs. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon after hitting the slopes in Willamette Pass or snowshoeing at Salt Creek Falls, one of Oregon’s highest waterfalls.

Getting There: From Eugene, follow Highway 58 east for 46 miles. McCredie is between mileposts 46 and 47, just east of Oakridge and near Blue Pool Campground in Willamette National Forest. The springs are about 200 yards from the roadside parking lot. Note that the campgrounds are closed in the winter and operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2014. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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By Jamie Moore

Jamie Moore was the seatbelt-less '70s kid whose wanderlust began while fighting with siblings in the back of a roadtripping van. Now, as a travel writer, she covers family fun, budget getaways, outdoor adventure, Vancouver Island, and more, usually with her own kids in tow.

She is the author of the Vancouver Island Exploration Guide iPhone app (2010) and various Vancouver Island tourism guides. Moore is also a regular SmarterTravel contributor.

Her articles have appeared in USA Today Travel, Yahoo! News, Rand McNally travel guides, WestJet's in-flight up! magazine, Women's Health & Fitness magazine, European Homes & Gardens magazine, iParenting's travelingtoday.com, Indianapolis Monthly magazine, Resort + Recreation magazine, RCI's Endless Vacation and Ventures magazines, Kiwanis Magazine, and others.

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