By Sonia Isotov
One of Central Oregon’s hidden jewels, Belknap Hot Springs Resort, Lodge, and Gardens is located on the McKenzie River, just past the McKenzie Bridge area.
Open 365 days of the year, the two mineral hot spring pools and many acres of gardens, including an extravagant Secret Garden, offer a relaxing experience not soon to be forgotten.
While the springs themselves were initially developed by R.S. Belknap in 1869, the current lodge was built in 1933, when it expanded to include a 47-site RV and tent camp. The hot springs are open to everyone. Visitors can use the lodge’s hot springs pools for just $8/hour or $15/day per person. The shower and bathroom facilities are included, and towels are available for $2. From the pools, one can enjoy the view of the McKenzie River which runs right by Belknap.
Guests will enjoy the magical “secret garden” which is revealed behind an old moss-covered wall and opens to Monet-ish trails and ponds backed into the forest. The amazing garden is full of fountains and each season brings new wonders. A stroll through the Secret Garden is free of charge.
RVers often stop by on their way to Central Oregon and enjoy parking in one of the 47 campsites where water/electric/sewers hookups are available. The sites are either riverfront or river view and many spots can also be used by tent campers. Hot spring pools are open till 8 PM.
Belnap Springs is an outdoor recreation destination where guests enjoy many activities such as visiting the nearby lava beds at the base of the Three Sisters Mountains, high waterfalls, and gorgeous mountain vistas. Hikers will find a myriad of trails nearby and in the high country, nature trails to wilderness challenges. Many trails are good for mountain biking, including the 26 miles McKenzie River Trail. Visitors can also golf at the nearby 18-home championship course at Tokatee Golf Club, just 8 miles away. Skiing at Hoodoo Ski Bowl is just 30 miles away plus many cross-country ski trails. Fisherman flock to the lower river, the lakes, and reservoirs all year round.
Belknap Hot Springs, Lodge, and Gardens
Location: 59296 N Belknap Springs Road, McKenzie Bridge, OR, 97413
Phone: (541) 822-3512
Hours of Operations: 9 AM – 8 PM M – Sun (Day Use)