McCredie Hot Springs

General Description: Primitive road side pools next to Salt Creek
General Location: In the Willamette National Forest southeast of Eugene
Pool Type: Sand and Gravel
Pool Temps: Extremely Hot (106° - 110° F), Very Hot (104° - 106° F), Hot (102° - 104° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Year round
Restrictions: No camping within one mile of spring
Elevation: 2100 feet.
Distance from road: 0.10 mile.
Map Reference: Willamette National Forest Map or McCredie Springs Or USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle


The Hot Spring:

  McCredie Hot Springs consist of several hot springs along both sides of the Salt Creek and directly next to a highway.  Several primitive sand and gravel pools are built along the rocky edges of the creek mixing the extremely hot, slightly sulfur smelling water with the cold creek water.  The pools size and shape change throughout the year based on the water level of the creek and whoever was soaking last.  Some of the springs are very hot and do not mix well with the cold water so you have to mix the water with your hands for an even soak.  Two additional pools are located on the far side of the creek and are more secluded from the road.  All of the pools tend to be somewhere between 100 and 105 degrees F but this also changes based on how the pools are set up.  The quality of the soak seems to change with the seasons and because it is next to a plowed road it is accessible year round.

  The close proximity of the paved highway made these springs very popular.  To help protect the area it is closed at night and camping is permitted nearby.  Despite this effort McCredie is a prime party destination with large gatherings of drunk people almost all day on the weekends.  The parking area (which is a turnoff of the highway) is also a common truck stop where the truckers soak or just watch the soakers while resting.  Because of this trash is often around the pools including beer cans or bottles and broken glass is not uncommon. 

  Despite the primitive soaking pools that are at the springs today there was once a large two story resort at McCredie.  The springs were first found by a trapper named Frank Warner who built a house near the springs but the property was taken when the Forest Service was created in the early 1900's.  In 1911 a builder from Eugene named John Hardin filed for a mining claim at the hot springs for salt (but his intention was always to build a resort).  His two story resort was finished by 1914 and the lease was transferred to Judge Walter McCredie in 1916.  McCredie owned the Portland baseball team and was known to bring the entire team to the springs but only had the land for 5 years.  When the Southern Pacific Railway was built through the valley in 1923 the McCredie Resort became extremely popular with up to 5 trains stopping a day during the heyday of the 1930's.  During the 1940's and early 50's the resort was managed by a slick woman who ran it as a bordello.  She caused a lot of trouble in the area and even though the authorities knew of the bordello they never raided the resort because she was known to have guns and to use them.  The woman finally left in the mid to late 1950's but the resort burned down shortly after in 1958.  A flood on Christmas Day 1964 destroyed the bridge and swimming pool almost completely destroying any signs of the old resort.  Soon after this the Forest Service terminated the lease and left the springs to be natural.

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