Landslide trapped 4 people at Oregon hot springs: 'They required assistance getting out'

A landslide now blocks access to Terwilliger Hot Springs near Cougar Reservoir, the USDA Forest Service says. (USDAFS)

MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. - A landslide trapped four people at a popular Oregon hot springs Thursday. The debris now blocks access to the trail to the hot springs.

Road 19 is closed until further notice due to the slide, the USDA Forest Service said.

The road accesses Terwilliger Hot Springs, near Cougar Reservoir, south of Highway 126 and the McKenzie River. Access from the south via Highway 58 is blocked by snow on the road, which is not maintained in winter.

The slide trapped 4 people and 2 vehicles, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.

Two people had camped out in the area. The other two arrived before dawn - and before the landslide.

"With the snow on one side and the slide on the other they required assistance getting out," Sgt. Carrie Carver with the Lane County Sheriff's Office said. "Search and Rescue guided all four people and their vehicles out of the area using a road not normally accessible by the public. Thankfully, no one was injured. We did a sweep of the area and didn’t find any indication that there was anyone else in the area."

The Forest Service says the area is not safe, and urged people not to hike in past the landslide.

"Please respect that this landslide may continue to bring boulders, rocks and mud down on the road," acting District Ranger Shane Kamrath cautioned. "There is no way into the hot springs area at this time.”

Carver with the sheriff's office made a similar request.

"We are asking folks to not attempt to access the area until officials have reopened the roadway to the public," she said.

The popular hot springs, sometimes called Cougar Hot Springs after the nearby reservoir, was closed for much of the summer due to wildfires burning in the area.

The Forest Service recommends people in search of a soak instead visit a privately owned hot spring along Hwy 126, or try McCredie Hot Springs east of Oakridge on Highway 58.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off