Landslide blocks access to popular Oregon hot springs

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

EUGENE, Ore. - A landslide now blocks access to Terwilliger Hot Springs near Cougar Reservoir, the USDA Forest Service says.

The landslide happened overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

"An unstable slope above Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Drive) has failed and the entire road is blocked and impassable," the Forest Service said in a statement. "The landslide deposit is over 30 feet high and consists of large boulders and loose dirt and mud."

Road 19 accesses the springs, south of Highway 126 and the McKenzie River. The road is now closed from both the north and south.

The road is not maintained in the winter.

And the landslide means the hot springs, sometimes called "Cougar" Hot Springs after the nearby reservoir, will be inaccessible until further notice.

This comes after public use restrictions and road closures related to forest fires forced the closure of the hot springs for much of the summer.

"This emergency closure will be in place indefinitely until geologists and engineers can stabilize the hill above the road and re-open the roadway," the Forest Service said in a statement.

"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.”

The Forest Service recommends visiting a privately owned hot spring along Hwy 126, or trying McCredie Hot Springs east of Oakridge on Highway 58.


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