Want an ultimate winter wonderland experience? Book a stay at Summer Lake Hot Springs!
We drove there on a snowy Sunday in December and couldn't have wished for a better experience. Everything was covered in snow, there were barely any other guests and the cabin (with heated floors!) was VERY cozy.
What to do
We stopped at Fort Rock for lunch, had a picnic, and went for a short hike on the way in.
On the way back, we made a quick stop to find the (not-so-secluded) picture rock.
On the way in/back:
- Fort Rock State Natural Area (open for day use year-round)
- Fort Rock Cave (check opening season, book a tour)
- Hole-in-the-ground (2 miles hike)
- Crack in the ground (open year-round)
- Picture rock
I had compiled the following hikes but the condition of the roads and the snowpack were a little too tricky. I'll keep these in mind for a summer trip!
In the Summer Lake / Paisley area:
- Fremont NRT Winter Rim Trail (2.3 miles summer hike)
- Diablo Peak (4 h 49 min, LOL)
- Paisley caves (restricted access, but read about them!!!)
- Lake Abert and Abert Rim (a little far maybe)
You can also refer to the activities section on the Summer Lake Hot Springs website.
Good to know
2-night minimum for cabin guests.
The indoor pool is closed during the winter season. There are three outdoor pools that are piping hot and flowing all the time.
Clothing is optional from 9 PM-7 AM.
Dwellings are TV- and phone-free. There is a phone available for emergencies at the reception. There is no WiFi available, however, there is good cell service.
Outdoor campfires are permitted in designated fire pits, depending on weather and wind conditions. Always check with the office first. Firewood is available for purchase.
Returnable glass and plastic bottles are recycled. As for the rest, since recycling is two hours away in Bend, they ask clients to consider packing out basic recycling that can easily be put curbside at home such as glass, bottles and cans, clean plastic, and paper.
Well-behaved pets are welcome.
What is available
We rented the tiny Paisley cabin, perfect for 2 people.
- Kitchenette: table and chairs, toaster oven, two electric burners, pour-over coffee maker, coffee grinder, cooking utensils, cutlery, glassware, plate ware, pots and pans, teapot, small fridge; bathroom with toilet and sink, no shower (showers are available in the bathhouse)
What to bring
Sheets, duvet & pillows
Bathing suits, towels & spa robes: Bring your own bath towels for your shower. Bathrobes are an easy, quick and comfortable way to walk to the pool house and get in and out of the water, particularly in the colder seasons.
Flashlights: It is very dark there (unless there's a full moon). Flashlights or headlamps are a necessity.
Winter: Slip-on warm boots/shoes wool socks, warm jackets, bath robes, flashlight.
Drinking water: There is only mineral water available. It is safe to drink, but due to its high mineral content, it is not always thirst-quenching.
Food & drinks.
My packing list
- This iphone + iwatch charger
- A nourishing body salve (made by my friend Jenna)
- Our favorite card game
- A sleep eye mask (there aren't curtains on every window) and earbuds (the heated floor water circulation system can be noisy for very light sleepers like me)
- Soap and shampoo
- Flip-flops (to shower in the bathhouse)
- Toothbrush and tooth tablets
- Contacts (more comfortable than glasses in the hot springs)
- Hair ties (I didn't want to wet my hair at every soak)
- Slippers (the floors are heated, but I like wearing sleepers indoors)
- Tea towels (for dishes - dishsoap and a sponge are available in the cabin)
- Salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, etc. (I think salt and pepper were available though)
- Tea, coffee, mylk
Where to shop / eat
We cooked all of our meals at the cabin (2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, one lunch), because we had planned accordingly (and because the restaurants were closed on the days we were at Summer Lake Hot Springs).
Octave had brought his famous stovetop steamer so we had delicious lattes in the morning.
We did stop at a market in Silver Lake on the way to Summer Lake to buy some cooking oil.
- Pioneer Saloon and Restaurant (check opening days and hours)
- Paisley Mercantile (check opening hours)
- Paisley Perk Drive Thru Coffee (check opening season, days, and hours)
- Paisley Gas station
We went on a little snowshoe hike after our first night at Summer Lake Hot Springs, the soak after we got back was extra amazing!
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