When my friend asks, “Do you wanna go…” I’m like a puppy. I jump up and down, excitement races through me, and I dance around the door until it’s time to leave – emotionally, if not literally. My friend is a motorcycle enthusiast (Tenere adventure bike) and likes to scout out new rides for his group of fellow enthusiasts. This time, however, he had to take his car and was looking for company. I jumped at the chance and am ever so glad that I did!
Our destination was Crystal Crane Hot Springs just outside Crane, Oregon. This is a mineral hot springs with an average temperature between 97°F and 100°F, which the staff routinely check, and isolated hot spots of about 104°F. The water that fills this pond is said to contain: calcium, sodium, magnesium, silica, potassium, and iron, which their website touts as providing several health benefits. The elevation there is about 4,000 feet. The outside temperatures on this early May weekend ranged from the high 30s to mid 50s. There are cabins and a teepee to rent for lodging, as well as glamping hookups, camping spots, and private soaking tubs. There is also a ‘Commons’ room with wifi and a small, self-catering kitchen. The entire area is clean and quiet, as are the cabins. Overall, a very restful atmosphere.
I cannot attest to the medical benefits of the pond, but I melted into the water and felt a level of relaxation that I didn’t know I was missing. I was told that I looked ‘zen.’ The warmth of the pond and the serenity of the isolated, rural location even made the chill well worth the visit. While the entire experience of Crystal Crane Hot Springs was fantastic, a sunrise soak was definitely the highlight of my time spent in the pond!
Crane is a small town in southeast Oregon off Hwy 78. Since we were scouting curving back roads worthy of a motorcycle trip we took the long way. The round-trip route took us along Hwy 19 and the Oregon Scenic Bypass, Hwy 395 through the rolling Malheur National Forest, and a beautiful single-lane, paved forest road through the Ochoco National Forest. With a few brief stops for fuel, rest areas, lunch, and talking to a very nice police officer it took us about nine hours to get from Portland to the hot springs.
Of note, the speed limit along the rolling, curving road through the Malheur National Forest (Hwy 395) is 55 mph – obey it. Also, Oregon is an ‘open range’ state and has an abundant wildlife population; you never know what will be standing in the middle of the road on the other side of a curve. Safe journey!