Big landslide blocks road to Terwilliger Hot Springs

Slide of boulders, dirt and mud over 30 feet tall

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - All access to Terwilliger (also known as Cougar) Hot Springs is completely blocked by a large landslide that occurred overnight, Willamette National Forest officials said Thursday.

An unstable slope above Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Drive) has failed and the entire road is blocked and impassable about 35 miles east of Springfield. The landslide deposit is over 30 feet high and consists of large boulders and loose dirt and mud. 

Forest Road 19 is closed from both the north and south sides at this time. This emergency closure will be in place indefinitely until geologists and engineers can stabilize the hill above the road and reopen the roadway.

This section of road has been subject to repeated landslides over the years, and acting McKenzie River District Ranger Shane Kamrath warned visitors that “the road has been closed for your safety. Please respect that this landslide may continue to bring boulders, rocks and mud down on the road. There is no way into the hot springs area at this time.”

For visitors still seeking warm waters on a winter day, there are privately owned hot springs along Highway 126, as well as the smaller McCredie Hot Springs, located on Highway 58.

Call the McKenzie River Ranger District at 541-822-3381 with any questions.

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