The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs - Hot Springs in Oregon

One of the first commercial buildings in the world to use geothermal energy as its main heat source.

It is considered one of the most sought-after properties for paranormal enthusiasts.

Full of history

Gate 01

Access to the Hot Lakes Hotel is not difficult.

On I-84, a four-hour drive from Portland, Oregon, and two and a half hours from Boise, Idaho.

Gate 02

The hotel was located in a rural area 8.5 miles southwest of downtown La Grande.

Panoramic View 01

The surface of Hot Lake was quiet and the atmosphere was extraordinary.

Ruins 01

This building collapsed as if time and space had been distorted.

Ruins 02

The main brick building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, was dilapidated but showed signs of restoration.

Building 01

The history of the hot springs is very old, documented by the Astor Expedition that cut the Oregon Trail in 1812.

Building 02

At that time, boiling water was already spewing itself into the lake at the foot of the hill, which the Native Americans considered sacred.

Building 03

In 1864, a shopping mall, as we know it today, was built, consisting of a post office, blacksmith shop, dance hall, and bathhouse.

Dining Room 01

The wooden buildings from the time of its founding was demolished in 1903, and the current main building was completed in 1908.

Hall 02

Billed as the world's first commercial facility with a geothermal heating system, the hotel had 105 guest rooms and a 60-bed surgical ward.

Why the hospital?
Hot springs were an advanced medical treatment.
Dining Room 02

In 1917, the hotel was taken over by Dr. Phy, a follower of Jung and Freud, and more experimental and occult medical practices began to take place.

A fire in 1934 destroyed most of the buildings.

Signboard 01

During World War II, it began to be used as a flight school and nurse's training center in 1939.

In 1951, it was converted to a nursing home and then to a mental hospital.

Hall 02

It seems like an exemplary history of haunted places.

While abandoned in 1991 and destroyed until 2002, various paranormal phenomena were reported.

Bedroom 01

Steady restoration began in 2003, and today you can book accommodations through Airbnb.

As for me, I succeeded in spending a lonely night with the help of alcohol.

Violent sulfur smell from time to time

Soaking Area 02

The soaking area was outdoors, jutting out into the Hot Lake.

Soaking Area 01

The atmosphere was open and stylish.

Lakeside 02

There was one pool adjacent to the lake as soon as you entered.

Lakeside 01

Three circular pools in the center.

Tubs 02

Inside was a wooden bench in the shape of a regular heptagon.

Relaxing 01

Romantic location with a direct view of the sunset in the evening.

Sunset 01

At the far end was a covered pool, enclosed by a brick wall.

Tubs 03

All of the water was adjusted to 106 degrees F and did not have much character.

Roofed 03

The water temp at the source is 199 degrees F, so it was inferred that it was considerably watered.

Roofed 02

I noticed a wild sulfur smell wafting through the air on the occasional breeze.

It appeared to be from an off-limits area further back than the covered pool.

Roofed 01

A stream that felt the heat was pouring into the lake and I could imagine that the sources existed upstream of it.

Across the stream, a mysteriously shaped building that looked like a former bathhouse remained.

Hot Lake 02

Hopefully, I would have enjoyed the water in its original state, but that may be too much to hope for.

Hot Lake 01

I was already full of that history alone.


The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs, La Grande, Oregon, U.S.

My rating

Type: Lodging, Walk-in

Rule: Clothing required

Chemical use: Not detected

Water temp: Up to 199 degrees F

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

-, , ,