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Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

Some segments of the 79-mile North Umpqua Trail in Southern Oregon are not suitable for horses.  But the Hot Springs Segment is a real delight.  A river, two fascinating waterfalls, and a hot spring.  What more could you want?

Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

The Riding

This is a nice ride on relatively easy terrain, with none of the big drop-offs that characterize many segments of the North Umpqua Trail.  You’ll ride the North Umpqua Trail east to the Hot Springs Trailhead, where you can detour to Umpqua Hot Springs (big attraction:  nude bathing). 

Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

Or continue on the North Umpqua Trail for 0.4 mile (you’ll now be on the Dread and Terror Segment to see Surprise Falls, which gushes out of the hillside just below the trail. 

Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

Continue a short distance to see Columnar Falls, where water pours out of the hillside and down a cliff of mossy columnar basalt, then seeps back into the ground.  Amazing!

Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

You won’t want to continue any farther on the Dread and Terror Segment, because the trail narrows and runs along very steep side hills.  Retrace your steps to return to your trailer, savoring your memories of those fascinating waterfalls.

Hot Springs Segment, North Umpqua Trail

The Camping

You won’t find any designated horse camps along the North Umpqua River, but you can dispersed camp (dry camp) at Illahee Flat or at Thorn Prairie.  Neither spot has any amenities, but you won’t pay any fees, either.


Learn More

You’ll find more information about the Hot Springs Segment and other rides along the North Umpqua River in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at

Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails

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