This campground is the closest in the area to the popular Terwilliger Hot Springs attraction, situated between the McKenzie River and Cougar Reservoir. The heavily forested area is home to plentiful conifers plus, as one might expect from the name, wildlife. With only 11 campsites and limited amenities, you’re sure to enjoy a high level of privacy during your communion with nature.
Nearby activities beyond the hot springs (which are clothing optional) include hiking at the very popular trails and lookouts; the nearby Oregon Country Faire, which takes place in July; and water activities on the lakes, creeks, and rivers, with primitive boat launch access across from the campground. Swimming, waterskiing, and fishing are also popular. However, keep in mind that low water levels are not uncommon, which can interfere with boating and swimming. Rafting and kayaking are possible on the South Fork of the McKenzie River.
Terwilliger Hot Springs can be reached via a very shaded, quarter-mile hike. There are six natural soaking pools divided by rock walls, each 3-to-12 feet wide and an average of 2-3 feet deep. Pool floors are bedrock, gravel, and sand. The hot springs are for day use only and no alcohol is allowed. Camping near the hot springs is not possible and all camping is restricted to Cougar Crossing Campground.
Primitive toilets are provided, as is firewood for sale. However, there is no drinking water, electricity, or showers. You will need to bring your own water for both drinking and washing. The interior roads are all gravel, which may make travel difficult for some with larger rigs.
Each campsite offers a campfire ring and picnic table, and is pet-friendly. All 11 are mostly far apart, giving you added privacy off the road and within the trees. Some sites are uneven and rocky, due to the steep slopes in the area.
Unlike some other campgrounds, a limit of one car per campsite is in place. Though there is no leash restriction, be mindful of other campers and wildlife and keep your pet near you and supervised at all times. Bring along your own supplies for picking up after them.