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Cougar Hot Springs Will Re-open To Public July 1st

A popular hot springs east of Eugene that’s been closed to the public since last summer will re-open July 1st

The wildfire was sparked last August by a lit cigarette left on a stump at Cougar Hot Springs. It burned almost 12-thousand acres in the Willamette National Forest. District Ranger Darren Cross says since the closure, there’s been a lot of interest from the public in when the Hot Springs would re-open.

“People have been asking a lot to come in here. We get lots of phone calls at the front desk and a lot of people even as you saw when we came in, there was someone illegally in here when we arrived today. There’s been a lot of people in here and it’s very hard to keep people out so I’m happy that we’re going to be able to open it back up to the public.”

Cross says Cougar Hot Springs gets about 30,000 visitors a year. During the closure, they’ve had almost daily trespassers try to get to the popular spot. Road number 19, also called Aufderheide Drive, will be open to traffic as well come July first. 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.