Hunter's Hot Springs (Oregon)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hunter's Hot Springs
Old Perpetual geyser.jpg
Old Perpetual geyser
Typeprivate park
LocationLake County, Oregon, USA
Coordinates42°13′15″N 120°22′09″W / 42.22088°N 120.36907°W / 42.22088; -120.36907Coordinates: 42°13′15″N 120°22′09″W / 42.22088°N 120.36907°W / 42.22088; -120.36907
Area40 acres (16 ha)
Created1925 (1925)
Operated byHunter's Hot Springs Resort
StatusPrivate commercial property

Hunter's Hot Springs (renamed Geyser Hot Springs in 2000[1]) are natural geothermal springs located in Lake County, Oregon, United States, 2 miles (3 km) north of Lakeview. The springs are named after Harry Hunter, who bought the springs in 1923. The best known feature within the geothermal area is Old Perpetual, which was once Oregon's only continuously erupting geyser. The geyser was formed as a result of a well drilling attempt while Hunter was developing a health resort at the springs.


The hot springs were discovered in 1832 by trappers from the Hudson's Bay Company, who noted in their journal that the water was unbearably hot.[1] They are a small group of alkaline thermal springs in Lake County's Goose Lake Valley, 2 miles (3 km) north of Lakeview.[2] The temperature of the various springs ranges from 185 to 210 °F (85 to 99 °C).[3] The spring water is alkaline with a high concentration of sulfate and other minerals. This environment supports large bacterial mats in the natural channels that drain the springs.[4] As a result, the bacterial mat communities at the hot springs have been studied and analyzed by microbiologists from around the world.[5]

Old Perpetual[edit]

The most striking feature at Hunter's Hot Springs is Old Perpetual. It once released a plume of 200 °F (93 °C) water 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 m) into the air every 90 seconds. Because of its former regular and rapid eruption pattern, Old Perpetual geyser was one of Lake County's most popular tourist attractions.[6][7]

The geyser, still heavily promoted by the local Chamber of Commerce as a "must see" destination, stopped erupting for several years after June 2009, possibly due in part to the nearby geothermal development by the Town of Lakeview to supply the Warner Creek Correctional Facility with water for heating.[8] Proposed further development of the site for geothermal power generation purposes threaten the entire hot springs wetlands.[9] As of May 2015, it seems to be regularly erupting again.


Hunter's Hot Springs are named after Harry Hunter, a land developer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hunter visited the site in 1919 while on a tour of the western United States. In 1923, he purchased the 40-acre (16 ha) parcel that included the hot springs with the intention of developing a health resort. He began by organizing Hunter's Chlorine Hot Springs Club, a business established to develop the hot springs as a therapy, rest, and recuperation resort. The club's first president was H. A. Utley and the resort's general manager was Dr. H. G. Kelty.[1][10]

As Hunter started to develop the site in 1923, he was not satisfied with the amount of hot water the springs produced naturally so he had three wells drilled on the property. To his surprise, all three erupted as hot water geysers. Two of the geysers eventually died away, but one, Old Perpetual, still erupted every 40 to 120 seconds, depending on the seasonal water table level,[1] until 2009.

The original resort building was constructed in 1925. As soon as the facility was finished, Dr. Kelty moved his medical practice to the site. A second building was added in 1926. In 1929, Kelty joined four other doctors to open a medical clinic at the site. Together the doctors purchased the hot springs, club facilities and equipment. In November 1929, a restaurant was opened to support their clinic practice.[10]

The clinic was sold in 1943. The new owners built a motel and cocktail lounge to complete the resort facilities. In the early 1990s, the outdoor pool was replaced and a racquetball court was added. New owners renovated the resort facilities again in 2000. Today, the resort operates a motel, lounge, and restaurant. The 104 °F (40 °C) mineral pool is available to guests and the viewing area for Old Perpetual is open to the public.[1][3][10]


The springs have long been known as Hunter's Hot Springs, and locals still refer to them that way. The 2000 owner renamed the resort to Geyser Hot Springs,[1] however the USGS only recognizes the variant name Geyser Hunters Hot Springs.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Birkby, Jeff, "Geyser (Hunter's) Hot Spring", Touring Washington and Oregon Hot Springs, Globe Pequot Publishers, Guilford, Connecticut, 2002, p. 120.
  2. ^ Miller, Scott R. and Richard W. Castenholz, "Evolution of Thermotolerance in Hot Spring Cyanobacteria of the Genus Synechococcus", Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Vol. 66, No. 10), American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C., October 2000.
  3. ^ a b "Amenities", Hunter's Hot Spring Resort,, Lakeview, Oregon, 30 July 2008.
  4. ^ Blankenship, Robert E., Michael T. Madgan, and Carl E. Bauer, Advances in Photosynthesis Anoxygenic Photosynthetis Bacteria, Springer Publishers, New York, New York, 1995, p.96.
  5. ^ Schopf, William J. and Cornelius Klein, The Proterozoic Biosphere: A Multidisciplinary Study, Cambridge University Press, New York, New, York, 1992, p. 248.
  6. ^ "Old Perpetual, OR", National Scenic Byways Program, Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., 2007.
  7. ^ "Old Perpetual Geyser", Oregon Tourism Commission,, Salem, Oregon, 2008.
  8. ^ Preusch, Matthew (February 21, 2010). "Lakeview's iconic geyser seems to be running out of steam. But why?". The Oregonian. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c "History", Hunter's Hot Spring Resort,, Lakeview, Oregon, 30 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Hunter's Hot Springs". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-12-09.

External links[edit]