After a 22-year hiatus, Astoria Hot Springs has reopened, and is experiencing overwhelming love from the community. A beloved pastime for nearly everyone who enters the valley, hot springing is a great way to relax and enjoy the expansive beauty that Jackson has to offer. If you listen closely you can hear people reminiscing of when Astoria was open so many years ago.
Though it closed to the public in 1999, the beloved Astoria Hot Springs was a family RV and tent campground with mineral hot springs and an established
pool owned by the Gill family. Many Jackson locals learned to swim here, as it was the only local resource for children to learn how to swim. After a complicated process the Trust for Public Land acquired the area and began a fundraising campaign to save the park. After raising more than $6 million, the Astoria Park Conservancy was founded in
coordination with the Trust for Public Land, and the initial campaign to save the area was completed.
The trust asked locals and friends of the area for feedback on various designs and features to be included in the park. After a few long-anticipated years, construction on the new area began in March of 2020 with plans for soaking pools, smaller pools with shallower depths for children, and; in a nod to the Astoria days of yore, a s
nack shack offering ice cream and candy. Future phases of construction will also bring a system of walking trails, wildlife overlooks, wetlands restoration, open space lawns, playgrounds, and more.
The new park is fed from the original two wells from the 1950s. Safe levels of minerals were determined after a full, year round testing completed by the Trust for Public Land; meaning that no chlorine or chemicals will need to be added to the pools (with the exception of the kids’ pool). Water is pumped directly from the natural springs on the banks of the Snake River, keeping temperature in the adult areas around its natural warmth of 102-104 degrees, and cooling slightly for the family and kids’ pools to around 94 degrees. There is a secondary filtration system to treat the water prior to it being recirculated back into the Snake.
More than just a geothermal area, Astoria is a true testament to the beauty and possibility of open space. With 95 acres of open space along the banks of the Snake River, the park is considered critical habitat to almost 100 avian species and many other types of wildlife too. The future parks, trails, and playgrounds will serve as an integrative part of the newly protected landscape; hopefully fostering a sense of community and environmental stewardship for generations to come.
The Hot Springs officially opened to the public in September. While COVID precautions are in place, Astoria is taking advanced reservations for those wishing to visit and swim. Due to the pandemic, Astoria is limiting their changing room capacity, so those interested should show up ready to swim.
For more information or to book your soak, visit www.astoriahotspringspark.com