The Secret Garden at Belknap Hot Springs is one of my favorite places. It is a fantastic place for a photo venture. It is such an awesome place we braved the cold and ice to start 2016 there.
Down near the bottom of The McKenzie Pass, near Proxy Falls is the Belknap Hot Springs Resort. They play host to The Secret Garden.
Snuggled down a magical monet-ish trail back in the forest behind the lodge and pool and back behind an old moss covered wall, is the amazing garden full of fountains and very different in each season.
You never know what you will find out in the forest!
When you come in around the corner of the walls. This will greet you.
So far I have been in the fall.
...but not in the spring (read that as June or better) when the owners fill it with blooming flowers. I've heard it's even more fantastic then. I will need to get there for that some time.
The people at Belknap Hot Springs are very nice. I wanted to get my 90yr old grandmother to the garden, but I knew the walk was too much for her. I called ahead and made arrangements. They brought up a golf cart with a person to drive it and took her in. She loved it. (I tipped them very well.)
We did not know it, but it was her last year with us, so it was sweet to be able to get her to some lovely, unusual spots. We ate Subway sandwiches at the picnic tables overlooking the river and visited The Secret Garden. Something I will now have in my heart forever.
I love this place for gathering unusual texture shots for my Artistry and stock photography work.
Sometimes I bring my own props!
In the fall, just the drive down hwy 242 past Proxy Falls and The Dee Wright Observatory is worth the trip. In the winter 242 is closed and you must go in via hwy 126.
The Secret Garden was built by Frank Perry Bigelow.
It is on part of the diverted river that was done to facilitate the hydroelectric plant that supplied power to the resort
Here is an interesting extended article on the history of the resort, hot springs and secret garden.
The Secret Garden is free to visit.
Please visit the Belknap Hot Springs Resort Website for fees on the pools and lodging. (Lodge, RV sites, Camping)
59296 Belknap Hot Springs Rd, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413
Phone: (541) 822-3512
From Eugene take Hwy 126 McKenzie River exit (Exit 194a), east through Springfield.
Continue on Hwy. 126 following the McKenzie River past Walterville, Leaburg, Vida, Blue River, and McKenzie Bridge for approximately 55 miles. Stay on 126 past the turn-off for Hwy. 242 and over the Lost Creek bridge.
Turn left off the highway onto the Belknap Springs Road, (a blacktop road) and continue past the Belknap Hot Springs Resort sign on the right.
From Bend / Sisters (All seasons)
Travel West on Highway 20 and over the Santiam Pass, follow the signs for Eugene / Springfield.
Once on Highway 126 watch the mile markers to mile 18 1/2 and you will see signs for Belknap Hot Springs.
Follow the signs and take a right onto Belknap Springs Road - The Lodge is located a 1/4 mile down the road, by the river.
HWY 242 From Sisters (Seasonal-closed in winter)
This is an VERY curvy road not recommended for motorhomes or travel trailer. (Or people that get motion sickness easily).
From Sisters follow the signs to Highway 242. Take for Approx. 40 miles to the junction of Highway 126.
Turn right onto Highway 126 and travel for approx. 1/2 mile.
Follow the signs to Belknap Hot Springs Resort.Turn left onto Belknap Springs Road - The Lodge is located a 1/4 mile down the road, by the river.