Closing the gate addresses public safety by keeping vehicles in a plowed parking area at the junction of the two roads. This action comes at the request of the Douglas County Sheriff's office and Toketee residents to gate the road during the winter months to reduce adverse impacts on the Sheriff’s office and search and rescue personnel.
Douglas County responded to about 165 calls for service at the hot springs from 2003 to 2010, resulting in multiple search-and-rescue calls. “Closing the gate has dramatically reduced the number of stuck vehicles in the hot springs area,” said Kevin Woods, Lead Developed Recreation Technician.
Visitors are encouraged to be prepared for adverse weather and winter road conditions when heading out to enjoy the winter beauty of the hot springs. “There are no trash receptacles at the site, so, whatever you pack in, please pack out so that we can maintain the beauty of the site,” stated Woods. Temperatures at Umpqua Hot Springs range from 92-102 degrees Fahrenheit.
For information about the gate as well as local weather and driving conditions, call or visit the Toketee Ranger Station at(541) 498-2531, open Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.