Breitenbush Hot Springs

Silent meadow pool
The community posing for a photo in front of the lodge
Paul working on one of the geothermal wells
New guest accommodations for summer
The river, the weir, and the fish diversion.
The Lodge on a summer day
Areal view of the community village and surrounding mountains

Join the whimsy and magic at the only off-grid hot springs retreat center in Oregon!

Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center is a remote forest sanctuary of timeless natural beauty surrounded by national forest. Blessed with abundant hot springs, a glacier-fed river, ancient forest and surrounding mountains, it is a place where one can disconnect and discover a deep personal connection with the natural world. The business is a worker-owned cooperative.

On the Breitenbush River in the Willamette National Forest, a two-hour drive from Portland or Bend

About Breitenbush Hot Springs

Our hot springs have been a place of gathering, rejuvenation, healing and relaxation for centuries. There are many options for enjoying the hot, soothing mineral waters. A spirit of respect and sanctuary pervades the clothing-optional pools.

Breitenbush is the largest thermal spring area in the Oregon Cascades. Every condition known to promote the emergence of hot springs exists here: subduction zone, volcano, glaciers, permeable rock, deeply incised intersection between volcanic ranges, watershed apex, floodplain and adjacent quaternary formation converge in this idyllic land nestled in a curve of the Breitenbush River.

While the springs have a long history of use by indigenous people, we further developed the land in the 1920’s, building beautiful accommodations around the springs that foster an ease of spirit and connection with the organic forms of nature. We have 3 large Meadow pools that can accommodate 6-10 people, as well as a Sauna, Spiral Tubs, and many individual clawfoot tubs. These pools all revolve around our center, the historic Lodge. Inside our Lodge, we have a large living room with fireplace, piano, couches, and dining area. It also holds a gift shop and serves 3x a day organic vegetarian meals, with gluten-free and vegan options. Breitenbush Hot Springs has a long-standing reputation for excellence in our accommodations and stewardship of the natural environment.

The Employee Experience

Breitenbush is an off-grid intentional community and worker-owned cooperative. We, the members of the community, all live on 154 acres in this rugged and beautiful mountain setting and serve thousands of guests year-round at our holistic retreat center. Our emphasis is on service to our guests, each other, and to the greater global and universal community. Working at Breitenbush requires dedication to this service ethic, a sense of joy and excitement about your work, acceptance of personal responsibility and accountability, a desire for creativity and productivity, and a willingness to communicate openly and honestly.

We are a small community – especially since the wildfires of 2020. Our community includes persons of all ages. We elect a very active Board of Directors from amongst our membership to which our managing directors are accountable. The wildfires of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic were a huge loss of revenue for us, and we are now rebuilding and re-envisioning how to exist in this new world with new challenges. It’s a unique time to be here, and there are beautiful opportunities for growth, leadership, and community. 

We are a tight-knit team of ~30 people currently, almost all of whom live on land in community together. We have communal spaces for gatherings, movie nights, and dancing. Our lodging looks like many individual spaces, with shared separate facilities of bathrooms and kitchens. On-site, we work together collaboratively and conscientiously to ensure we meet all daily duties and enhance each other’s experience of being here. We consider ourselves stewards of these magical waters. 

When we’re not working, there is always time for soaking in the pools, especially at our private staff tubs and mineral shower. We have 154 acres for running, hiking, and exploring, as well as National Forest land surrounding us. Portland and Bend are both 2 hours away, and staff often adjourns to the city for some fun local offerings to be had. Food, skiing, concerts, and much more are a huge draw in these cities. 

Ideal Candidate

Candidates who are well suited for our team dynamic will display the following characteristics;

  • Cooperative team player with excellent communication skills
  • Resilience and positive attitude towards life
  • Willingness to work hard in summer heat or winter cold
  • Motivated by service and problem solving scenarios
  • Self awareness, stamina, and self-care strategies

Best fit for those who;

  • Enjoy cleaning, maintaining order, & organization with attention to detail.
  • Are physically fit for the demands of resort life.
  • Appreciate rural mountain living.
  • Have developed excellent communication skills and approachable personalities.
  • Work well with others in a tight cooperative team.
  • Enjoy a dynamic & stimulating workflow environment.
  • Live a demonstrated healthy lifestyle.
  • Are compatible with community living; sharing kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Aim to live minimally, have fewer possessions, and
  • Can live comfortably in tiny houses.

Also Beneficial:

  • EMT, Backwoods safety certified
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Yoga Teacher Certifications, Meditation Teacher, &/or Licensed Massage Therapist
  • Have a strong, grounded, and dependable personal relationship with self & partners
  • Have general plumbing, systems thinking, and building maintenance skills
  • Handle difficult customers with firm grace & strength of character
  • Lead confidently in case of emergencies
  • Green Thumb for gardening & landscaping Skills
  • Musical abilities are always appreciated

Room and Board

Employees at Breitenbush live rent-free!

There are a variety of rooming options.  Most look like small individual cabins without running water.  Shared kitchens and bathrooms are nearby.  There are some larger housing options that include a kitchenette and/or bathroom for those who prefer sharing with roommates versus having your own cabin.  Many employees enjoy the communal experience of showering and bathing at the staff hot tubs and outdoor shower, and cooking and eating together in the community kitchens.

Employees are welcome to enjoy the same organic vegetarian meals prepared for guests. These meals are free to employees on days when they are scheduled to work, and available at cost on their days off. There are usually leftovers from the kitchen meals in our staff fridge too. Many employees choose to cook for themselves, however, or cook together in the shared employee kitchens.  Meat is fine in some kitchens.

Employee Perks

In addition to rent-free living, employees also enjoy:

  • Full use of the hot springs and sauna
  • Local swimming holes to cool off in the summer
  • A 5-minute walk to work across a footbridge spanning the river
  • Community activities like potlucks, movie nights, and dance parties
  • Nearby hiking trails
  • Discounts on massage services
  • Discounts on purchases on food, clothing, and other items from our gift shop
  • Discounts at Outdoor Research
  • Free high-speed Internet access
  • Free utilities, including water and electric

Employees get to enjoy living onsite with ample opportunity to soak in the healing waters. With 24 hour access to the hot spring pools to enjoy late-night stargazing and early morning sunrise in the spring, it is a remarkable experience to live here... especially at times when you can enjoy it to yourself or share it with a loved one.

Staff can attend any of the regular Daily Well-Being classes (which have been on hold due to Covid precautions but we hope to restart soon). Employees also get discounts on Massage & Bodywork at our spa, staff discounts in the store, and fed 3x organic vegetarian meals a day, and if you’re hungrier, access to delicious leftovers 24/7 in our staff fridge. You also get to live in community with an amazing cohort of conscious individuals who are dedicated to the same mission of healing, growth, and evolution.

Getting Here and Getting Around

We are located about 15 miles from the town of Detroit, Oregon, and approximately a 2-hour drive from Portland, Bend, or Eugene. Having your own vehicle makes it easy to get where you want to go, whether that's a weekend in the city, the snowy slopes of nearby ski areas, or camping in other parts of the forest.  Otherwise it is pretty easy to share a ride with another employee, or even hitch a ride with a guest on their way back home!

Employee housing is a short (less than 5 minute) walk from the lodge, offices, and facilities. Its a beautiful commute across the foot bridge!  Bikes are also very popular for getting around the property quickly, and there are electric golf carts available to transport supplies. 

For Fun

The forest provides endless entertainment opportunities for the outdoorsy type. Hiking, backpacking, camping, swimming, skiing, canoeing, and much more.  Entertainment in the community is self-generated.  All sorts of gatherings happen spontaneously, and if there is something you want to see, just create it and invite people!

There are dinner parties and small gatherings throughout winter.  The outdoor activities resume in spring, with music around a campfire, volleyball, bocce ball, ax throwing, gardening, and BBQ!

Oregon also has many fun festivals and things to do. Everyone must experience the Oregon Country Fair at some point in their journey.  There are also the regional Burning Man-like festivals; Soak, and Shift.  And if none of that sparks your fancy, there are plenty of other concerts, festivals, and wonderful things to do around.

How to Apply

Applying is easy! Apply online at our career portal through the button below. 

Submit your resume and cover letter as attachments, and complete the online application.  Be sure to complete the application, otherwise, we might not see it! 

There are many positions open now, and new opportunities pop up year-round. Most positions advertised now are full-time year-round.  Our seasonal positions begin in March or April, and you can apply for those now too! Just let us know in the application or interview which type of position you are most interested in.

We look forward to meeting you!


Contact Breitenbush Hot Springs