Family-Friendly Resort with Pools Fed by Natural Hot Springs
Natural hot springs dot the land around what is today Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa; the mineral-rich pools were once used by Native American spiritual leaders to create healing remedies. Today, the land is a reservation for the Wasco, Paiute, and Warm Springs tribes, and they invite guests to come stay amid this relaxing atmosphere. The spring water—which reaches 92 degrees even in winter—now feeds into an outdoor pool framed by 140-foot-long water slides.
Though the atmosphere is very relaxed, there’s no shortage of things to do. Kids can keep busy with outdoor activities such as mini golf and basketball. Parents may favor trips to the hot-springs-centric spa or rounds of golf on the championship course, which can be played year-round.
The tribes invite guests to celebrate their traditions, too; they host summer salmon bakes and dance demonstrations, and the resort has tepee-style accommodations. But the resort is mostly made up of modern rooms with one or two king or queen beds. Decorated in earth tones that mirror the high-desert environment, each room looks out onto the surrounding valleys and Cascade Range mountains.
Warm Springs, Oregon: Mountain Hiking on Native American Reservation
Located less than two hours east of Portland is Warm Springs, a reservation for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs consisting of the Tenino, Wasco, and Paiute Native American tribes. The region is marked by high-desert lands thick with forests and interspersed with alpine lakes and deep canyons. The Warm Springs River cuts through the area, and is a big draw for visitors.
The Cascade Mountains to the west help deflect bad weather, resulting in an abundance of sunny days. The typically pleasant weather makes for a perfect setting for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. From mid-July to mid-October, you can hike through Jefferson Park, which has several scenic trails under the shadow of Mount Jefferson, Oregon’s second-tallest mountain after Mount Hood.
For a more in-depth look at the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs’ culture, visit the Museum at Warm Springs, which Frommer’s calls a “fascinating, not-to-be-missed museum.” Here, you can listen to ceremonial songs, explore traditional Native American dwellings, learn about the rituals of a Wasco wedding, or try your hand at traditional hoop dancing, wherein performers tell a story while spinning up to 30 hoops.