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 Olympic-size pool framed by 140-foot-long water slides.
While the atmosphere is very relaxed, there’s no shortage of things for families to do. Kids can keep busy with outdoor activities such as mini golf and basketball, and parents may favor a trip to the hot-springs-centric spa or hit up the slots at the nearby Indian Head Casino.
The tribes invite guests to celebrate their traditions, too; they host summer salmon bakes and dance demonstrations, and you can stay in tepee-style accommodations. If you want more modern furnishings, the resort also features rooms with one or two king or queen beds. Decorated in earth tones that mirror the high-desert environment, each guest room looks out onto the surrounding valleys and Cascade Mountains.
Warm Springs, Oregon: Reservation on the Sunny Side of the Cascades
Located less than two hours east of Portland is the reservation of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute Native American tribes. It’s situated amid high-desert lands thick with forests and interspersed with alpine lakes and deep canyons. The natural barrier of the Cascade Mountains to the west helps hold bad weather at bay; there are typically many sunny days here, so you can easily hike, bike, or raft on the whitewater rivers.
The Museum at Warm Springs gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the traditions and culture of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. You can explore traditional dwellings, listen to ceremonial songs, witness a Wasco wedding exchange, or try your hand at hoop dancing.