There's nothing like a sheltered soak in the great outdoors.

Umpqua Hot Springs, 65 miles east of Roseburg on Highway 138, is a favorite of Oregonians who like the smell of pine with their dip in soothing waters.

Perched on a cliff, 150 feet above the North Umpqua River, the forest setting also offers two additional oval pools behind the covered pool.

The shelter, more of a shingled roof on an open frame, not only protects from sudden weather changes, it also keeps the outdoor experience intact and offers a view of Surprise Falls across the river.

Bathers can sit in the amphitheater-like main tub and let the 110-degree water take their troubles away or use the massage platforms built by volunteers at the edge of the main pool.

Because it's far removed from metropolitan areas, a positive soaking experience is almost guaranteed.

Visitors should use caution when walking over the slippery stone surface and, as with all hot springs, be prepared for the possibility of nudity.

Roadside signs will lead you to the parking area where a .3-mile hike gets you to the springs. Call the North Umpqua Ranger District at 541-496-3532 or 541-498-2531 for information.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.