Camp in a Teepee at Kah-Nee-Ta


Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa is a popular family-vacation destination in Central Oregon’s Warm Springs Reservation. Less than a two hour drive from Portland and an hour north of Redmond, our family celebrated the start of summer vacation with a three day, two night getaway in Warm Springs in search of a bit of loosely-structured downtime. (2018 update – sadly, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort has closed.)

The Village Hotel

The Village Hotel

Lodging specials to Kah-Nee-Ta are regularly featured on sites like Groupon.com and range from camping in a teepee to a standard hotel room at the resort’s main lodge and conference center. Traveling with a larger group, we decided on adjoining rooms at Village Hotel. This scenario would keep us closer to the Olympic-size swimming pool and miniature golf course, accommodations of interest to everyone in the group. We intentionally selected a kitchenette style room with a Murphy bed and an oven, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, utensils, and cutlery. This decision allowed us to dine in as a group for most meals and we made a last-minute stop in the town of Madras for freezer-type meals.

Hot Springs Pool

Hot Springs Pool

Our reservation included complimentary passes to the hot springs swimming pool, which is heated to a comfortable temperature using water from the mineral springs located on the resort property. The pool is segregated into three distinct areas, a “kiddie” pool, a middle-depth pool, and a deep end with depths reaching ten feet. Inner tubes and floaties are allowed in the two-shallower pools, with two water slides emptying into the middle-depth pool. Ample seating is available around the pool deck, which features a snack bar and grassy area for sun bathing.

Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf

While we enjoyed our time at the Village Hotel, we would like to come back to Kah-Nee-Ta and stay in a teepee or at the campground. Teepees feature a concrete sleeping platform with a picnic table and metal fire pit/heat source inside the teepee. A separate bathhouse is located near the teepee complex. Worth noting is the general tidiness of the entire camping facility.

Kah-Nee-Ta Teepee

Kah-Nee-Ta Teepee

Large patches of green lawn are scattered around the property and are ideal for picnics, gatherings, or impromptu somersaults and soccer scrimmages. Beyond swimming, options for entertainment include basketball, volleyball, miniature golf, horseshoe pits, and hiking on the many designated trails. Requiring an advance reservation are horseback riding, golf, and guided kayaking on the Warm Springs River.

View of Property from Hiking Trail

View of Property from Hiking Trail

That said, two full days at Kah-Nee-Ta is plenty of time to experience all of the attractions and amenities. Various spa treatments are available at Spa Wanapine (located near the gift shop and swimming complex), but prices seemed a bit steep for our middle-class income. Guests interested in gambling will find the Indian Head Casino relocated from the main lodge to Warm Springs, a twelve-mile drive back into town. We also found the nearby fish hatchery closed to the general public. In a nutshell, there’s not much else to do at Kah-Nee-Ta besides Kah-Nee-Ta.

Source of the Mineral Hot Springs

Source of the Mineral Hot Springs

Rated 3 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.com, this destination seems like a solid B+ to our family as well.

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Kah-Nee-Ta


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.