Bagby Hot Springs

      11 Comments on Bagby Hot Springs

Since the chickie-babe has started school, the frequent hikes of summer are distant (and very fond) memories. Today was a great flashback. We awoke to unseasonably dry weather and the girl expressed a desire to get out of the house and into the great outdoors. She opened the hikling guidebook and suggested Bagby Hot Springs. Knowing nothing at all about it, I grunted, scratched myself, and assented.

The drive was farther than we expected, much of it was along the Clackamas River. This reminded me of the camping in Idaho that I enjoyed so much; vertical rocky cliffs, fast moving and crystal clear water. We saw several kayakers parked on the side of the road and putting into the river, playing in the rapids and the large standing waves. I only envied them a little, the water had to be bitter cold.

We turned onto numbered National Forest roads and forged ahead. Eventually we found the trailhead and started the 2 mile hike back to the springs, through redwoods, lichen, ferns and mushrooms. The trail is maintained by volunteers and features some stunning bridges.

The first bridge we crossed. Really big.

The second bridge we crossed.

Finally we got to the tubs. Although there were more people than we expected, we managed to find a tub to ourselves. The sign says the water comes out of the mountain at 58 C, and I believe it. I basked like a lobster (and about as red) for several minutes while I added cold water to the tub to bring things down to a manageable level. Despite it being about 2 C outside, the tub was delightful, and the view and setting was blissful. We soaked it in, recharging batteries.

Our tub. This picture wasn't taken by me, but was snarfled from the net.

It takes a while to get to the springs, but I’ll definitely do it again. I bet it would be amazing when the snows hit.

11 thoughts on “Bagby Hot Springs

  1. abrichar

    I’m glad you had a good experience there. I’ve only been to Bagby twice, but both times, physical boundaries were crossed by strangers in communal tubs. I stopped going and now I just head to Breitenbush instead – but I love the hike in, love the area, and have often wanted to go back. I wonder if it’s settling down again…

    What was the vibe in the communal tub area? Did it feel respectful?

    1. browse Post author

      Ugh. I’ve once or twice done tubbing with strangers and have experienced first hand the whole “line crossing” thing. Thanksfully, I didn’t have that trouble at Bagby. In fact, twice people stuck their head in and mumbled something about giving us privacy and left. No, we weren’t doing anything to shock the natives. 🙂

      I only barely peeked into the communal tub area, so I didn’t have an impression of how respectful that space was.

      Bagby also has the 1 or 2 person “canoe” tubs, which are entirely private. That’ might be an option for you. Or else, go with a big burly guy and let him play enforcer. 🙂

      Tell me about Breitenbush, por favor. I don’t know anything about it.

      1. abrichar

        Both times I was at Bagby, the private and canoe tubs were full. I think part of the trick is to be able to go on a weekday, or wait til the weather’s a little crappier. Both times I went were pretty fall days on a Saturday or Sunday.

        Breitenbush is a couple hours away. You drive down toward Salem and then turn left toward Detroit. It’s kind of a hippie resort, but I’ve never spent the night. They’ve got cabins and dorms and whatnot, and they have a communal meal you can buy even on a day pass. All vegetarian, I believe.

        There are four medicine wheel tubs, gradually increasing in temperature, that are nice and deep — maybe up to your chest. Nice comfy benches. If you wander away from the common areas down the trails, there are several shallow natural tubs — just flat stone, overlooking the river. They’re typically hotter. And oh, they’re beautiful.

        I’ve always had really good experiences there. For day use, they charge (I think – it’s been awhile) $10-20, sliding scale.

        Here are a few pictures I took on my last visit (down at the bottom of the entry). The bottom one is my very favorite tub.

  2. oregongirl

    I’ve never done that hike, but it looks lovely! The second photo (lots of green.. bridge set back a bit) is just gorgeous!
    I’m glad you were able to get out and enjoy the calm before the storm. 🙂

  3. superflashgo

    WOW! I had never heard of Bagby before, but I love that you have to hike in. I’m totally gonna add that to my list of things to do very very soon! And your pics are lovely…specially the one of the tub!!!

  4. dolmena

    That looks lovely! I’m glad you had a good time hiking. Ja and I actually went hiking a couple of times before his hip and knee issues got really bad… once I absorbed the idea that he wasn’t going to be annoyed or laugh at me if I began to fall behind or lose my breath, I really enjoyed it.

    1. browse Post author

      > … once I absorbed the idea …

      That’s a good one to absorb. The journey is the reward. There are no bonus points for finishing a hike early.

      And, if you bring a camera, you can frame some fabulous shots whilst gasping for breath. Any excuse will do. 🙂

        1. browse Post author

          I think I read about that!

          “Dear Penthouse Forum, I never used to think the stories here were true, but that was before I had a few ‘good experiences’ hiking with the UU women…”

          Happy Turkey Day! 🙂

          1. dolmena

            We did have to hang our bras out to dry afterwards. It got a little… shall we say… hot and sweaty.

            (Moved to show which comment I was replying to.)

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