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There is no need to pack a swimsuit, for the Bagby Hot Springs, located about 67 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon, USA in the Mount Hood National Forest. As it undulates through a grand old forest of cedar and Douglas Fir with an understory of vine maple, the one and a half mile Bagby Trail is a delight in itself. Includes the Bull of the Woods to the Welcome Lakes Loop and Bull of the Woods.
Bagby Hot Springs
The path slices between cross sections with five foot diameters of Moss coated logs that litter the way. Spaced between rapids, the gentle creekside trail passes emerald green pools. Climb a short hillside to the springs after crossing three bridges, which leave the creek behind just beyond the last bridge.
Five Foot Diameters of Moss Coated Logs
Be prepared for winter weather conditions as the roads are not maintained for winter travel, if going to Bagby Hot Springs during the winter months.
At the hot springs, the Forest Service is proposing a change in management. Currently, Bagby Hot Springs is managed by the USDA Forest Service.
For twenty four hours a day, the hot springs are open. Along the trail to Bagby or at the hot springs, camping is not permitted. Also, at the site, alcohol is prohibited. In the open areas around the bathhouses, nudity is not allowed but it is on the bath decks.
To ensure a positive atmosphere at the springs, NFC (Northwest Forest Conservancy) volunteers and Local law enforcement officers periodically visit Bagby. Depending upon the number of people visiting the hot springs at any given time, the waiting time for a soaking tub varies. Holidays and summer weekends can be quite busy.
At the site there are three bath houses. Each in a private room, the main bathhouse has five cedar log tubs. A large round tub and three log tubs are located on an open deck at the lower bathhouse. Approximately one hundred yards from the other two bathhouses, is where the upper bathhouse is located. Located on an open deck, it has one large round tub.
As of 7/18/11, trail has not been cleared of logs or surveyed, but you can hike beyond the springs towards Elk Lake. Parking at Bagby Recreation Site requires either the Northwest Forest Pass permit, or a self issued permit, daily cost $5.00.
A prospector and early hunter named Bob Bagby discovered the springs in 1880. The man and this place are inseparably linked in the history of the upper Clackamas, but accounts of his discovery differ.
The Forest Service Guard, Phil Putz, in 1913, built a cabin that is still present now. During the summer months, a small fire and telephone switchboard crew stayed there. In the 1920's, they built a bathhouse, dam, shelters, and barn. All of these facilities are now gone.
For the guard, in 1974, the Forest Service built a new cabin. Over several years of volunteering, the Friends of Bagby built the bathing facilities at the hot springs. Today, to improve the facilities new tubs have been put in.
Recreational use of the Hot Springs increased with the development of the Clackamas Drainage and communications were switched to Oak Grove in 1940.
Contact the Clackamas River Ranger District at (503)630-6861 for more information.
Follow HWY 224 from Estacada for twenty six miles just past the Ripplebrook Guard Station. Next, for four miles to the junction of road 63, follow road 46. Then turn right on road 63 and drive for four miles to road 70. Go right on road 70 and take it for six miles to the Bagby Trailhead. Then walk through the pleasant forest 1.5 miles to the hot springs!
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