Bagby Hot Springs are developed natural hot springs located in the Mount Hood National Forest. Wooden flumes channel spring water into several bathhouses and private tubs. Naturally heated at the spring source to one hundred and thirty-six degrees Fahrenheit, there are wooden buckets to fill from cold spring water spigots, and then mix the cold water in the hot tubs until you reach your desired temperature.
The trailhead to Bagby Hot Springs is approximately fortymiles from Estacada, Oregon. From Estacada take Highway 224 for 26miles to Ripplebrook Guard Station. Then follow Forest Service Road 46 for 4miles to the junction with Forest Service Road 63. Turn right and follow Road 63 for 4additional miles to Forest Service Road 70. Turn right onto Road 70 and follow it for 6miles to the Bagby Trailhead. A Forest Service permit is required to park at the trailhead. Access roads to the trailhead can be closed after winter snowstorms.
From the trailhead the hike to Bagby Hot Springs is about a mile and a half. You leave from a Forest Service parking lot and the trail is well marked. There are no services at Bagby Hot Springs. At the big round tubs there are cold water spigots. The water comes from a spring in the woods and people are known to drink this water. There are two outhouses at the trailhead.
The Private Deck or main bathhouse has five rooms, each with its own hollowed log tub. A half roof over the chambers allows you to soak in the weather, or enjoy the night sky, without getting your clothes wet. Sometimes there is a line of people waiting for a private room.
The Public Deck also goes by the names Open Deck, or Lower Deck. This platform has three, hollow-log tubs that were salvaged from the original bathhouse fire in 1979. Traditionally the Public Deck is used for communal bathing, please respect this and invite others to join you.
One hundred yards south of the main bathhouse is the Upper Deck. This is not a private deck, it is meant to be communal, so please invite others to join your group.
Here are a few tips to allow you to really enjoy Bagby Hot Springs and use them respectfully:
-The hot springs are clothing optional.
-Weather permitting they never close.
-There is no charge for the hot springs. However, a day use permit for the parking lot is required.
-Limit your soak to two hours if people are waiting for the private tubs.
-There is the same time limit if you can't add more to the communal tubs and people are waiting.
-Don't use soap or shampoo.
-Clean the tub after each use with the provided brushes.
-Bring a camera.
-Visit the springs at odd hours or times of the year and in poor weather. That way they won't be so crowded.
During the winter, the trail can be icy and very difficult. In any weather you need to wear a pair of good trail shoes or boots, dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight. Often bathers get up to the springs and stay much longer than they planned. So take a flashlight, even if you think you'll be back before dark.