Bagby Hot Springs
|Bagby Hot Springs|
Bagby USFS Sign
|Location||Clackamas County, Oregon, US|
|Operated by||U.S. Forest Service|
|Parking||Forest Service lot 1.5 miles (2.4 km) off-site|
The Bagby Hot Springs are natural hot springs located in the Mount Hood National Forest about 67 miles (108 km) southeast of Portland, Oregon, United States and about 41 miles (66 km) east of Salem, Oregon. The springs are within the Cascade Mountains in a heavily forested area at elevation 2280 ft (695 m). The springs are just outside the boundary of Bull of the Woods Wilderness area.
Bagby Hot Springs are rumored to have been a favorite site for Native Americans for hundreds of years. The springs are named after Bob Bagby, a prospector and hunter who found the site in 1880.
The United States Forest Service built a small guard station next to the hot springs in 1913. The Bagby Guard Station was used to house Forest Service fire patrol crews during summer fire season. In 1974, the Forest Service built a new guard station. The original cabin was closed but was left standing. In 2006, the original guard cabin was renovated. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it is not open to the public.
A bathhouse was constructed at the hot springs in the 1920s. The original bathhouse burned down in 1979 when bathers left candles unattended in the old wooden structure. The volunteer group Friends of Bagby (FOB) formed in 1981 to rebuild the bathhouses. Between 1983 and 1986, the Forest Service and FOB joined forces to build three new bathhouses at Bagby. A conflict among the leadership of FOB led to a rift within the group in the late 1990s, and the Forest Service terminated its contract with the group in summer 2001.
There are three major springs and several minor outlets that make up Bagby Hot Springs. The largest spring flows 24 gallons (91 liters) per minute at 138 degrees Fahrenheit (59 degrees Celsius). The two secondary springs produce 15 gallons (57 liters) per minute at 136 °F (58 °C) and 3 gallons (11 liters) per minute at 120 °F (49 °C). Water from the Bagby springs is rich with minerals. Chemical analysis of the water shows the following elements are present: silica 80 parts per million, sodium 51 parts per million, sulfate 45 parts per million, carbonate 36 parts per million, chloride 13 parts per million, calcium 3.4 parts per million, hydroxide 1 parts per million, potassium 1 parts per million, fluoride 0.8 parts per million, magnesium 0.1 parts per million, arsenic 0.01 parts per million, lithium 0.026 parts per million, strontium 0.014 parts per million, and nickel 0.004 parts per million.
Bagby Hot Springs are open for 24-hour use. Camping is not permitted at the hot springs or along the trail to Bagby. Also, alcohol is prohibited at the site. Nudity is allowed on the bath decks, but not in the open areas around the bathhouses. Local law enforcement officers periodically visit Bagby to ensure a positive atmosphere at the springs. The waiting time for a soaking tub varies depending upon the number of people visiting the hot springs at any given time. Summer weekends and holidays can be quite busy.
There are three bath houses at the site. The main bathhouse has five cedar log tubs each in a private room. The lower bathhouse has three log tubs and a large round tub located on an open deck. The upper bathhouse is located approximately 100 yards from the other two bathhouses. It has one large round tub on an open deck.
There is no road to Bagby Hot Springs so visitors must hike a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) trail from a Forest Service parking area to get to the site. It is a relatively easy hike with only a 200 feet gain in elevation along the way. The trail is maintained by the Forest Service and volunteers from the Northwest Forest Conservancy.
It is approximately 40 miles (64 km) from Estacada, Oregon to the Bagby trailhead. To get there from Estacada, take Highway 224 for approximately 26 miles (42 km) to Ripplebrook Guard Station. Then follow Forest Service Road 46 for 4 miles (6.4 km) to the junction with Forest Service Road 63. Turn right and follow Road 63 for 4 miles (6.4 km) to Forest Service Road 70. Turn right onto Road 70 and follow it for 6 miles (9.7 km) to the Bagby Trailhead. A $5 SOAKING FEE is required CASH ONLY or can be purchased at Ripplebrook Ranger Station. Forest Service permit is not required to park at the trailhead. The access roads to the trailhead may be closed after some winter snow storms.
- Breitenbush Hot Springs, hot springs and resort not far from Bagby
- Old Joy, a 2006 film set at Bagby
- "Geographic Names Information System Feature Detail Report Bagby Hot Springs". USGS. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "Bagby Hot Springs". Northwest Forest Conservancy. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "Bagby Hot Springs", Mount Hood National Forest, United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Sandy, Oregon, 7 March 2007.
- Bagby Hot Springs - A Special Kind of Hiking Destination at the Wayback Machine (archived February 7, 2006)
- "Bagby Guard Station", Archiplanet, http://www.archiplanet.org, 5 December 2006.
- Flagg, Kirsten (September 5, 2001). "Bagby's Slow Burn". Willamette Week.
- Sullivan, William, "Hike to Bagby Hot Springs", Oregon.com, 4 July 2008.
- "Volunteering - Bagby Hot Spring", Mount Hood National Forest, United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Sandy, Oregon, 14 March 2008.