Scenic Hot Springs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scenic Hot Springs is a privately owned natural hot spring in Washington state that is closed to the public. Located high on a steep northwestern slope, it is south of U.S. Route 2, about 8 miles west of Stevens Pass and bordering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Nearby, the Great Northern Railway had a stop for travelers to experience the springs.

Near the railroad, in the 1890s, a lodge known as Madison Hot Springs, was built to accommodate visitors to these mineral baths who arrived by train from Seattle. The name was later changed to Scenic Hot Springs and it survived as a commercial venture until 1928. Construction by the Great Northern Railway of an 8-mile tunnel under Stevens Pass dumped rubble into the front yard of the lodge and effected its destruction. Largely forgotten until the 1980s, it then became a popular gathering spot for mineral water bathers who constructed several tubs of various temperatures.

In October 2001 the King County Sheriff shut down the springs and threatened to arrest bathers for trespassing, at the land owner's request. The land owner was apparently not aware of what was taking place on the property. Activities occurring at the springs were a liability risk and the fact that the area is environmentally protected and no building permits had been issued was used as a reason to demolish the decking.[1]

It is not clear that the springs will ever be available in the form they were before the incident in 2001. Large amounts of vandalism and bad weather has caused its deterioration . On top of it, Federal and State regulations are making it difficult to restore the springs to their original working condition. [2][3] As of February 2018, access to the springs is conditionally open to those to whom the owner has charged to give permission. Requests to access this private property can be made through the Scenic Hot Springs blog. This is not public land, although it is surrounded by public lands. It is private land, and permission from the owner is needed to access the springs. Hikers wishing to visit the Hot Springs without contacting the owner risk having their car towed during their visit or having trespassing charges ensued upon them.