Category: Bagby & Austin Hotsprings


Clakamas River Walk

Posted by Shan on 11/30/11  ~  Posted in: Oregon, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings, Videos


Austin and Bagby Hot Springs

Posted by admin on 11/01/11  ~  Posted in: Galleries, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings

Well this was a bit of an adventure just getting here.  We set out from Hood River as the sun was going down pointed southwest into the Mt. Hood wilderness area.  We had some questionable directions from Google and horribly functioning GPS.  After we turned off the pavement, in the pitch dark at this point, we probably made some 10+ turns on varying widths/qualities of dirt and gravel roads.  At times we?d make a turn onto an unmarked not-quite-single lane road and drive several miles before turning onto a slightly larger gravel road, then back unto another road/trail.  This went on for a good hour or more, driving through the pitch black.  This was the middle of nowhere.  They might not find you for a while here.

My hopes were high for the hot springs, which were perched along the Clackamas river.  It seemed as though this had the possibility of being a sweet hot spring experience.  And then, all of a sudden, we popped out onto a legitimate, honest-to-goodness, asphalt road.  Two lanes.  Double yellow.  Traffic.  Crap.  We had driven through an immense wilderness area only to pop out an hour and a half out of Portland via highways and paved roads.  We could tell we were passing the springs by the campfires bunched along the river.  Crap.  We drove on.  Found a flat place off the road, a few miles down.  Parked.  Ate.  Bed.

In the morning we pulled our bikes off the van and rode back up the road to where we?d see the congregation the night before.  A couple people across the river by inflatable boat, unoccupied on our side.  Not super appealing.  Very shallow.  Garbage and broken bottles - not exactly a wilderness experience.  Nonetheless we stripped to our bathing suits in the rain and headed in.

More bad news.  The temperature was completely inconsistent, seemingly everywhere.  One minute it could be 100 degrees, the next, near boiling.  Not relaxing at all.  Mostly just stressful, and at times painful.

Nonetheless, we tried to enjoy ourselves for a while, then headed back to the van to chill out and check out our campsite a little more.  This part was nice ? right on the river, totally secluded, beautiful colors.  Caught a nice fat fish for dinner.  Pretty sweet.  We hung out here that night and decided to pack it out in the morning.

On our way out, heading south toward Santiam Pass, we noticed a sign for Bagby Hot Springs.  Not being in any particular hurry, and remembering that our friend Chara had recommended a stop here, we decided to pull in and check it out.  The trail was short, maybe 1.5 miles, so we decided to jog it.  We changed into our running gear, grabbed some towels and swimmers, and started running.  We wove through a nice old forest and finally came to the old encampment at the springs.  A large old wood bath house with five private tub rooms, the tubs made from carved out cedar trees, and several more huge cedar planked communal tubs, perhaps 500 gallons or more.  The private tubs each had a drain and plug made of wood, as well as a super-hot water inlet controlled by a huge stick-plug that could be jammed into the inlet port or pulled to allow more water in.  Cold water was gotten with five gallon buckets from a large cold spring water cistern.  Using cold water in concert with the piping hot water, we were able to get our tub perfectly toasty for a nice soak.

The whole place was a bit funky and obviously well used during the weekends and less inclimate times of the year but all and all, it was a real nice soak and not too bad once we submitted to the funkiness.  Turns out funkiness is part of the Westy lifestyle.  I?m gonna have to get used to it.

Anyway, we got changed, snapped a few photos and headed back down the trail only to run into a leprechaun hideout just a few minutes down from the springs.  It included sparkles and lucky coins and even a small mushroom.  More photos.  We jogged the rest of the way down as it started to rain.  We got home (into the van) just in time for the weather to get really ugly and we beat it south toward Santiam pass.

One sidenote that we had to come to terms with that night is that it?s basically impossible to get gas in Oregon after hours since ?full service? is mandatory.  When the country store and gas station closes, you?re not gettin? gas.  Luckily the kind fellow at the place we stopped was nice enough to ?power back up the till and turn the pumps on?.  Thanks James!  Refueled, we drove up the road, found a place to park and went to bed.  Washed, warm and happy.


A Great Big Fish

Posted by Shan on 10/31/11  ~  Posted in: Oregon, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings, Videos


My Wonderful Fishing Man

Posted by Shan on 10/31/11  ~  Posted in: Oregon, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings, Videos


Furry Fuzzy Caterpillar

Posted by Shan on 10/30/11  ~  Posted in: Oregon, Bagby & Austin Hotsprings, Videos

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