It’s hard to turn down a side trip to the hills when hot tubs are waiting for you at the end.
While Oregon is dotted with hot springs, the Bagby Hot Springs have a special reputation. Tucked up in the hills by Estacada, the spring are maintained by the USDA Forest Service and are open for 24-hour use. The hot springs offer visitors a quiet, relaxing retreat in the woods.
In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll need: $5 per person for the entry fee. Snacks. Extra towels. A flashlight/lantern if you’re staying past nightfall. Walking shoes for the trek in.
Part of the adventure of heading out to the Babgy Hot Springs is the trek in. Once past the parking lot, prepare to spend roughly an hour on the easy hike out to the springs. Bridges, massive trees, and winding, gentle trails will guide you through the Late Successional Reserve Forest to the three bath houses at the site.
The main bathhouse has five cedar log tubs each in a private room, while the lower bathhouse has three log tubs and a large round tub located on an open deck. The communal tubs comfortably fit 8 -16 people, so expect to share if you dip into one of those. Private tubs can have a bit of a wait time, so be prepared to have to share you soaking on a busy day. And while there’s no official time limit, in order to not monopolize space, it’s suggested that visitors limit their hot time to 2 hours.
Be warned – the spring waters are hot! Use the buckets of cold water situated between the private and public tubs to make the temperature bearable. Everyone has their own comfort zone, by 5 or 6 buckets usually do the trick. And the sink in and enjoy the waters.
No day-use fee is required to park at the Bagby Trailhead. However, there is a $5.00/person soaking fee and a regular camping fee of $16/night to camp at the Bagby Campground.
Bagby Hot Springs is located about 45 minutes South East of Estacada, Oregon in the Mt. Hood National Forest. From Highway 224, turn South and follow the Collawash River. Pull over at the “Bagby Trailhead,” where you’ll find a parking lot and campground. From there it’s simple to find the trailhead. Happy hiking (and soaking)!
Directions on Google Maps: