Mt. Hood National Forest selects new operator for Bagby Hot Springs
Release Date: Dec 14, 2021
The Mt. Hood National Forest has selected Bagby Preservation, Inc. to operate Bagby Hot Springs and Campground on the Clackamas River Ranger District, beginning January 2023. Bagby Preservation Inc. is an Oregon business led by longtime Bagby Hot Springs advocates Mike and Tamarah Rysavy.
I am excited about this new opportunity for the public at Bagby Hot Springs,” said Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor Meta Loftsgaarden. “The Rysavy’s experience operating other Oregon hot springs and long connection to Bagby Hot Springs will be a valuable for forest visitors.”
After casting a wide net for creative proposals, the Forest Service evaluated applications for ability to provide effective operations, investment for public benefit, and financial stability- all while preserving the historic resources and rustic experience which Bagby Hot Springs offers.
“Bagby Preservation looks forward to making Bagby Hot Springs a safe, family-friendly environment for the public,” said Mike Rysavy, President of Bagby Preservation, Inc. “My wife and I formed Bagby Preservation because of our love of Bagby Hot Springs. After spending countless volunteer hours, getting grants to restore the historic cabin, and starting the Northwest Forest Conservancy, Bagby inspired us to manage hot springs full-time.”
The popular hot springs has attracted visitors for over 100 years and has been open year-round in the past. The site features two bath houses, an historic cabin, a bunkhouse, and an 18-site campground. Several of the buildings need repairs and renovation.
Bagby Preservation Inc. plans to invest $100,000 upfront to address deferred maintenance and make improvements. They plan to keep the soaking fee at $5 per person. As part of their plan for sustainable, local management, Bagby Preservation Inc. looks to partner with local non-profits where feasible to implement historic preservation projects, trail maintenance, and public education events, in coordination with the Forest Service.
Bagby Hot Springs is located along Forest Road 70, about 40 miles southeast of Estacada. The area is currently closed through at least winter for Bull Complex fire recovery work, following the fire’s containment in November. Additionally, State Hwy 224 remains closed east of Estacada. CLM, the current permit holder, lost much of their equipment and vehicles used on the district in the 2020 Riverside Fire and is focused on reopening Bagby Hot Springs in 2022.