Bagby Hot Springs

Update | History | Facilities | The Springs | Regulations, Ethics, and Safety | Access | General Vicinity Map


Soaking Shelter 1

These natural hot springs are located among towering firs adjacent to a secluded tributary of the Clackamas River, forty miles south east of Estacada, Oregon. The springs are accessible by trail and offer a unique recreation experience. No chrome fixtures here! Hand-hewn tubs and cedar plumbing are typical of the primitive facilities. For further information contact the Clackamas River Ranger District at 503-630-6861.

Winter Use Information:

The Bagby Day Use opportunities for hiking the trails and soaking at the hot springs remain open as long as the site is accessible to hosts and managers to access the trailhead. Once roads become impassible, the site is no longer maintained. The Bagby Campground officially closed after Labor Day and the Forest Service and the concessionaire do not provide services or monitor for hazards until Spring, usually early April.

 As for winter access, the forest strongly discourages visitors from attempting to drive or hike in once the roads are snow covered. These roads and trails are not maintained for winter travel and the area has no cell coverage for emergency calls. Visitors should not block travel ways with their vehicles when attempting to hike or snowshoe into areas. This makes it difficult for emergency services to access areas, and delays response times.

Visitors should be prepared when visiting the forest any time of year, but particularly during the winter months. Visitors should be aware that even a few inches of snow can obscure icy roads and soft shoulders where vehicles can become stuck. Winter storms can trigger unexpected rock slides, and falling limbs and trees; they can quickly change driving conditions on forest roads from passable to impassable in a matter of minutes.
 
When visiting the forest, remember:

  • Plan for the unexpected
  • Be sure to check the latest road and weather conditions
  • Know your physically abilities, and the ability of your vehicle
  • Let someone know where you’re going
  • Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle
  • Be prepared to spend the night in your vehicle by carrying extra warm clothes, blankets, food and water
  • Carry a forest or district map since internet service is spotty or nonexistent in many areas of the forest

Last year many people required assistance from the Sheriff and a tow when they went farther than they should have. In addition, sometimes people park at the junction, blocking the road, and then attempt the 7 mile trek via hiking, snow shoes or skis to the trailhead. This is also not safe as there is no cell phone coverage and people tend to underestimate the difficulty of the journey to the hot springs.  We recommend that visitors stop at or call the Ripplebrook Store to check road conditions to ascertain if a trip to Bagby Hot Springs is safe to undertake.

If the road is impassable our concessionaire is not able to access the site to render assistance to visitors, maintain the site, or monitor the area. The Hot Springs receive a lot of use year ‘round and often times people abuse the site due to its remoteness and lack of constant over sight. There are instances of misbehavior during the winter due to this and we depend upon visitors to police themselves so that everyone enjoys themselves. No public nudity is allowed, and we ask that visitors be respectful of others while there. Alcohol is not allowed at the site. Marijuana use is not allowed on federal land.

In short, when visiting Bagby Hot Springs, visitors should be aware:

  • The site is not maintained when the roads are inaccessible
  • There is no cell phone coverage in the area after Estacada
  • During night time hours, vehicles at the trailhead and structures at the hot springs have been vandalized
  • Hiking into the site when the roads are impassible is never advised
  • Only park in designated parking areas
  • Alcohol and marijuana are not allowed
  • Public Nudity is not allowed.

General Bagby Hot Springs Tips

  • If you park along the road, make sure you are off the fog line; otherwise, you may receive a ticket for obstructing the roadway.
  • No day-use fee is required to park at the Bagby Trailhead. However, there is a $5.00/person soaking fee that can be paid to the attendant or fee box at the trailhead (cash only). A wristband will be given upon paying the fee that you will need to wear while soaking.
  • Alternatively, you may purchase wristbands for soaking using a credit card at the Ripplebrook store on the way to the Springs.
  • As a reminder, alcohol is not permitted at Bagby Hot Springs. Please also pack out your garbage.
  • Be courteous to other Bagby patrons. If there are others waiting to get into the tubs, please limit your soaking time.
  • Weather is unpredictable - make sure you are prepared and that someone knows where you are.

History

The springs were discovered in 1880 by an early hunter and prospector named Bob Bagby. Accounts of his discovery differ, but the man and this place are inseparably linked in the history of the upper Clackamas.

In 1913, Phil Putz, a Forest Service Guard, built a cabin that is still present today. A telephone switchboard and small fire crew stayed there during the summer months. They built a barn, dam, shelters, and bathhouse in the 1920’s. All of these facilities have disappeared. In 1974 the Forest Service built a new cabin for the guard. The Friends of Bagby built the current bathing facilities at the hot springs over several years of volunteering.

Communications were switched to Oak Grove in 1940 and recreation use of the Hot Springs increased with the development of the Clackamas Drainage.

For further information contact the Clackamas River Ranger District at 503-630-6861.

Facilities

The main bathhouse contains five tubs in private stalls. These hold up to 200 gallons each and were hewn by hand from single logs. The bathhouse below the main one contains three log tubs and one 6ft round tub in a community setting.
The upper bathhouse contains one 6ft round tub on an open deck. Please empty your tub and fill it half full so that the water will cool for the next bather.

The Springs

Three major springs and several minor seeps are found at Bagby. The large bathhouse spring flows twenty-four gallons per minute at 138 degrees F.

Chemical analysis by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey of the water indicates the following chemical analysis (in parts per million): Silica 80.0, Sodium 51.0, Sulfate 45.0, Carbonate 36.0, Chloride 13.0, Calcium 3.4, Hydroxide 1.0, Potassium 1.0, Fluoride 0.8, Magnesium 0.1, Arsenic 0.01, Lithium 0.026, Strontium 0.014, Nickel 0.004, Silver NONE, Copper NONE

The other springs produce 15 gallons per minute at 136 degrees and 3 gallons per minute at 120 degrees.

Regulations, Ethics, and Safety

Nudity - Public nudity is not allowed in open areas.

Fee - 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 single or $24/night double site to camp at the Bagby Campground.

Camping - Camping is not permitted at Bagby Hot Springs. However, there are established campsites at the Bagby trailhead (see Bagby Campground recreation site) or hike ¼ mile beyond the Hot Springs and camp at Shower Creek.

No Alcohol - Alcohol is not allowed from the trailhead to and including Shower Creek. This includes the Hot Springs.

Pack it Out - Maintenance of this area is expensive and funds are limited. Help us provide a enjoyable recreation experience for those who follow you. Please pack out your litter.

Roads - Fall, winter and spring are wonderful times to visit Bagby, but come prepared for rain and snow. The springs are occasionally closed due to snow. The roads are not plowed in the winter.

Access

From Estacada follow HWY 224 for 26 miles just past the Ripplebrook Guard Station. Then follow road 46 for 4 miles to the junction of road 63. Turn right on road 63 and follow it for 4 miles to the road 70 junction. Turn right on road 70 and follow it for 6 miles to the Bagby Trailhead. Then it is a pleasant 1 ½ mile walk through the forest to the hot springs.

See also: Bagby Hot Springs Picnic Site 


Map

Map of Bagby Hotsprings

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