BAGBY HOT SPRINGS- Hot Water and Snow.

My eyes shot open at the crack of dawn on a chilly February morning with no alarm needed, I was way too excited for our big plans. We were going to go to Bagby Hot Springs. Bagby is probably Oregon's most popular hot springs and is usually quite busy, with waiting times of up to two hours in order to soak in one of the tubs, BUT it was a Sunday morning, and the sun was still nowhere in sight so Josh and I had high hopes for zero crowds. The two hour drive from Portland is well worth the trip, the only small tricky part is paying close attention to the road for the word "Bagby" written in bold letters guiding you to the last turn you take to get to the trailhead, Josh and I have been to here plenty of times and still miss this turn more often than not. We parked our car and noticed that there were a couple others already there, not too bad, we also know that people like to camp here so the tubs won't necessarily be busy. There's a 1.5 mile path through the woods to get to the springs, it's a gorgeous stroll with crossing bridges hosting roaring rivers below and on this particular morning there was fresh snow making the scene into a winter wonderland. While reading up on the history of Bagby I learned that the springs were first discovered by Bob Bagby when he came across a sign that read "Hell" with an arrow pointing in the direction of the springs, pretty damn accurate being that the hot water reaches temperatures of up138F. There are three soaking options, the first are hollow logs that live in private rooms, these were closed and under construction. Adjacent to these are three more tubs better suited for larger groups. There were a group of people in these already, and from the looks of it they had been there since the night prior. Josh and I made our way to the final soaking option which also happens to be our favorite, a little ways up lies a large whiskey barrel surrounded by a wooden structure for extra privacy. We hung our things up on the hooks and jumped in, we were freezing and the water was a perfect 110F, these pools are built with inserted pipes that provide cold and hot water flow which keep them at this perfect soaking temperature, pretty amazing huh? We enjoyed our virgin hot toddies surrounded by massive trees dripped in ice concluding in an absolutely glorious morning. A couple of hours later we saw a family arriving and gathered ourselves to make the trip back to the car and allow them their turn. It's places like these that make is so difficult to imagine ever leaving the northwest, we are absolutely spoiled by nature here. When Josh first told me about hot springs I didn't even know such a thing existed, I mean, hot water coming up from the ground? What? It is truly one of nature's most astonishing talents and Oregon has a whopping forty-five hot springs! Soaking in natural hot springs comes with a number of benefits including blood circulation boost, reduced stress, better sleep, and muscle pain relief. Bagby is now managed by the Mt. Hood National Forrest and a private group as well, because of the popularity of this location we as the public need to take on the responsibility of preserving these springs for future generations.