Portland, in the State of Oregon is ranked high in several surveys about the best places to live in the U.S.
It is only one and a half hour's drive from the city full of the Modern Hippies to a bathhouse in deep in the mountains.
Walk in the Rainforest
Winter in Portland is the rainy season, and it rains a lot due to the humid wind blowing from the Pacific to the Cascade Range.
This is the reason why the temperate rainforest is located near the urban area, and hot springs are gushing in the woodland.
Normally there is an attendant at the trailhead in the Mount Hood National Forest.
Soakers must pay for $5.00 for a wristband that they need to wear while soaking.
It is 1.5 miles' hike to the hot springs along the mountain stream.
My visit was just the next day of a heavy rainy day, but the path was not so muddy and well maintained.
I passed many hikers on the trail.
Not only "Portlanders" who love nature, but everyone will appreciate the beautiful scenery along the way.
The hot springs are gushing hillside away from the stream.
The springs were discovered in 1880 by a prospector named Bob Bagby.
The original building was burned in 1979, but reconstructed by volunteers.
Decayed Bath House
There are three sources of the springs, and two are used for soaking.
This spring produces the largest amount of water, which is piped to both the Lower Bathhouse and the Main Bathhouse, using the height difference.
The water temp at the gushing point is around 135 degrees F.
It is too hot to soak in tubs without adding the stream water bucketed.
This is inside of the Lower Bathhouse.
There are four barrel-like tubs in the clothing required area.
If you like to soak without nothing on, choose the Main Bathhouse.
The decayed bathhouse is divided into five private bathrooms.
In weekends, people are stuck in a line, so that the bathing time is limited up to 45 minutes.
The hollowed out cedar tub is fed by the fresh mineral water.
The characteristic is the slight opaque color and the smooth texture.
The board wall absolutely full of gaps is covered with hippie-like graffiti.
Now then I stop appreciating good points of Bagby Hot Springs.
Look at the junk-littered bottom between the Lower Bathhouse and the Main Bathhouse.
Just as the same as the history that the Woodstock Festival in 1969, known as an icon of hippie counterculture that espoused a back-to-nature lifestyle ended up leaving a mountain of garbage, it is no wonder that the nature lover, Portlanders get going to the hot springs back in the mountains and litter up.
Bagby Hot Springs' superior water gave me mental space to accept such contradiction as culture.
Bagby Hot Springs, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon, USA
- Walk-in: Yes
- Lodging: No