Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
Water Temperature
105.00 °F (40.56 °C)
Sensitive Habitat
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Bagby Hot Springs, secluded amongst towering old-growth fir and cedar trees, represents the ideal of a natural hot springs. However, this ideal is challenged by very heavy use and the resulting artifacts. Crowds can be avoided by going early in the morning, on weekdays or during the winter. Fortunately, the variety of pools and bathing rooms offers something for both those interested in privacy and those who prefer a social soak.  Bagby Hot Springs is currently managed by a private company under contract with the Forest Service, a net benefit as the heavy use requires some degree of maintenance and security. There is currently a $5 fee per person for soaking, payable at the Ripplebrook Ranger Station, to an attendant at the parking area (when present) or at the self-service pay booth at the trailhead.

The hot springs are fed by three springs that supply water reaching 138-degrees. Users liberally mix in cold surface water to achieve their desired temperature. The bathing facilities consist of three rustic bathhouses, one containing five cedar bathing tubs in private rooms, a second containing four round wooden tubs of varying sizes, and a third containing a single large tub that is located 100 yards from the others. Two primitive toilet facilities are provided. Nudity is common, but technically only allowed in the private bathhouses; likewise, alcohol is a prohibited but common occurrence. Soakers are encouraged to share the larger tubs with others and to limit soaking to one hour when others are waiting.

Discovery of the hot springs is credited to prospector Jim Bagby in 1880. The 1913 forest service cabin that was built for firefighters and communication equipment still stands alongside the newer structures. This facility expanded in the 1920s, but the remnants of this expansion have been reclaimed by the woods. In 1974 the forest service built a new cabin to replace the 1913 structure, which was renovated in 2006, but it remains closed to the public. The 1920s also saw the construction of the first of several bathhouses on the site, the first of which burned down in 1979. The current bathing facilities, including a replacement bathhouse and additional structures, were completed in the early 1980s as a combined effort between the Forest Service and the Friends of Bagby volunteer group.

From the parking area, the short trail to the hot springs is clearly marked. Note that several miles of road access are frequently snow-covered and are not maintained for winter travel. Travel on this road in the winter should only be attempted in appropriately equipped vehicles. In winter the trail can be slippery with packed snow and ice. The hike alone is worth the drive, winding through primordial old-growth woods above the clear water of the Hot Springs Fork of the Collawash River. There are also several swimming holes along the trail.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Hot springs. Great old-growth forest. Swimming holes.

Cons

Crowded. Over two hours from Portland.

Features

Constructed
Clothing optional
Sensitive Habitat

Number of pools

10

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Comments

08/28/2017
The Bagby Campground, on a Tuesday or Wednesday is quite lovely. If you can, shoot for sites 6 or 9. They are waterfront, and 9 has a sandy beach and (private) swimming hole. There are currently two permanent camp hosts to keep out the riff-raff and a manager who frequents the sites and maintains the hot springs. My daughter and I were lucky enough to descend on a completely empty and the private tub in the morning. It had been left with the hot water running into it, so it was at least 138 degrees. After a lot of work, dumping hot water, humping cold water, we were able to get the tub down to a temperature that was tolerable, and then quite lovely. Tub tip #1. When you leave the private tub, divert the hot water from it. -There is no water shortage up there, so don't worry about "leaving the water on". It's far easier to warm the tub for the next users then it is to cool based on the volume of hot to cold hoses. -the attached images show the water system. Large hose is the hot water, small trickeling hose is the cold. -It literally took us 2 hours with the help of the camp host and one of the original occupiers/maintainers of Bagby to get the tub down to temp. Totally worth it in the end.
07/20/2017
Since about 2015, the vehicles left alone in the parking lot area have been frequently broken into. Please be aware of this and do not leave any valuables in your vehicle.
We went in on a Saturday and, surprisingly there weren't very many people. Our goal was not to soak but to hike about 5 miles in and back. Normally, it's busy until you get past the spring. Then, you'll (more than likely) never see another soul.
We spoke with a couple of very friendly ladies that were placing warnings on vehicles about the soak fee. They suggested that, if you are only hiking, leave a note on your windshield informing them of that.
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