Located in the dense woods of the Mountain Hood National Forest, Bagby Hot Springs is a small and almost fairy-tale like place in close proximity to the big cities such as Portland, Salem, and Vancouver. A picturesque getaway destination with primitive facilities would take you back to the time when everything was simpler.
There is no parking area or camping directly at the hot springs, so an easy hike is required. Parking and camping facilities are located at the Bagby Trailhead, roughly 1.4 miles from the hot springs. It would take 45 - 60 minutes of hiking at a moderate pace through the fantastic old-growth forest.
Bagby Hot Springs are available for use 24 hours a day and year-round. Weekends and holidays can get rather busy and, sometimes, you need to wait for a vacant tub. Law enforcement officers regularly visit the spring to ensure laws are being followed.
There are three bathhouses. The main bathhouse is also known as the Private Deck due to each tub has its own room, making it the most popular among visitors. The lower bathhouse deck holds four of the original tubs salvaged from the fire in 1979 and is considered a communal soaking bath. The most distant of the bathhouses is used also for communal soaking.
The hot mineral water emerges from two sources at a temperature of about 136 degrees Fahrenheit and flows through wooden flumes to the bathhouses. The flumes are hollowed out cedar logs with length of 10 feet and diameter up to 3 feet. The geothermal water is too hot for soaking and should be mixed with cold water from the springs nearby.
Nudity is permitted in private bathtubs only. Alcohol is prohibited.
The hot springs were used by Native Americans for centuries. Many people traveled here to bathe for healing and rejuvenating purposes.
The hot springs were named after a hunter Bob Bagby who discovered this great spot and used it for soaking in the 1880s.
In 1913, the guard station was built quite near to the hot springs for fire patrol teams during summer fire seasons.
In the 1920s, Forest Service employees built a bathhouse and cabins to utilize the benefits of the hot springs.
In 1974, a new guard station was built in Oak Grove and the Bagby Guard station had been renovated and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Public access to the building is not allowed.
The bathhouse and cabins were actively used until the fire in 1979 which burned wooden structures to the ground. It happened because one of the bathers accidentally left candles burning. It took over 5 years to rebuild the original bathhouse, along with the additional bathhouses that now provide a great opportunity to use the incredible benefits of the Bagby mineral hot water.
Bagby Hot Springs | General Description
Open: Year-round 24 hours, trails can be closed in winter
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Mt.Hood National Forest
Development: Primitive, rustic bathhouses, and wooden tubs
Service: No services are available; a pit toilet
Accommodations: Camping is not allowed at the hot springs; Campsites at Shower Creek - 0.25 miles; Campground at the Bagby Trailhead; Kingfisher Campground - 4 miles east; Motels in Estacada - 38 miles west
Clothing: Required in public places
Distance from the parking: 1.4 miles
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Interagency Annual Pass
Elevation: 2,280 ft (695 m)
Bagby Hot Springs is located:
- 38 miles southeast of Estacada
- 67 miles southeast of Portland
- 89 miles east of Salem
- 131 miles northwest of Bend
- 163 miles northeast of Eugene.