We really are spoiled in the Pacific Northwest with so many great places to explore. There is no shortage of hot springs here to soak Oregon, and Bagby Hot Springs is a must-do for anyone looking for the perfect relaxing getaway.
Hot springs are more than just a regular hot tub — they’re precious for relaxation, health, and more. Hot springs, mineral baths, onsens, spa therapy—whatever you want to call them—have a rich history and are cherished in many parts of the world. Hot springs are reputed to have a number of therapeutic benefits.
According to folklore, soaking in hot springs increases your blood flow, circulation, metabolism, and absorption of essential minerals.
Located in the heart of the Hood National Forest, Bagby Hot Springs is one of Oregon's hidden gems. It is a natural hot spring that features a series of pools and private tubs, making it a perfect spot for relaxation after a beautiful hike in the old growth forest. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Bagby Hot Springs and why it should be on your bucket list.
History of Bagby Hot Springs
The hot springs were discovered in the late 1800s by a man named Bob Bagby, who was exploring the area for timber. He stumbled upon the hot springs and recognized their potential as a place of relaxation and healing. Bagby built a bathhouse around the hot springs, which was later replaced by the Northwest Forest Conservancy in 1979.
Today, the hot springs are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which maintains the area and ensures that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Getting to Bagby Hot Springs
The hot springs are located about 67 miles southeast of Portland, making it a perfect day trip destination for visitors. To get to the hot springs, you will need to drive through the scenic Hood National Forest, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The parking area for Bagby Hot Springs is located about 1.5 miles from the hot springs themselves, and visitors have the option of hiking or taking a shuttle to the hot springs. The hike is a beautiful 1.5-mile trek through the old growth forest, with plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning scenery.
Hot Springs Pools and Private Tubs
Bagby Hot Springs features a series of pools and private tubs, all of which are filled with naturally heated mineral water. The pools range in temperature from 122-138 degrees Fahrenheit, providing visitors with a variety of options depending on their preference.
For those who want a more private experience, Bagby Hot Springs also offers private rooms with private tubs. These rooms are available for rent and offer a secluded and relaxing experience for visitors.
Hiking in the Old Growth Forest
Bagby Hot Springs is located in the heart of the Mt. Hood National Forest, which offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful forests in the Pacific Northwest. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, black bears, and cougars, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.
There are plenty of hiking trails in the area, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes. Some popular trails include the Bagby Trail, which takes hikers through the old growth forest to the hot springs, and the Bull of the Woods Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Things to Know Before You Go
Bagby Hot Springs is a popular destination, and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go:
- The hot springs can be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Consider visiting during the week or in the off-season to avoid crowds.
- The hot springs are clothing-optional, so be prepared to see some nudity.
- The area is remote and does not have any cell phone reception, so plan accordingly.
- The hike to the hot springs can be challenging, especially during wet weather. Wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for muddy conditions.
Is Bagby Hot Springs open?
The Bagby Hot Springs are currently closed, due to wildfires in recent years, and are expected to reopen in 2023.
How to get to Bagby Hot Springs
If you are looking for directions to Bagby, we've got you covered. Heading out from the Portland area it should take you around 2 hours to reach the trailhead. The drive to Bagby Hot Springs is quite beautiful.
What town is Bagby Hot Springs in?
While following the Clackamas River Basin on Hwy 224 heading towards Estacada and continuing 45 minutes southeast of town, you will eventually turn south following the Collowash River until you'll come to the Bagby Trailhead, also known as Nohorn Campground. Located 40 miles southeast of Estacada, these natural hot springs are nestled among towering firs and a secluded tributary of the Clackamas River.
The price to visit is very affordable, at only $5 per head. Bud and his dog Blue host Bagby and take care of guests all year round. A few rules to make sure and obey while visiting:
- No alcohol
- Clean up after yourself
- Respect your fellow hikers/soakers
- Drive Safe
Apparently, they have had some issues with underage drinking in the past, which led to a high number of deaths on the road. Another concern at Bagby is trash. It's hugely important to leave no trace, and leave with what you packed in.
Camping at Bagby Hot Springs
There is no camping permitted at Bagby Hot Springs, however, if you venture about .25 miles up the trailhead you will find the Shower Creek Campground, where camping is allowed. There are also beautiful places to hike here, with incredibly gorgeous Douglas firs and cedar trees towering hundreds of feet above.
Bagby Hot Springs in Oregon is a great place for stress relief, to relax, and even relieve pain. Have you been to Bagby? This hot spring is not only the perfect place to relax in Oregon, but its an incredible hike in as well. Let us know about your experience in the comments.