Friday, June 12, 2009

Bagby Hot Springs.

Fee: $5 recreation fee
Hiking difficulty: easy

We hiked here in late April when the parking lot was still a big snowy, muddy mess. Despite it still being early in the season the trail and hot springs were pretty crowded. However, it is a beautiful 1.5 mile hike through old growth forest to the actual hot springs. And the drive out to it along all the forest service roads is absolutely stunning.

Since this was a spontaneous hiking choice for us (the road closures due to snow kept us from our first choice) we weren't prepared to dip into the hot springs - which are channeled into hollowed out cedar log tubs - but I'm sure it provides a relaxing soak. You may want to be careful however, another website I saw noted that swimsuits are rare.... And judging by the number of long haired hippies we saw standing around outside the hot tub sheds I wouldn't doubt this statement.

NFS Armstrong Campground

Fee: $12 (until October 10)
12 campsites

Before hiking at Bagby we spent the night camping in the Armstrong campground. This developed campground is located outside of Estacada and situated right alongside the Clackamas river. We didn't have much choice in this site since it was the only one available, and we were just happy to find somewhere to put up our tent. However, it did turn out to be a pleasant camping site and after setting up the tent we enjoyed a quick jaunt down to the riverside where there is reportedly good fishing for steelhead, chinook and coho salmon.

Since it is within the Mt. Hood National Forest it provides easy access to numerous hiking spots around the area.


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