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Home: Washington Hot Springs: Scenic Hot Springs
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Scenic Hot Springs in Washington

Season: All* Type: H (hike)
Snoqualmie National Forest Historical Non-Commercial Rating: A+
3,500 ft Water Temperature: n/a
Skykomish Area Usage Level: CLOSED

Picture Viewer

08.20.05: Ahh yes, one last time

08.20.05: Remnants of the past - still in place

08.20.05: Candle lit walkway near the springs, I don't think this is a good idea though

Trailhead to our campsite near Scenic (09.07.02)

The falls behind our campsite... awesome! (09.08.02)

Our campsite near scenic (09.07.02)

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Slideshow from Rick of Scenic

Scenic Hot Springs

Scenic Hot Springs Closed!

Scenic Hot Springs is currently in the process of being converted to a commercial hot springs - and as such, is currently closed to the public. Please respect the wishes of the property owner until the hot springs can be re-opened.

General Description
Scenic Hot Springs... the Ewok Village of public Hot Springs, or at least was, lies nestled in the midst of the Snoqualmie National Forest near the Steven's Pass world-class snowboarding and ski resort. Visitors can expect to meet a mix people from all over the US and other parts of the world soaking at the hot springs pools. The deluxe pools, situated on a mountain top in a thick forest, were at one point brought in by helicopter and inlayed amongst elaborate wood walkways, porches and lookout decks complete with clothing racks and benches.

Dates Visited: Trash Levels: Bug Levels:
08.20.05 none at hot spring / light on trail low-moderate
08.07.03 moderate low
09.07.02 & 09.08.02 moderate none
08.2001 n/a moderate

Water Clarity:


None noticed

Wildlife Sighted: Deer

Seasonal Notes
Usable all year, snow shoes might be in order during winter months.

Camping Notes
Plenty of camping in the nearby Snoqualmie National Forest. I would recommend not camping at the springs as Scenic is on private property.


02.27.06 Scenic Hot Springs Trip Report (posted on the official Scenic Hot Springs Blog)

Ahh yes! This trip was excellent! I was a tad bit nervous just because of all the PR surrounding Scenic, but after taking a look at the official Scenic Hot Springs Blog I felt much better. The mild sunny temps made for a great hike up the hill towards the hot springs. We arrived to find 3 friendly guys from Seattle enjoying a soak. We soaked and chatted for a while then the 3 headed out... good guys too, packed out more than their fair share of trash.

I was awestruck; here I was enjoying this incredible hot springs that I thought inconceivable to ever have to myself, one last time before it turns completely into a commercial hot springs. It was one of those good and bad moments. I found out from a couple friends that on 08.21.05 (Sunday) the owners were present and working on building construction. Last time I soaked here I meet some people from Sweden and Finland, not too mention experience the gourmet cooking of the naked chef. Seems like eons ago. The single pool was in great shape, and apparently is a temporary soaking solution until natural rock pools can be developed.

Much has changed since I was here last. Wikipedia hosts a general description of the hot springs along with a brief history of the springs back in their day as a commercial resort - ironic that now it is once again becoming commercial. Here's what Wikipedia currently has to say about Scenic:

"...a very popular natural hot spring in Washington State. Located on US Route 2, about 8 miles west of Stevens Pass (via road) and high on a steep northwestern slope.

Known as Madison Hot Springs in the 1890's, a lodge was built to accommodate seekers of mineral baths who arrived by train from Seattle. The name was later changed to Scenic Hot Springs and survived as a commercial venture until 1928.

Construction by the Great Northern Railroad of an 8-mile tunnel under Stevens Pass dumped rubble into the front yard of the lodge and effected its destruction.

Largely forgotten until the 1980's, it then became a popular gathering spot for mineral water bathers with several tubs constructed of various temperatures.

Reports of vandalism to vehicles, as well as rowdy behavior prompted the landowner to instruct the King County sheriff to destroy the tubs in October 2002.

A new landowner is in the process of reconstructing the tubs and making improvements to the property to support visitors in the near future. The two external links discuss this progress."

Rating A+

According to an avid Scenic Hot Springer as of 11.09.04 the turnoff towards Scenic Hot Springs off I-2 is now gated with a very large "NO TRESPASSING - MUST BE EXPLICITLY INVITED" sign. It looks like Scenic's new owners are finally setting up shop. So long old friend, many will miss you.

Scenic Hot Springs in WA: Still Soakable
Scenic has 1 pool which is currently available for soaking opportunities. The land owner apparently has no problems as long as the area and pool is well respected. Plans for commercialization are still in the works despite not meeting the goal of opening in September 04. Construction of the pools is currently tied up with plenty of red tape. It looks us soakers will have one last time to enjoy Scenic before the transformation occurs next season. Special thanks to a friend of the hot springs for the information. The pool is a sweet one from the looks of a few pictures I have recently viewed.

Scenic Hot Springs Re-Opening September 2004 as a Commercial Hot Springs
Scenic was apparently soakable via 1 pool until roughly 2 weeks ago. It has been reported that the last remaining pool was destroyed, marking the last time anyone will ever enjoy this hot springs non-commercially. A private party has purchased the land is Scenic resides on and is currently developing the area into a commercial hot springs that is supposed to open in September 2004.

Despite Scenic's status (according to guide books and other hot springs websites) as being closed, I was able to make my way to the hot springs without a hitch. I saw no signs posting the area as Private Property or even any No-Trespassing signs. It looks so different now, after being torn down by the Sheriff. On the bright side, there is one soaking opportunity.

Scenic is still currently closed and is apparently patrolled by law enforcement. However, from the rumors I've heard there IS 1 pool that is soakable.

09.07.02 - 09.08.02
We weren't sure what to expect, especially after viewing all the reports and pictures featuring Scenic's demise (see links above). We arrived at night and noticed a lone grocery grabber in the pullout across the street from the 4x4 road off Interstate 2 that leads to the trailhead. In the morning there were at least 3 or 4 vehicles in addition to the one we spotted last night, and on our second day there must have been at least 10 to 15 vehicles... the pullout was full and the 4x4 road was full of parked cars as well. Oh yes my friends, Scenic is alive and partially well... just a bit re-arranged if you will. It could still be the sweetest spot in Washington for a soak... just keep your fingers crossed. I'm going to be vague on the details of this trip because of the previous and still occurring problems that plague this stellar HS, and because I'm not really sure if it is legal or not to even be there right now. I would have loved to investigate this further, but our primary objective of this trip was the DMB show at the Gorge in George, Washington (which was poetic). If you have any info. I'd love to hear about it, please feel free to send me an e-mail if you want to keep things private.

My good friend and I were camping throughout Washington when we decided that this insane, dry, hot, desert camping was getting to be too much... all sun and no shade made us very unhappy. The areas I speak of are around Wenatchee, George, and Moses Lake.
After 3 brutal days of camping we decided that this was enough. We first sought water, and camped in a not so bad BLM wildlife protected area south of the sand dunes that were south of Moses Lake. The camping was still hot and dry, but at least there were a few small trees around and the amount of cool looking birds that used the nearby wetlands were off the charts. I wished I knew more about bird species. Then, around 2am we were startled when a huge pack of coyotes ripped through our campsite howling like mad, and then back again an hour later. It was quite exciting!
Anyway, after that adventure we headed straight for Leavenworth (the unique German-Bavarian looking town, we needed permits for camping and hiking), and then Steven's Pass for some awesome hiking and camping. It seemed like a rainforest to us after all the previous environments we'd experienced along our trip. We past the ski lodge at the summit and continued down a bit further before pulling off onto a dirt road that took us down to some train tracks (just after the turn off to the train tunnel on the other side of the road) and a couple old cabins that mother nature was attempting to retake (they looked scary even during the day). We then found a nice little road that took us about a mile or two into the forest, and then hiked a couple miles in and found a perfect campsite, one with a small waterfall only a minute away. A lady hiking around the waterfall that we talked to was there visiting because the ashes of her sister were spread at that very place. She and her sister had grown up near here, and she still lived in the area today. We hiked Surprise Lake and Glacier Lake after our jaunt to the HS. These hikes were unreal, the scenery was breathtaking!
The first night we hiked up to Scenic HS. It was quite a brisk little hike. Short, but steep at times. And, with it getting dark on us, we nearly missed a couple key turns at intersections we didn't even know we were at. It was all worth it though. The hike was spectacular, and the hot pools amazing. Lots of work went into the construction of the huge soaker pools, each lined with thick plastic and filled with piped in water. Wood decks and walkways skirted each pool which in turn had it's own specific temperature range with the Lobster Pot at the top. There were at least 30 to 40 people there. A small percentage of the soakers had suits or bottoms on while the majority enjoyed the springs the natural way. Words can't even describe this place. The views were rare to me and were obtainable from a sitting position in any pool. I don't mind dogs around at all (I'm a big fan of dogs myself), but when their owners just tie them up and forget about them while getting drunk or whatever it really pisses me off. There must have been about 5 dogs that were scared as crap and were fighting with each other all the while barking and yelping. Quite a few of us were not happy with those particular dog owners. The other slight downer was the huge group of drunk high schoolers. They were annoying at times, but somewhat friendly for the most part. There were some really cool people there that we got to chat with though, and they all seemed to be from different places. On the down side, a not so-sanitary pit toilet that drained into a nearby stream (flushed from the outflow from the hot spring fed pools) had to be having some effect on the wildlife supported by the stream.
Rating A

Historical Non-Commercial Average Rating: A+

Related: Hot Springs Guide Books


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No Soap, Shampoo or BIO-Soap/Shampoo Allowed in Hot Springs! Avoid Being Fined!

Public hot springs are not bathing facilities and do not have 'plumbing' like that of commercial, improved hot springs. Soap and shampoo (including biodegradable soap and shampoo) do not completely breakdown naturally. This pollutes our water systems (ingested by fish, animals, humans) at or near the source. This is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas.

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