Wildlife Sighted: Deer
Usable all year, snow shoes might be in order during winter months.
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
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:
popular natural hot spring in
Washington State. Located on US Route 2, about 8 miles west
Stevens Pass (via road) and high on a steep northwestern
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
Largely forgotten until the
1980's, it then became a popular gathering spot for
mineral water bathers with several tubs constructed of
Reports of vandalism to
vehicles, as well as rowdy behavior prompted the landowner to
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."
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
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
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.
Historical Non-Commercial Average Rating:
Hot Springs Guide Books