Scenic Hot Springs in Washington Revisited!


08.20.05 Trip Report
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.

Scenic Hot Springs

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.

Scenic Hot Springs

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 accomadate 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 behaviour 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+


Rick said...

Thanks for the good words on Scenic, Josh. I'm glad you had a good soak . . . perhaps the last for awhile as discussions are now taking place on the specifics on how to dismantle that last tub up at the springs. The county is pushing for resolution of the 2001 Code Enforcement Action prior to actual negotiation on new permits; so we may see no soaking opportunities in the near future until the proposed rocks pools are approved and constructed. Personally, I wish it were otherwise but it looks like the era of Scenic in the past is near to finishing the chapter.

What remains to be seen is just how onerous the state and county health rules will be as we negotiate and seek variance to provide a natural soak in beautiful surroundings.


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