Olympic Hot Springs in Washington Added!

4.07.2006


My first time in the Olympic National Park proved to be an excellent experience. The goal was to visit Olympic Hot Springs just after the 8 feet of snow melted and road barriers were pushed back, and before the continuous wave of geo-soakers hit the NP and hot springs for the warmer season. The timing of my soaking party's arrival couldn't have been any better.



As we hiked toward the hot springs through the lush and vibrant green forest we passed a group of 5 on their way out. They had spent a couple nights at the hot springs and had the whole place to themselves. The hike along the slightly elevated old, paved forest service road was fairly easy. The only problem is that the trail was washed out in 3 places. The first required a slight walk-around to a fallen tree and a dip-route through a huge broken stump. The 2nd had a semi-narrow earth bridge, and 3rd a single log bridge with handrail.



Snow only slightly came into play on the hike in. We encountered about a foot within the last quarter mile of the hot springs. At most, there was about 2 feet on the ground at the backpacker campsites, which are located just before the bridge that leads to the hot springs. The trail itself was worn enough for easy passage without the need for snowshoes, albeit a bit icy.



The hot springs, ahh yes... the hot springs. They were awesome. I tracked down 6 total pools, 4 soakable (the others too hot and goober laden). The water felt great, and having the whole place to ourselves was amazing. Full-qualification of all 4 pools could be had. It's muddy around the pools, and to combat this there are many mats nearby. Although, the mats are fairly gross after heavy use. Here's a tip: stand on a trash bag. When you're done (changing/soaking) put trash in the bag and haul it off utilitarian style.



There was a slight sulfur odor at each of the pools, along with some algae stemming from lack of use over the winter break. The water was near clear, and the pool temperatures ranged from 98º to 104º. On the hike back out we passed 17 soakers! Once back at the car 3 additional vehicles arrived while we ate a late lunch. Good timing indeed.



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