Our directions were a little lacking, but to be fair, word on the net was that there was a good amount of signage pointing the way. This was not the case, and after deciding that *maybe* Road 4270 was indeed Road 70, we parked the car where the snow stopped us and hoofed it up the hill. 11.5 miles seemed ridiculous but it was early and we REALLY wanted to find this magical place. We passed live wolves and dead dear and as the snow got deeper and the road got steeper our spirits were squashed. Four miles in we turned around defeated.
Thinking it would be a rather mellow excursion, we failed to pack any snacks and only had one small bottle of water each. The whole way back we just talked about what we would eat when we got back to town. Every once in awhile I would interject some hope: "Maybe by 40 miles, they meant 30 miles to the turnoff and 10 miles to the trailhead and we just passed it!" or "If this was it, wouldn't there be more footprints? There's still time! Let's find this place!" Truth was, we were both starving and sore from our eight mile detour. On the way back we passed a road around the 30 mile mark and argued for a few minutes before turning around and investigating. A few miles down that road, we saw the sign: Bagby Hot Springs - 6 Miles.
Much whooping and hollering ensued and we buried our hunger with excitement. That road was snowed over, too, but only feet from the trailhead. There were several parked cars, and sure enough, a well-worn trail of dirty snow. A mile and a half later (which felt like several miles at this point) we spied the above through the trees.
This little spring feeds into a series of flumes that feed several private log tubs, a larger communal area with several logs and an overflow where the water cools and you can grab buckets to regulate your burning hot bath.
The drill is this: You pull the cork from the flume allowing the water to divert into your carved out log, and you use another wood stopper to plug the drain. You then haul bucket after bucket of cold water back to your bath so you don't burn all your skin off. And then you let the magic happen.
Our muscles were all messed up and we were quite dehydrated which gave the whole experience a nice druggy feeling. Inexplicably, our wrists were pounding and tripping us out - something about blood through those veins I bet. It was truly something else. Just what the doctor ordered.
Sadly, I didn't take any photos of the weird Mexican joint where we feasted ourselves sick on the way home. I always underestimate nature. Never again. For anyone wishing to make the trek, I'd be happy to give the best directions I can so you don't get stupid lost like we did. Also, though there are several soaking options, I would recommend going on a weekday just to be on the safe side. It would sort of stink not just to wait in line, but to feel rushed while trying to relax. It's also a little hippy-dippier than other springs I've visited but there's something kind of charming about all that. Maybe Oregon is softening me.