Directions

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The 40-acre hot springs property is located approximately 10 miles east of the community of Skykomish, 3 miles west of Stevens Pass, and 1 1/2 miles south of Hwy 2. Access to the Scenic Hot Springs is via groomed trails, but is by foot only. And since there is a considerable difference in elevation, access on foot requires careful preparation.

Scenic Hot Springs and adjacent national forests showcase the rugged terrain and spectacular scenery of the Washington Cascade Mountains. The region’s remote and pristine conditions ensure undeveloped hot springs and high-value habitat suitable for a wide range of wildlife species.

The hot springs are completely “off-grid”, isolated, and have limited facilities. There are several hot springs, but only a limited number of ponds are available. However, we aim to maintain rustic bathing conditions and hiking opportunities for all visitors.

Please come and experience for yourself the unique spring quality of this special place

Please note: GPS is often inaccurate as you approach the property. Click here for more information and access map.

Getting Here: Directions                                                                     

From Seattle, take I-5 north to exit 194 (Highway 2, Stevens Pass) in Everett. Drive east on Highway 2 for about 50 miles to the town of Skykomish (last stop for gas, food, and motels). Continue east for 10 miles to where you cross a large bridge over the Tye River and the train tracks. In another 0.25 miles, just after the 59-mile sign, a dirt road heads steeply uphill on your right. This is the road (FSR 850) to the springs.  After about 100 yards on the forest road from HWY 2, you will see a gate ahead. The gate is closed, so please park in the free space on the right side of the forest road before the gate.  There is limited parking there and vandalism has been a problem in the past so be careful. . DO NOT BLOCK THE GATE. There is room for 6-7 cars to park there. Travel time from Seattle is approximately 1.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Do not park on the highway: you will be ticketed or towed. The best place to park for safety reasons is the railroad construction yard near the Tye River Bridge, a little way back.

    WINTER PARKING: during heavy snowfall conditions when FSR 850 is inaccessible, parking is located in the Burlington Northern Railway staging area (Surprise Creek trailhead). This is the only viable and safe parking area in heavy snow conditions. Heading East on Stevens Pass state route 2, turn right onto the paved road immediately prior to the bridge going over the railroad tracks (about 3/4 of a mile past mile-marker 58). Drive down the road and across the railway tracks to park in the Surprise Lake Trailhead. If the lot is plowed, cross the railway tracks to park on the South side of them. Otherwise, park in what has been plowed. Parking here requires an additional 1/3 mile of hiking east up the highway in order to access FSR 850. FSR 850 is an unmarked dirt road on the south side of the highway. In winter, snowplows will leave a 5-6 foot tall berm of snow and ice blocking the entrance to vehicles. The safest approach is to hike atop the snow berms on the south side of the highway.

Trail:

The trail continues right through shady secondary timber. Sturdy shoes are required as the trails are muddy and slippery in some places. Once you’re under the BPA power lines, follow the power lines that follow the trail up the trail. Three quarters of the trail is dirt road and the last quarter that turns right off the dirt road becomes the steepest climb. You are just minutes from the springs when the trail makes a sharp left turn and flattens out. The hour-and-a-bit hike from the Hwy 2 to the hot springs involves an elevation gain of almost 1,000 feet.

 

The springs

A historic wildlife trail leads to the hot springs, and wildlife now regularly comes to lick the minerals produced by the hot springs. The hot springs are set on steep slopes, with hot water flowing from two gravel spots and feeds with three temporary black, side-by-side tubs, each large enough for two or three people.

There is a wooden walkway with a bench and some hooks for towels and clothing. A large overhanging cedar tree provides some shelter from rain and snow. The spring water is clear, odourless, tasteless, and very low in dissolved minerals, mainly bicarbonate and sodium. Several other small seeps nearby are not used for bathing.

This is a lovely spot, clean and well maintained. Perhaps it’s the view out over the valley, with the highway far below, that makes it so special.   

If you have problems and/or need to contact the property manager, call at Matt Hone (425) 614-9397

For all inquiries not involving a reservation contact:

Property Manager/Caretaker of Scenic