I love Cheryl Strayed's book Wild, and not only for the story and her writing style -- though those combined are enough to sink deeply into her words and get lost on the Pacific Crest Trail right along with her. But learning about the trail, and the land she covers along her trip is a magnificent bonus.
One place she visited definitely stood out for me and is now on my list of must-see places to go. Bagby Hot Springs. She describes it as a tri-level series of decks set back in the woods of the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. The decks hold various tubs that can be filled with water from the natural hot springs in the area. And get this -- it's practically free When Strayed went, it was free, but it looks like there is now a $5.00 "soaking fee" when you visit. It's not a huge resort or nature spa that you have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to visit. There are no gift shops or spa packages to buy. In Wild, Strayed says you can go any time of day or night and enjoy what Bagby has to offer.
There are camping spots available nearby, and it doesn't seem like much of a hike to get up to Bagby. The photographs I've managed to find are absolutely gorgeous. I'm mesmerized.
The only question that remains for me is, "When can we go?" I'm ready!