Clackamas River District Ranger Jackie Groce announced that Bathhouse 2 at Bagby Hot Springs Recreation Site has been closed due to the significant deterioration of the structure. Bathhouse 2, a wooden structure consisting of 5 enclosed private soaking tubs, was determined to be unsafe for public use. Please note that only the private soaking tubs at Bagby Hot Springs are affected. The communal tubs are safe for use and will remain open and available.
The structure that supports the private baths at the popular Bagby Hot Springs Recreation Site on the Clackamas River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest has become unsafe for use and needed to be closed immediately to protect the recreating public from potential injury. The structure, which is made of wood, is continually exposed to the elements as well as from the water that flows into and out of the private tubs. This has caused severe deterioration of the structure over time. In addition to weather-related deterioration, vandalism has contributed to the overall degradation of the structure. Engineering professionals have determined that this wooden structure is showing significant signs of rot and has become structurally unsound for people to occupy.
The level of deterioration at Bathhouse 2 is beyond a simple repair, at this point. The District plans to dismantle the structure this summer, and will provide ample opportunities for public engagement and comment. The District is looking at developing a long-term plan for the site that will be more sustainable, require less maintenance, and be less prone to vandalism.
“Though we are closing Bathhouse 2, Bathhouses 1 and 3 remain open for public use. These structures also show signs of deterioration, but they do not pose an imminent danger to public health,” said Clackamas District Ranger Jackie Groce. “The District plans to conduct maintenance on Bathhouses 1 and 3 next Spring/Summer and begin the process for finding a long-term solution for the problems that affect the entire site.”
These issues will be addressed in a staged approach, beginning with the closure of Bathhouse 2 now, then continuing with plans for improvements to Bathhouses 1 & 3 next year. Any future changes at Bagby Hot Springs will include public notice, opportunities for comment, and a process for visitors to engage with District staff about the future of the site.
Ranger Groce added, “I recognize the unique recreation opportunity that Bagby Hot Springs provides to the public. This site allows people to soak in natural hot springs in a beautiful, forested setting. The
District seeks to maintain this opportunity into the future, including developing more sustainable facilities. We are committed to involving the public early as we explore options.”
Source: US Forest Service