Scenic Hot Springs is exactly how it sounds, scenic. Scenic enough for me to book a spot to visit 3 times over the last few years. There’s a lot to know to successfully book this Pacific Northwest classic and make it up there! I’m going to break down everything you need to know to book a spot at Scenic Hot Springs in Washington State.
Land Acknowledgement: Wenatchi, Snoqualmie, Tulalip, and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Land. Find what Native Land you are visiting by using the app Native Land! I encourage you to read the history and culture of the Indigenous people who’s land you are visiting! Consider visiting nearby cultural centers and seeking out other ways to financially support Indigenous People.
- Know Before You Go: Hot Springs Etiquette
- About Scenic Hot Springs
- Where is this Washington Hot Springs?
- What Temperature are the Mineral Baths?
- How to Book a Spot at Scenic Hot Springs:
- The Hike to Scenic Hot Springs
- Sharing the Hot Springs
- What to Expect at Scenic Hot Springs
- Best Time to Visit
- What Gear to Bring to Scenic Hot Springs:
- My Experiences at the Hot Springs
- Nearby Destinations!
Know Before You Go: Hot Springs Etiquette
Let’s start by reviewing Hot Spring etiquette. Maybe you’ve been to a LOT of hot springs, but you might learn something that can help keep these hot springs around longer for everyone to enjoy!
Read my Hot Springs Etiquette Guide HERE. Comment if you think anything needs to be added, or in general I would just love your opinion!
- Leave No Trace
- No Glass
- Clothing Optional
- What goes in a pool, stays in a pool (don’t bathe or urinate in these)
- Watch out for trash/glass (wear protective footwear down to the pools)
- Be polite and keep your noise to a normal level.
- Be mindful of others if taking photos/videos
About Scenic Hot Springs
Scenic Hot Springs near Stevens Pass in Washington is located on Private Property.
At a Glance:
- 3 pools
- Max of 10 people allowed per day
- Reservations must be made
- Temperature ranges between 105 and 110 degrees F
- Moderate-Hard Hike required to reach hot springs
Things to Note:
- Clothing is optional
- No Pets
- No Fires
- No Camping
- No Glass
Where is this Washington Hot Springs?
This Washington Hot Springs near Seattle is located just past Skykomish Washington in the Stevens Pass area. It is on privately owned property surrounded by national forest. Detailed directions will be given after payment and reservation to get to the driveway. In the winter the driveway is typically not accessible and there are directions to park in a lot below and hike an additional bit along the highway.
This map is just so you get a general idea of where it is. Trust me, you will need the detailed instructions by the owner to get to the hot springs.
What Temperature are the Mineral Baths?
The pools are fed from two different sources about twenty feet apart. Lobster Pot is the hottest source at 110 to 118 degrees F. The other source is Bear Den, with temperatures five degrees cooler.
105-118 degrees F between the three pools. I found the middle pool to be the most enjoyable in the summer because it was the coolest. But I remember spending the most time in the far left pool when I went in the winter!
How to Book a Spot at Scenic Hot Springs:
I wish I had found a resource to walk me through this the first time I booked, because it gave me a lot of anxiety. So, here’s everything you need to know.
Go to scenichotsprings.blogspot.com and scroll down until you find the side bar on the right with the availability calendar. This will show how many people have booked each date. For example, if it says 8/26/2022 Melissa 3, that means 3 of the 10 spots are taken by a group under the name Melissa. If it were to say 8/26/2022 Melissa Exclusive access, this means that the group under Melissa paid for all 10 spots and there is no availability for that day.
Tip: Some dates don’t appear on the calendar, but that does not mean there isn’t availability then! See step 2.
Email email@example.com to confirm that the dates you want are available! Allow at least 2 days to receive a response back.
When you get confirmation that the dates are available, send a PayPal payment to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is currently $10 per person and $150 for exclusive access. Groups of 8 or more require an exclusive access reservation.
Complete the form provided on the main screen of the scenic hot springs website by copying and pasting it into an email. Include the confirmation number or screenshot of your paypal payment to them and send it!
The Land Owner will send an email confirmation with a detailed map and instructions of how to get there. Screenshot or print the entire email as you will NOT have cell service there and the trail can get confusing without these instructions.
The Hike to Scenic Hot Springs
The hike to get up to Scenic Hot Springs is moderate to difficult. It is a 2.2 mile hike one way with 1,100 feet of elevation gain. It felt a LOT longer than 2 miles because of how uphill it was. We were hiking mid day in the summer, so the added heat and exposed hiking area for part of the time really made it challenging.
Once you make it through the power line section that has no shade, the trail is very straightforward and leads you straight to the hot spring.
My biggest tip when finding the trail is to follow the road winding up through the power lines until you can’t anymore and then you’ll see the trail branch off at a bench. Again, just make sure you screenshot the directions given to you by the owner!
Sharing the Hot Springs
The three pools have a good amount of space to spread out! I’ve visited once and had to share with 3 other people. You can get a sense of how crowded it could be by checking back the night before on the availability calendar.
The reservation allows you to visit the hot spring right after dawn to just before dusk, so even if there are 10 people set to visit that day, you may still have it to yourself. Especially if you go first thing.
What to Expect at Scenic Hot Springs
The trail will end on a short downhill section that connects to some steps leading you down to the hot springs. There are 3 hot spring tubs, a wooden platform, and a bench area with hooks to put your gear. To the left of the hot springs is a short trail that leads to a small sheltered area with a toilet! Make sure to bring your own toilet paper.
The toilet is private even though it does not have any walls. The area is large enough to change into your bathing suit too if you are wanting to do so in private.
The three tubs look out through a small clearing in the trees to reveal a gorgeous view of the mountains. They call it scenic hot springs for a reason.
Best Time to Visit
I have gone once in the winter and two times in the summer. These hot springs are pretty dang hot, so in the summer time it is really not as enjoyable for myself. The winter trek up is HARD depending on the snow levels. My group had to use snowshoes and the snow was over 6 feet tall around the trail. But getting to the top and enjoying the hot water felt SO good in the winter time.
Whenever you decide to visit, make sure to check the weather before you go and plan accordingly.
What Gear to Bring to Scenic Hot Springs:
Here’s a packing list!
- Comfortable Hiking Shoes. I’d recommend close toed shoes on this trail
- Packable Towel
- Sun Protection (Summer): Hat, Sunglasses, sunscreen
- Snacks. Make it luxurious and pack a charcuterie board!
- toilet paper for the toilet at the hot spring
- Light waterproof layer (because its Washington and rain is always possible!)
- Bear Spray as there are occasional bear sightings
- Microspikes, snowshoes, Trekking poles (Winter)
My Experiences at the Hot Springs
I’ve had such different experiences each time.
My first trip here was in the winter of 2017! The snow was towering the sides of the trail but the trail was nice and packed down. I rallied a group of 10 women together that I had met on bumble bff. We had such a blast and the water was SO nice after trekking up the mountain in the snow. It was a little sketchy walking along the highway to get to the driveway because the snow took up the entire shoulder. But once we got on the trail it was smooth sailing.
My second trip was with an ex boyfriend lol. We went during the week in the summer and ended up sharing the hot spring with an older couple visiting from Idaho (enjoying them nude) and another solo man also enjoying them nude. It was nice having 3 tubs to each have our own bit of privacy. The tubs were clean and enjoyable!
This most recent trip was in the summer of 2022. I had paid for exclusive access with a couple friends. The hike was pretty miserable in the hot sun, but we made it to the top and soaked for as long as we could handle it in the summer heat. The Hot Springs had lots of floating particles and were a bit slimy. We attempted cleaning them out a bit with the scrubber and net provided but it did not do much. I’ve been in some pretty funky hot springs before, so it didn’t bother me. But it was a little disappointing.
If you’re looking for a place nearby to stay check out where I stayed at Index Cabins!
Other nearby cabins:
Looking for some easy Washington Hikes?
If you’re here to check out some of the National Parks:
This 4.5 mile round trip hike with 1,100 feet of elevation gain is well worth the trek if you love hot springs! The mountain views from the 3 mineral baths are incredible and this can be enjoyed year round (weather depending). There is a lot to do in this area to make a road trip out of it. Let me know if you are planning a trip there!
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