Goldmyer Hot Springs

 

DECEMBER 4 -5, 2010  My friend from the Midwest enjoyed our backpack trip to Goldmyer Hot Springs in February so much that when she returned to Seattle to visit her daughter, she wanted to go back.  When we reached North Bend, the wind was blowing fiercely, and I was beginning to have doubts about this trip, but we decided to drive to the trailhead and see what it was like there.  FS 56 was a rough, pot-holey mess, partially covered with snow and ice, but we arrived safely at the gate where the road is still closed for repairs.  It was 29 degrees and calm when we set out on the muddy road hike.  About a mile later we were surprised when pickup trucks came up behind us and offered us a ride to the nearest blow down.  It was the Goldmyer work crew, armed with chainsaws and accompanied by Beth, who mans the Goldmyer office, and her dog Cocoa, the tireless chaser of sticks.   Their offer saved us at least 3 miles of walking and deposited us close to the Dingford Creek trailhead, where snow covered the road.  It was tough hiking for a road walk.  The snow was not deep enough for snowshoes, but we post-holed and sank ankle deep with every step.   There were several ugly snarls of blow downs on the road, and although we could step over or go around some of them, we had to climb over and through the worst of the clusters.   The amazing Goldmyer work crew cleared all the blow downs and caught up with us near the road down to the Goldmyer property, where they had a few more trees to clear from the trail.  We set up camp and waited for them to complete their work before we headed up to the hot springs.

It was dark when we headed up to the springs.  There are certainly easier ways to soak in a hot tub, but none so satisfying as the one you have to work for.  Soaking in a hot spring on a star-filled night in an old growth forest--priceless.  We were still warm when we returned to our tents and crawled into our sleeping bags.  Clouds moved in during the night and kept the temperature at a reasonable 29 degrees outside.  During the night a mouse joined my friend in her tent, and she woke to the joy of having a mouse run amok in her tent.  We broke camp early and started our hike out before 9:00.  The trucks had packed down the snow on the road, and our hike out was much easier. 

Approximately 17 miles roundtrip