7-Day Forecast for Scenic Hot Springs Area (2,900 ft near beginning of Trail Head)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scenic Conditions and an Update

The repairs to the Bear Den sources are holding and the temperatures in the pools (as of Saturday, June 24th are:

Bear Den:
                   as it is coming into the pool . . . 109.2F
                    in the pool on the far side . . . .  103.7F

Lobster is running a comfortable 93F, well on it's way to recovery from the annual snowmelt.

Trash continues to be a problem, with visitors (the trespassers, I'm sure) just throwing their beer bottles and cans over the side or on the trail.

Trespassing also continues to be a problem but we are spending more unannounced time up at Scenic intercepting people and turning them around (Saturday we kicked out a number of trespassers who would have barged in on those who had the decency to ask first).

Weather in the mountains can turn on a dime.  Saturday we had that awful storm suddenly rear up out of sunny skies with gale-force winds, hail, thunder and lightening, a sudden drop in air temperature of 30F, and a torrential downpour.  In the midst of that miserable weather, here come six teenagers wearing cotton summer shorts and tops . . . drenched and soaked to the bone.  I'm sure they hoped to be able to warm up in the hot springs except they weren't exactly sure where the springs were and I intercepted them and sent them back the way they came.  I could have been nice and given them a pass but they got all mouthy.  C'est la vie.  Maybe next time they'll accept this is private property and ask ahead of time.  I hope so.  Matt had a good heart to heart talk with them further down the mountain in the hopes of establishing some trust and a future visit.

At the base of the trail where we were doing some repair work we met a returning party of visitors with permission.  They informed us that there were three more people up at the springs that had come up by some back route and had been leery that they had been discovered and were in trouble.  When we went up to the springs to investigate, they were trying to sneak back out and became very obnoxious about not only trespassing, but about being devious in sneaking in and in parking their car up a side road to bushwhack in via an obscure and risky back route.  Since they didn't seem to care at all about their intruding on those who had permission, they are persona non grata and will not be permitted any further access to Scenic.

This Upcoming Summer and the very real Fire Risk

No Fireworks sign posted at the request of the Forest Service

Since Scenic Hot Springs is a private inholding surrounded on all four sides by National Forest (one of those sides a wilderness area) the Forest Service has a huge stake in assuring that we do not experience wild fires that can devastate these pristine alpine forests.  There is going to be special emphasis on ranger patrols looking for the illegal setting off and use of fireworks over the summer within the Snoqualmie-Mt Baker National Forest (within which we are situated).  We are fully cooperating with the Law Enforcement Rangers of the National Forest by facilitating access to Scenic Hot Springs to deal with any transgressors.  Fireworks have never been tolerated on the Scenic Hot Spring property and if we catch anyone setting of fireworks within our property (or the adjacent National Forest property) we will not simply slap your hand . . . we will invite law enforcement to pursue charges.

A spent Bottle Rocket found in the clearcut just off the Scenic
property.  It was sitting on some very dry tinder and could have
easily started a fire that would have been difficult to reach and
get under control.
Last Note . . .

Give us time to process a request to visit.  We understand that a trip to the springs may be a last moment idea on a nice weekend, but we need to balance requests with a reasonable load on the springs.  Right now, Lobster is still not up to speed, so we limit the number of visitors per day to six (to help keep the crowding down and the waters clean.

Note the Conditions of Access in the sidebar.  Do not ask to come up at night.  Night time soaking is not permitted for a lot of reasons, and we will say "no".

Don't use the Call Me button to ask for permission . . . send an email as requested.  Use the Call Me button to ask general questions.

Finally, thank you to all the great people we have met up there that really love the hot springs and are respectful, leaving the place better than when they arrived.   You are great and we really feel good when someone says they had a great time soaking.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Private Event this Monday

Scenic Hot Springs is hosting a private event this coming Monday, June 25th, 2012.  Accordingly, the hot springs will be closed to all other access.  Please respect the enjoyment and privacy of this group.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Scenic Hot Springs is Available for Requests once more

Thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers who lugged hundreds of pounds of fine sand up the steep trail to the springs, repairs to the spring sources appear to be holding and actually working better than we expected.  As of yesterday (Friday), the Bear Den sources are running at 107.9F at the pool inlet, with a slightly increased flow.  Taking the pool temperature on the corner furthest from the inlet reads a nice and toasty 103.5F.

The Lobster feed coming into the other pool is beginning to recover with its' inlet temperature right at 80F and a degree cooler in the pool . . . making Lobster (for right now) a great plunge pool to cool off in if you get too hot soaking in Bear Den.  Bear Den has been thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned.   Soaking should be superlative.

Repairing the damage to the Bear Den sources
(Matt shown playing in the muck and ruining my gloves)

It goes without saying that the spring sources are very fragile and sensitive to messing around with.  There is a lot of hot water underground that comes out in dozens of locations on this mountainside.  But only in a few places are conditions and geology right for the geothermal waters to emerge cleanly and without undue mixing with ground waters.  The rock fractures of Bear Den and Lobster are a couple of them.

Unfortunately, someone thinks they know better than the foremost natural hot spring expert in North America (the owner).  They persist in thinking they can 'improve' the hot springs simply by digging a bigger hole.  It doesn't work that way and all they accomplished was providing a way to allow cold and dirty ground water to infiltrate the hot water before it emerged.  When we discovered the damage, Bear Den was a muddy mess and a full five degrees cooler than normal . . . barely around body temperature.  Lobster, of course, was in its' annual snowmelt recovery phase . . . leaving lousy soaking conditions for everyone.  For that reason, we closed the springs to see if we could repair the damage done by the well-meaning (I assume) person.

Playing around with the spring sources is pretty serious stuff and the consequences could have been such that Scenic would have been closed for a long time.  The owner is adamant about this:  anyone caught trying to 'improve' the hot springs sources WILL BE ARRESTED for both trespassing and malicious property damage.  Do not mess with the sources.

Commensurate with that damage, the late night trespassers and all-around bad crowd was up there destroying as much of the springs as their irresponsible behavior could.   About the same time this someone (and we think we know who he might be) messed with the sources, some late-night trespassers tore up half the decking and railings and used them to make a large fire beside the pools.  That occupied a large amount of time bringing the tools and supplies up to replace the destroyed railing, secure replacement deck boards and clean up the the mess of half-burned treated lumber.

Probably the same group returning a few days later and firing
their guns directly from the pools.  The bottom of the pools
were littered with spent (as well as unspent) rounds.

How about this for an idiot?  Set a bag of Kingston Charcoal near the tubs, light it . . . and then set a couple of steaks directly on the coals to cook them.  Yuck!

The remains of an overcooked, partially-eaten steak attracting flies
and wildlife.  The coals sat partially on the deck and were still
hot when I come upon them.
So . . . all in all, trespassing is not abating and we are going to have to do something about it before the county closes us down once more.  So the call is out:  any previous, well-behaved visitors who have asked before and are looking to an opportunity to help . . . we are looking for those who would be willing to do some late-night visits and kind of watch the property for trespassers.  This is an opportunity to visit and soak at night . . . possibly camp . . . and help deter trespassing. This is not a carte blanc pass to visit . . . you must still let us know ahead of time.  There are certain nights of the week when we have problems and need to have someone on-site.  It is also not to confront (and possibly put yourself in danger).  It is merely to provide a presence and hopefully educate people.   If you are looking for the chance to soak legally at night, contact us to arrange a face-to-face with details.

But best of all . . . Scenic is a great soak right now . . . and, it is open . . . if you ask first.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Coco Goes to Heaven

I lost my beloved puppy, Coco this last Tuesday and it has hit me particularly hard.  In memory . . . and to ease my grief I'd like to share this photo album of Coco's memories and of his last moments in the clinic.  There is meditative music with the full album here.  Or you can view the album less the music here.