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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An amazingly long about 6 foot high snowdrift wall has formed at the
bottom of our trail at the top of the powerlines.
Posted by Matt

Scenic, Scenic . . . a pic

A view down the clear-cut from near the Scenic Trail Head
(provided by Sam D.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scenic Hot Springs 100+ Years Ago

Source:  The Seattle Sunday Times, August 27th, 1905, pg 14, "Scenic Hot Springs Hotel"

Note:  The author of this piece in the Sunday Seattle Times seems to take a liberal amount of artistic license with his article. When reading this writer's descriptions, keep in mind that no highways or roads yet served the area (only the railroad) and that there weren't, as yet, any clearcuts or power transmission lines cutting a swathe across the flanks of these thickly-forested mountains.  Mr. Prosser, the innkeeper and owner of the Scenic Hot Springs Hotel at the time, ran these full-page articles several times and certainly paid for many an ad in the daily papers.  Advertisement or article, the piece gives a fascinating look into the Scenic Hot Springs of the past, and offers some tantalizing clues and several interesting inconsistencies to whet the appetites of Scenic lovers.  Rick

"In order to reach the springs it is necessary to follow a beautiful shady path that winds in and out of gigantic pines and firs, whose branches are thick enough to preclude the possibility of the sun ever penetrating them.  The path itself is adorned with a carpet of pine needles as thick and soft any Wilton ever made, and the aroma from those pines makes all lung trouble look sick and peevish.

This path winds along the side of a twisting, turning, boiling, scolding stream, as cold as Greenland’s mountains, and the song it sings as it tumbles over its rocky bed is the sweetest lullaby the world has heard since old Mother Eve first crooned her first boy babe to sleep.

In due time the path makes an abrupt turn and apparently ends at Surprise Falls.  They are rightly named.  Here a great body of water is found that falls 200 feet down over a sheer precipice.  It makes many a queer turn and twist in its descent and the spray that flies from the rocks below makes it a safe proposition to view the falls from a distance of about fifty feet.

A number of rustic benches, carved with countless names, make this spot an excellent resting place, and so far as that is concerned, there are cozy nooks and corners all the way along this natural boulevard, clear from the hotel to the falls, and in fact on up the mountain to the springs.

From the falls to the springs there is a climb of about 2,000 feet, and any one who makes that rough and rugged ascent will not complain of a lack of appetite.  Part of this climb is made possible through the assistance of a rope cable, the path being almost straight up and down.  It takes a bit of determination, coupled with no end of tenacity and a bucket full of nerve to make this climb, but it is worthwhile for several reasons.

In the first place, the view that is obtainable from the top of the mountain is unsurpassed anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.  In the second place, that climb puts one in prime condition for the big lunch down below, and the dandy hot bath and rub down that will follow later in the afternoon. And in the third place, one encounters away up there on the top of that bald, snow-covered old peak, a wheelbarrow – of all things imaginable.

Some enterprising workingman packed that barrow away up there when Prosser was piping the hot sulphur water down to his hotel, and it seems so out of place – a wheelbarrow on top of a mountain that nearly everybody who had made the climb has carved his name or initials upon it.  Really, you can’t imagine the funny thoughts that come to you as you stand away up there viewing that old dilapidated wheelbarrow.  It is such an unexpected evidence of civilization away deep in the high wild land that it fairly takes your breath away, and is just what you need to bring you safely back to earth, with a realization that, after all, it’s a pretty hard thing to get away from the humdrum existence of every-day life.

But there is one good thing about that mountain climb.  You have an appetite that will sell for $150 on an open market anywhere.  In the second place, it makes you tired and sore, although all that vanishes by the time big snappy Gus has gotten through with you in the baths.  It’s worth while, all right, and the second time you go there the first thing you will do is to climb that mountain.

The second morning we crossed the stream, which is a turbulent branch of the noisy Skykomish, and wandered around through what will some day by the most beautiful park west of Yellowstone.  It is wild now, and in that, it cannot help but appeal to all that is aesthetic in the heart of you. Great titanic trees twisted to splinters by some wild wind of past decades lie ever across your path.  Mammoth ferns and fungi meet your gaze on every hand, while the flora of that particular spot has the hues of a rainbow, for there are flowers of every shade and color growing around you everywhere.

It was on this walk that the iron spring was encountered.  The ground around the spring for a good many feet looks like a rusty old iron heap.  The water itself tastes like iron and it has the faculty of building up your system that cannot help but be noticed within twenty-four hours after you have partaken of the sparkling beverage.

And the third morning we went fishing.  Trout up in that country are born faster than you can catch them, but aside from the fact the walk down the river from the railroad bridge clear to where the stream joins the Skykomish is beyond question the wildest and most picturesque to be found anywhere in the entire state.  That is a river as crooked as the operations of Wall Street, and it isn’t the least ashamed of itself, either.  You can’t walk fifty feet down the stream without encountering a gigantic log that has accommodatingly fallen across the water, thus providing a natural-born foot bridge over which a fisherman can pass dry land."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who's on First . . .

 . . . well, a famous a vaudeville comedy routine made most famous by Abbott and Costello that kind of sums up the confusion being generated by a few people claiming to be in charge of Scenic Hot Springs.  There are a number of diehard denizens of the old, free-wheeling Scenic days who still consider Scenic Hot Springs to be theirs and will continue to trespass and break all the rules that have been put in place to bring Scenic back into the good graces of the county.

These few individuals have confronted authorized visitors . . . telling them what they can, and cannot do.  They never ask for permission . . . are often heard of as camping overnight on the property . . . and almost always represent themselves as 'special' and allowed to access Scenic anytime they wish.  There was even one individual in Skykomish who collected fees and told people they could go on up to Scenic . . . as if he was the owner.  It is this old culture of possession that we are trying to rein in and stop.

The stewards of Scenic Hot Springs carry Letters of Authority signed by the owner.  If you are ever confronted by someone representing themselves as in charge . . . and you rather doubt it, ask to see this letter.  We will be happy to do so.  At present, there are two stewards at Scenic . . . Matt and Rick.  There is also the owner, Mike.  From time to time we do ask other trusted individuals to keep a lookout for us, for which they carry a Limited Authority to Act from us. Ask to see them.   Lacking these credentials, no one else has authority to tell you what to do at Scenic Hot Springs (other than authorities in the conduct of their duties).

Matt and myself are pretty laid-back individuals.  If you have permission to be up there we are not going to be dictating your use of the pools (assuming you're behaving yourself).  So . . . we'd like to hear if any visitors have any problems with individuals passing themselves off as "Who's on First".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What better way to celebrate a wedding anniversary

Ryan and Rosie celebrated their one year wedding anniversary as guests at Scenic Hot Springs and they had a great time.  They have graciously given permission to share a video of the trip up.  I enjoyed it immensely.  It gives a good idea of the conditions you can expect at this time of year . . . and of just how much fun and rewarding the total experience can be.

Scenic Hot Springs, Washington from Ryan Commons on Vimeo.

Thank you Ryan and Rosie and Happy Anniversary.

"Snowshoes needed" means exactly that!

We have been advising allowed visitors to Scenic Hot springs to carry snowshoes because of the large amounts of snow that have been falling (and continue to fall) in the area.  That is not just idle advice . . . we mean it.  You are entering backcountry under winter conditions and a series of winter storm fronts.  You cannot rely on a beaten-down path at any time during winter.  Please carry snowshoes and be prepared for winter conditions.