When Ali told me we are going to Goldmyer Hot Springs, I thought he was crazy for many reasons. One there was a snow storm hitting Washington the same weekend we planned the hike, two Daniel was not ready for that kind of hike, three we have never done that kind of hike.
If you are not familiar with Goldmyer Hot Springs, they are natural hot springs located on the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Below is description from Goldmyer.org:
Goldmyer is a minimally developed wilderness area with a hot spring emerging from inside an old horizontal mine shaft. Water flows steadily from the source of the spring at 125ºF (52ºC), with the ambient temperature of the “cave” hovering around 111ºF (44ºC). This water cascades into nearby pools with progressively cooler temperatures, down to 104ºF (40ºC). A cold water pool is located adjacent to the hot spring pools for cool downs.
This was going to be a day hike so we had to be prepared in every possible way, we had to have the right gear, right clothes, and enough food for all of us.
The night before the hike we laid all what we were to take with us on the table so that in the morning we knew exactly what we packed and how we packed them.
A tip for hiking with kids, always pack extra clothing and extra snacks. You never know what you might need!
Here’s a photo of the things we took with us:
Getting to the start point of the hike was interesting, the road was packed with snow and it was the perfect opportunity to test our B-con*, and see how this baby performs on snow and off-road. We had chains in the trunk just in case we might need them. Fortunately the B-con was amazing on the road and it got us there with now drama.
B-con*: The name we gave for our Jeep Wrangler-Rubicon. Matches the B-clan!
That’s a photo of the start of the road:
Once we got to the site, Daniel was so excited to start playing with the snow. We kept telling him to try to save his energy because it was going to be a long hike, of course he didn’t listen! He was throwing snowballs at us, making snow angels, eating snow, jumping in the snow, he did everything you can do with snow!
The hike to the hot springs was hard, there was a lot of fresh snow, that meant a lot of sinking and strenuous hiking. We had our micro-spikes on but that didn’t help. After almost 5 hours and almost 8 miles of hiking, we got to the hot springs and it was the best feeling ever! The smell of minerals was all over the place, and the site was like a place from a fairy tale . We changed to our swim gear in the freezing weather and dipped in the hot springs.
There were three pools of alternating temperature, the first pool extended from a cave (an old mine shaft) and the water there was the hottest, being inside the cave felt like you were inside a wet sauna! The water cascaded into the second and third pools which had cooler temperatures. We soaked in the pools for about an hour, alternating between hot, hotter, and hottest. It was the perfect remedy for our feet before hiking back down.
I wish I can say the hike back was easy. It wasn’t! By the time we dried up and put our gear back on it was dark. Thankfully we had packed enough head lights and flash lights for all us. Ali and I were doing fine hiking down but poor Daniel was exhausted! He couldn’t hike the whole way down so Ali had to carry him along with his backpack. A lesson for him to preserve his energy and a lesson for us to be better prepared.
It was such a relief when we got to the car!
All in all, this was one of the prettiest hikes we have done, the scenery is amazing! We will definitely be going back when the snow melts, maybe next time we will camp instead of doing a day trip!
Here are some photos from the hike: