Friends of Cougar News

Friday 11/28/2014:    Sunrise: 7:21a    Sunset: 4:33p      Full moon: Saturday 12/6/2014.

Top Pool: 104.7░ F (40.4░ C) - hot (11/19/2014)

Weather outlook

For visitors from Bend: Santiam Pass web cam

Pool cleaning: Thursday 9 am - 12 noon (pools empty during cleaning).

Have news? Please email Greg

Visit Friends of Cougar on Facebook for more frequent updates and discussion!

Monday 5/5/14: The Top Pool is closed due to safety concerns over the unstable hillside.

Wednesday 6/12/13: The pools are nice and hot. Cougar will be closed tomorrow for repairs from 7am to 3pm.

Sunday 4/8/12: The pools are now nice and hot.

Friday 3/30/12: Due to the heavy rain this week, the pools will not be warm enough until sometime next week.

Thursday 3/15/12: Due to the heavy rain this week, the pools will not be warm enough until sometime next week.

Sunday 2/26/12: 6" of snow fell in the storm that ended last night, but there's a good two-lane track on Road 19, so any car should be able to reach the Springs today. The Top Pool is now 101-degrees.

Friday 2/10/12: Top pools are warm and road is clear. The temperature at the top of this page is calculated by computer. But apparently it needs a recalibration, because it is currently reading far too low. The Top Pool today was 102.5-degrees.

Tuesday 1/31/12: Top pools are warm and road is clear.

Thursday 1/26/12: Rain this week has cooled the pools. Friday is forecast to be dry,  so probably the Top Pool will again be warm enough to soak starting tomorrow.

Monday 1/23/12: Top Pool is warming up nicely, and until we get alot of rain, it will be warm enough soak. The road is clear, as almost all snow has melted. Top Pool was 98-degrees today.

Saturday 1/21/12: Snowmelt and recent heavy rains have the creek swollen and pouring half its cold flow into the Top Pool, making soaking impossible. Depending on the amount of rain we get next week, it will be a week or more before the Top Pool is warm enough to soak in. Check back to this page for an update next week.

Wednesday 1/18/12: Snowmelt is cooling the pools and they are not warm enough to enjoy. Based on the rain forecast, they may not be warm enough for about two weeks.

Thursday 12/29/11: Rain has cooled the pools. See above for current estimate of Top Pool. Hot Springs day fee has increased from $5 to $6 per person.

Wednesday 9/14/11: The pools are 109.8, 107.4, 104.2, 102.2 and 100.2░.

Friday 4/29/11: Please sign our petition to have Cougar open at night.

Friday 4/29/11: 95% of those who voted said 'YES' to the proposal for having Cougar open at night.

Sunday 3/27/11: Vote now on whether to have Cougar open at night. [page no longer available, voting has ended]

Saturday 3/5/11:  The snow on the road has melted and bare pavement now ensures all cars can reach the Hot Springs.

Sunday 2/27/11:  The road is clear enough for all cars now to the dam. But beyond the dam, it is 4-wheel drive or chains needed. There is 18" of snow outside of a one-lane track. You can park at the dam and hike the last 4 miles. The trail is good, just a little slippery. At the Springs there is snow surrounding and it is beautiful.

Wednesday 2/16/11:  Considerable snow on the road to Cougar. Travel now not advisable. More snow in the forecast.

Saturday 1/22/11: Top Pool is now nice and warm!

Thursday 1/13/11: The pools are all cold now with the rain and snow melt.

Wednesday 1/12/11: The road still has some snow and ice on it. The Hot Springs will be closed Friday January 14 for pumping of the outhouses. A pipe is run all the way out to the road and it stinks during the pumping.

Friday 12/17/10: Top pool is now warm.

Saturday 12/11/10: Pools are now cold, due to rain.

Saturday 11/27/10: The snow has mostly melted. Any type of car can now get to the Springs.

Friday 11/26/10: Snow and ice on road. Requires 4-wheel drive or snow chains.

Sunday 11/21/10: Snow falling this afternoon at Cougar pools! Road has snow and now requires 4-wheel drive or snow chains.

Wednesday 10/28/10: The road is clear and free of snow.

Sunday 10/24/10: Winter Storm Warning

In effect in Oregon from 3 pm Sun to 6 pm Mon above 4000 feet for heavy snow... Snow heavy at times through Mon. 9 to 15 inches are possible near pass levels from Sun afternoon through Mon afternoon... Snow levels 4000 feet this afternoon and tonight... And to 3500 feet Mon and Tue. Though much lighter amounts are expected at 3500 feet. Gusty winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected at the passes.

Monday 9/20/10: Hoodoo Recreation has lost the contract to manage Cougar Hot Springs and all campgrounds in the Willamette National Forest. The Forest Service has awarded a 10-year contract to American Land & Leisure. They take over management January 1, 2011.

Monday 5/24/10: We now have a Group on Facebook for comments and discussion.

Wednesday 4/14/10: Top two pools are hot.

Saturday 4/3/10: It's warmer than predicted. The Top Pool was lukewarm today, and will be about 98-degrees tomorrow. Cops busted soakers tonight (Saturday night) and Friday night who weren't out of the parking lot by sunset. Tickets $125. Friday night the cops were there past 11:30pm.

Friday 4/2/10: There has been so much rain in the past 24 hours that even the Top Pool will not be warm enough this weekend.

Monday 3/29/10: We now have a Group on Facebook for comments and discussion.

We recently set a new record for the Top Pool: 29 people.

Sunday 3/14/10: Road 19 to Cougar Hot Springs is perfectly clear. No snow. Top Pool is very warm.

Sunday 2/14/10: Road 19 to Cougar Hot Springs is perfectly clear. No snow. Top Pool is warm.

Saturday 1/30/10: Road 19 to Cougar Hot Springs is perfectly clear. No snow. Top Pool is warm.

Sunday 1/17/10: 28 people (27 adults and 1 child) at once in the Top Pool -- a new record.

Saturday 1/16/10: Road 19 to Cougar Hot Springs is perfectly clear. No snow. Top Pool is warm now.

The Forest Service said today that the beautiful new clothes shelter will have to be removed because it doesn't meet their specifications. Apparently they're concerned that too much snow will accumulate on the roof and it could collapse. Some Friends of Cougar disagree with their assessment. Some estimate it could easily hold 6' of snow. The most snow we've had on the ground in the past 15 years is 4'. And since the roof is slanted, much of the accumulated snow would slide or blow off.

The record is 28 people (4 or 5 of them children) soaking at once in the Top Pool and today we had 25 adults! It was great chatting with Lydia, Sarah, Emily, Tracy, Boo, Cameron, Kelsie, Lizzie, Trafton, Chelsea, Kansas, Nathan, Brian, Carolyn, Sean, Mackenzie, Melissa, Marcus, Steven, Dave, Devon, Luke, Kate, Jason, Jeremy, Dicky, Sierra, Megan and many more gentle people!

Friday 1/8/10: Happy New Year! Road 19 to Cougar Hot Springs is perfectly clear. No snow. Top Pool is warm now.

Tuesday 11/24/09: New Umpqua Hot Springs gate means 2.5 mile hike when snow.

Saturday 10/3/09: We have a beautiful new clothes shelter! Wild Bill, J and Maria have been working on it for the past 10 days, volunteering their time and effort. Maria donated the materials. Great design. It looks gorgeous. A big thank you to them for their hard work!

Monday 9/7/09: Perfect hot springs weather and nice crowd this Labor Day weekend.

Monday 8/24/09: The water in the lagoon is now 70-degrees.

Thursday 8/6/09: The water in the lagoon is now a comfortable 78-degrees. August is the warmest month for swimming in the lagoon.

Tuesday 7/14/09: Someone repaired Pool 4 Saturday afternoon. There are now 4 pools open at Cougar. The water in the lagoon has warmed up to the high 70s making for delightful swimming. Nudity is allowed on the trail, beach area and in the lagoon. Nudity is not allowed within 50 feet of the road.

Wednesday 7/8/09: Cougar is open with the top 3 pools finished. A warm welcome to visitors to Cougar on their way to the Oregon Country Fair!

Pool 3 is much improved. Work continues on Pools 4 and 5, which are not soakable now.

Work on Pool 4 was stopped at 2pm today when the Forest Service and Hoodoo discovered that the crew was using cement. Not just hydraulic lime, but something like Portland cement, a.k.a. concrete. I arrived at the Springs after their inspection, and offered to bring in a Friends of Cougar volunteer crew in the coming days to rebuild Pool 4 naturally. Matt from Hoodoo (in charge of this area) was receptive. We are now waiting for Hoodoo's President to approve that plan.

Monday 7/6/09 6:40am: A crew of 5 guys with more than 40 years combined experience ready to go to work at 9am this morning repairing Pool 4 if the OK comes from the Forest Service or Hoodoo. It can all done in 4 hours if Maria's crew doesn't tear out the walls first. All are volunteers.

Sunday 7/5/09 3:15pm: A crew of guys experienced with building Cougar rock walls naturally has been organized to repair Pool 4 Monday. Two of the volunteers have 12-18 years (30 years combined) experience building and repairing Cougar's natural rock walls, and could finish the repairs in 4 hours. So Maria was called and asked if she would allow us to repair Pool 4 without cement. Her answer was no. She and her Hoodoo crew will be tearing out Pool 4's natural rock walls Monday and rebuilding this week with cemented rock walls. She assured us they would, however, use round rocks to make it more comfortable, instead of the flat rocks with sharp edges that were used in Pool 3.

Cementing the pool wall rocks

The Cement Vote was 14% Yes, 86% No.

Despite this, Maria and her Hoodoo crew cemented Pool 3 last week.

Members' Cement Comments

Now Pool 4 is about to be cemented.

Saturday 7/4/09: Last Chance to Save Pool 4 from Cement

There's a chance we can have Pool 4 rebuilt without cement, but voluteers are needed who want to help. The more people, the higher the chance of having one pool without cement walls. It's no longer just a matter a visual aesthetics. Hoodoo rebuilds of Pool 2 and 3 demonstrate that the sharp edges of the cemented rocks are uncomfortable, because of the way they have been selected and arranged. If I get 0 volunteers, there will be cement put in Pool 4 Monday by Hoodoo. If that happens, based on the track record of cemented rock walls at Cougar, you may never again really enjoy soaking in Pool 4. Monday is it. If even one member of Friends of Cougar comes forward to help me, Maria and Hoodoo will be asked again if they will let a rebuild of Pool 4 without cement. If there are several Members to help Monday, chances are much better.

Few long-time soakers would have come out to Cougar to see for themselves what's going on. The 86% who want natural pools are losing the Cougar future, mainly because Hoodoo and Maria have so far dismissed our protests.

Hoodoo may lose, too, because far fewer people will visit if Pools 2 and 3 remain so uncomfortable.

Again, let me reiterate, if you want to save Pool 4 from cement walls, Email us this weekend, After that, it will be too late.

If you are among the 14% who voted in favor of cement, you are encouraged to go up to Cougar, give Hoodoo some business, and confirm whether or not you like the results. The quickest way to let them know is to tell them at the kiosk that you find the pools better, same, or worse. Be sure to try all the pools you would normally use. You can also go nude at the lagoon where the water is nice now. Swimming out to the waterfall is a joy.

Pool 1 is great. Pool 2 is way too shallow, and there are few comfortable spots. Pool 3 is less comfortable than it used to be, and an indication of what may happen to Pool 4. Let us know if you agree or disagree. And you really need to tell Maria and Hoodoo before Monday morning. This is your last chance to save Pool 4 from cement. 

Friday 7/3/09: We're looking for volunteers to help me with rock work in Pool 4 on Monday. Email me

Maria was called this morning. She agreed that round rocks should be used because they're comfortable to lean against. She was also receptive to the consensus that pool 2 needs to be 8-10" deeper. It is far too shallow, about 6" shallower than it used to be.

Thursday 7/2/09: Maria and her crew finished pool 3. It looks quite nice -- better than I expected. It is, however, rather uncomfortable. One of the problems with cement is you can't move the rocks -- ever. That rigidness has a psychological affect. If the rocks are perfectly positioned, great. But if they are not well positioned, knowing it will never be any better, you will not only be uncomfortable and not stay as long, you'll also be less apt to return. Flat rocks with sharp edges are easier to position, but they are not comfortable like the round rocks we used to have in the walls to lean against. Pool 4 is not yet usable.

If you thought about spending the entire Holiday weekend building the wall back in Pool 4, but there's little sense of doing so, since Maria will just tear it out to put in cement next week.

Hoodoo has banned the loud drunk guy. That happened this morning.

Thursday 7/2/09: Message to Maria and Hoodoo concerning the cement.

Wednesday 7/1/09: Here are photos of the rock work done so far by Maria and her Hoodoo crew. The rock work with cement was not authorized by Friends of Cougar. We were not in favor of removing the old-growth tree and replacing it with a cemented-rock wall. Instead of simply cleaning up, she and her crew destroyed all the natural rock work done by Friends of Cougar members and other volunteers over the past 10 years. It will take about 100 hours of work to redo it, not counting the time it will take Maria and the Hoodoo crew to remove the cement and bring back any natural rocks they remove from the site.

Monday 6/29/09: Cougar is open with 2 pools usable during rock work this week on lower pools. Some biting deerflies.

Sunday 6/28/09: Conditions at Deer Creek are splendid. Water temp about 99-degrees. Many butterflies.

Sunday 6/28/09: I was wrong. Maria did use cement, even on rocks way above the water along a pool 4 wall. You can only really see the cement when you are in pool 4. It's the wall of rocks where the fallen old growth tree had been.

I understand she and the Hoodoo crew will work next week to finish pools 3 and 4.

They tore a hole in the retaining wall of pool 4. I spent a couple hours yesterday putting in a new rock wall to make pool 4 usable. But I expect they'll rip out the work I did and cement the wall next week.

Friday 6/26/09: The new rock work in pool 3 and 4 that Maria is directing looks great, and it appears that so far she hasn't used any cement. It is probably 30% done.

Monday 6/22/09: Five days of vote tracking for the Cement issue concluded at 6:00pm. The final Cement Vote tally was 14% Yes, 86% No. 668 members voted. 91 Yes votes, 577 No votes. Members' Cement Comments.

Sunday 6/21/09: Happy First Day of Summer!

Saturday 6/20/09: As of 11:00am the Cement Vote count was 13% Yes, 87% No. 82 Yes votes, 547 No votes. Since yesterday, it's been running 25:1 against! But the voting has slowed dramatically, and at this rate it doesn't look like it'll reach a full 90% opposed.

Friday 6/19/09: As of 12:30pm the Cement Vote count was 13% Yes, 87% No. 81 Yes votes, 522 No votes. Projecting out the trend a full 5 days from the notice to members, assuming those who check their email less frequently are slightly more likely to oppose cement, I think the final tally will be close to 10%, 90%.

There's really no way to prevent muck without cementing all the crevices, and that would really look unnatural. It's incredible to me that it has actually come to cementing the pools. The cleaning difference seems minimal to me. Over the past 14 years, For someone who has cleaned the pools about a dozen times, and the notion of cementing the rocks was never even a thought. It's not going to save much time cleaning. It's all about attitude. As someone wrote on the Comments page, if you  must have a sterile environment, stay out of the forest!

The natural aspect of Cougar's pools is a unique and cherished quality. Natural walls are no longer found at any but the more remote and primitive hot springs. There are few hot springs in the World where you can enjoy natural walls at a spring with so many pools that is such a short hike to reach. It's a major reason people come to Cougar, instead of going to Breitenbush (cemented rock walls) or Deer Creek (only one pool). If the pools are cemented, many people will probably be less inclined to come, and instead go to Umpqua, McCredie or Deer Creek.

At this time both Maria and Hoodoo have been made aware of the enormous opposition to cement. Neither currently seem to want to discuss the issue. Hoodoo's position is that cement is not being used, because it is not concrete. Maria told me she is going to use cement. When I reminded her of the opposition, she basically said, "Tough, I'm going to use cement. People will still come." Those weren't her exact words, but it best conveys the meaning of what she said to me. No matter what the vote count, there is no guarantee of democracy here. It will be far from "majority rules." My feeling is that it will take 90% opposition for Maria to change her mind, and that Hoodoo will go with what Maria wants. Of course, Maria ultimately answers to Hoodoo, but Hoodoo has been taking their direction on pool remodeling from Maria.

Register-Guard 6/13/09 cover story on Cougar. Be sure to click on the Photo tab.

Thursday 6/18/09: As of 3pm the Cement Vote count was 14% Yes, 86% No. 74 Yes votes, 458 No votes. IP addresses are checked to prevent counting duplicate votes. We have about 2500 active members of Friends of Cougar.

Thursday 6/18/09: Cement Comments

Maria reports: We had a great day today [6/17/09] at the springs, Todd Lowery came up and  we cut out the old rotten log that ran alongside the fourth pool, tomorrow we will build at retaining wall and work on rebuilding the lower pools.  The rebuilding has been a huge job that has needed to happen for a long time. .  We need to use mortar inbetween the rocks to seal them so that the they do not leak and they will will be much easier to clean.  We will be working through the end of next week, I am hoping to get the lower pools done and then there will be work that could be done by volunteers.  I know that so many people care about the springs and I think you will be happy with the work we have done. 

Wednesday 6/17/09: Vote on Cement!   Send Your Cement Comments  <- Comments sent with this link may be posted. If you don't want your comments posted, just let me know.

Tuesday 6/16/09: Alan Ash, the stone mason, clarified what was used between the rocks. It is Natural Hydraulic Lime.

Tuesday 6/16/09: Hoodoo is insisting that cement was not used in pools 1 and 2. "It was a natural lime and sandstone mixture."

Regardless of what's in it, it's still cement. Maybe they mean it's not concrete. But it looks so similar, most people cannot tell it apart from concrete cement.

The nice thing about mud and moss is that you don't even see it after it's taken up by the wall. It gets stuck in the crevices and seals the wall from water flow pressure. The moss continues to collect hair and other debris so that even if the mud slowly washes away over the years, you still have a good seal. All you have on the surface is rocks piled together. Very simple, very aesthetically pleasing. Again, the problem with cement is mainly that it's not necessary.

A pink elephant in the room is distracting only if you don't need a pink elephant in the room. Those who bathe nude often notice people wearing bathing suits. It's distracting. It's not because they're sometimes pink or brightly colored. It's because they're not necessary. Everything we perceive has to be interpreted by our minds. If you don't understand why someone would wear a suit when they could bathe nude, your mind pops the question: "Why are they wearing a bathing suit?" After you come up with an answer, you can relax and forget about it, until you forget and notice it again.

When someone shouts, it's not distracting if they're communicating something of interest. When it's nonsensical, it's merely distracting. When you're driving, paved roads and car noise make sense. But when you're hiking in the wilderness, they don't. Utility is beauty. Waste is ugly.

If our statistics are valid, 3% of Cougar visitors will find the cement beautiful.

cement definition:

1. any of various calcined mixtures of clay and limestone, usually mixed with water and sand, gravel, etc., to form concrete, that are used as a building material.
2. any of various soft, sticky substances that dry hard or stonelike, used esp. for mending broken objects or for making things adhere.

Tuesday 6/16/09: The stone mason used cement to join some of the rocks in pools 1 and 2 both below and above water. He indicated it is natural cement, but its appearance is nearly the same as regular concrete. In our last Friends of Cougar survey, 97% opposed any use of cement in the pool walls.

There is a Hoodoo crew remodeling pools 3 and 4 during the next two weeks, but the top two pools will remain open.

Maria plans to remove the large fallen tree along the trail edge of pool 4. That's the one with the notch cut out to provide a step into the pool. She says it's necessary because it is rotten and overhanging the pool. I don't yet share her concern, but I'll inspect it on my next visit. It is such a beautiful tree. Aren't all fallen trees rotting? It seems to me it's doing a great job of preventing hillside erosion. People enjoy lying on it in the summer. That tree has been there for decades and is such a beautiful part of the visual scape. She plans to bring in another tree. I'll make a closer inspection soon and see if I can come to understand her reasoning.

I told Maria the water level of pool 2 is much too low and there are few comfortable spots along the walls to lean against because sharp rock corners protrude. She was receptive to having these two problems fixed.

Monday 6/15/09: Despite being opposed by more than 95% of the members of Friends of Cougar, cement was used in upper two pools, and is being planned for pool 3 and 4 rebuilds this week by Hoodoo. As most Cougar soakers know, cement sealing cracks between the rocks is unneccessary and therefore detracts from the natural beauty and aesthetics of stacked rocks sealed with moss and mud as we have done for decades. Hoodoo had promised that the stone mason would not use cement and had said in the past that cement was not even being considered. They said cement couldn't be used without a careful review and DEQ approval because it would raise environmental issues.

Maria has championed the idea of cement to make the walls easier to clean and prevent rocks from being displaced. The stone mason used cement to join some of the rocks in pools 1 and 2 both below and above water. He indicated it is natural cement, but it looks much like regular concrete.

I spoke with Maria tonight. When I learned of her plans for cement in pools 3 and 4, I told her that Cougar soakers would greatly appreciate that there be none or minimal use of cement. Volunteers would prefer to restore displaced rocks as needed, despite the ongoing effort, rather than settle for cementing them in place. Maria is directing a Hoodoo rock work crew remodeling pools 3 and 4. The work started today and is planned to continue for 2 weeks.

Please email me now to let me know whether or not you would like me to intervene to stop further use of cement. I think there's an aesthetic difference between cement that is below the surface and cement out of the water. In pool 2, cement was even used out of the water, where it can be plainly seen.

Thursday 6/11/09: Cougar rock work will be completed at 4pm Friday. Hoodoo has posted this report on the project that indicates the total cost of rock work was $39,000.

Sunday 5/31/09: Cougar is open on weekends now. It is closed for rock work weekdays, 8 am - 4 pm, through June 12.

Thursday 5/21/09: Cougar will reopen Saturday and be open for Memorial Day weekend! Rock work will resume Tuesday.

Friday 5/4/09: Cougar is closed. Deer Creek Hot Springs is unsoakable, being completely flooded out currently by the cold, high water of the river. Perhaps in late June it will be soakable.

Monday 5/4/09: The Springs are closed now for rock work. The pools are scheduled to reopen Saturday May 23.

Friday 5/1/09: The four-week closure has been delayed until Monday. The Springs will be open this weekend!

Wednesday 4/29/09: Friday May 1 is still the planned date that the Springs will close for rock work that will take up to a month.

Friday 4/3/09: I learned tonight that Officer Griffin (and by implication, the other officer) does not recognize the one-hour grace period for exiting the parking lot after dusk. Night closure updated

Tuesday 3/31/09: Spring Break drew many happy soakers to Cougar. On Thursday I met Taylor, Stephen, Lyndsey, Katie, Ryan, Thomas, Stephanie, Sharon, Lacia, Alia, Anna, Tim, Laura, Kate, Roberta, Mike, Christa, Kristen, Brian, Rachel, Deno, Zach, Kelsie, Todd, Sarah, Adam, Britney, Sam(antha), Mick, Stephanie, and others. At one time there were 18 smiling faces in the Top Pool.

Sunday 3/22/09: The Forest service has asked Hoodoo to remove the beautiful moss-covered 150 year-old fallen Douglas Fir tree that spans the pools because they are afraid someone will walk on it, fall and get hurt.

Hoodoo plans restoration work for April and May. They will rebuild the clothes shelter. May is now the new schedule for the pools rock work. The Springs will be closed in May for the pools rock work.

Sunday 2/22/09: Snow has melted and all cars can now reach the parking lot.

Saturday 2/14/09: Happy Valentine's Day!! There are two inches of new snow on the road this morning.

Sunday 2/1/09: Use caution driving on the lower 4 miles of road (below the dam) due to black ice. Most cars can make it all the way to the Springs parking lot now. Most of the approach has the track down to bare pavement, but there are still a couple stretches with some snow. If your car doesn't do well in the snow, you can park at the dam and hike and/or hitch-hike the last 4 miles. 

Wednesday 1/28/09: Several inches of new snow accumulated on the road Tuesday. Snow chains or 4-wheel drive are required for last 4 miles, or park at dam and hike in.

Sunday 1/25/09: Most cars can make it all the way to the Springs parking lot now. Most of the approach has the track down to bare pavement, but there are still a couple stretches with some frozen snow or ice. If your car doesn't do well in the snow, you can park at the dam and hike the last 4 miles. Law enforcement has been in more frequently lately to enforce the night closure.

Monday 1/12/09: Gradual melting of road snow. 4-wheel drive vehicles even without high clearance are making it in now, e.g. Subaru Forester. 7 days of sunshine and highs of 50 forecast through next Sunday!

Sunday 1/11/09: Snow on the road the last 4 miles means you will need to park at the dam and hike the last 4 miles. It is a pleasant hike. You can hike in the wheel tracks made by the rare vehicles (4-wheel drive pickups) that have made it all the way. Standard 4-wheel drive vehicles even with chains would not be able to make it past a few areas where the snow is still up to 10 inches deep. Chains are not an easy option, because some stretches are bare pavement.

Incredibly, a large Douglas Fir fell on the Springs during the recent storm. It is the Fir that you would pass just as you began to descend the stairs at the entrance of the Springs. It was probably 200 years old. The root ball is about 15' in diameter. Its roots being pulled up tore out half of the descending stairs area. It is quite a site. The biggest change to the Springs I've seen in the 20 years that I've been visiting. The clothes rack roof was pushed down. Another fallen tree slid into the path that leads to the lower pools, and another, smaller, tree fell across the fourth pool.

Although the construction destruction is unfortunate, I think you'll be pleased to see how the two fallen trees across the pools have given us an even more natural environment.

Wednesday 1/7/09: The last 4 miles has single track with bare pavement. Outside the track snow is about a foot deep or more; so walking in the track from the dam is a way to get there. It may be possible to drive there if you have a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle, with the chance you may need to leave the track to pass by an oncoming vehicle.

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