Wind River Hot Springs March 2024

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sparr0
Posts: 1
Joined: March 26th, 2024, 8:59 am

Wind River Hot Springs March 2024

Post by sparr0 » March 26th, 2024, 9:00 am

I visited earlier this week (March 2024), with https://preview.water.noaa.gov/gauges/wcnw1 reading 7ft. The peak of ~12ft in the prior month would have made the legal trip impossible, and any height above ~8ft would submerge all of the spring pools.

At 7ft gauge depth, the legal access was wet and perilous. From Indian Cabin Rd, the first thousand feet have a shore of impassable thorns and require wading against the current 1-4ft deep and across a small tributary. Beyond that, we were out of the water on the rocky riverside, with rocks ranging from 1" stones to 6ft boulders to exposed 20ft+ rock faces. The slope we had to traverse ranged from 0° (flat, walking on sand in a few places) to 60° (steep enough that we had both feet and hands on the rock face, moving from hold to hold, with full body contact to the rocks in places). Further wading would have avoided some of the steepest areas, but may have involved deeper water.

The first pool we reached was well separated from the water, full of algae, and warm to the touch. The second pool was almost at the river level, separated by a few feet of rock, with 90-100F water and too-hot sand a few inches below the bottom of the pool. The third and fourth pools visible in some past photos were not apparent, likely submerged.

The trip was worth it. If I had it to do again, I'd bring waders waterproof at least to the waist, possibly to the armpits, to avoid the very cold water in the wading sections.

PS: There are, of course, trespassing alternatives to the wading sections, but those are not recommended.

Webfoot
Posts: 1763
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Wind River Hot Springs March 2024

Post by Webfoot » March 29th, 2024, 7:43 am

Welcome, and thanks for an unusual report.

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