Goldmyer Hot Springs is a serene getaway tucked into the foothills of the Cascade mountains. Surprisingly, a visit to Goldmyer is just about an hour drive from Seattle.
The hot springs are set in an old growth forest, surround by majestic Evergreen trees, some of which are over 900 years old. A powerful waterfall flows nearby. Ease your mind and help you forget about any to do list you’ve left at home.
Continue reading to learn how to make a reservation and what to expect on your visit to Goldmyer.
What are hot springs?
A hot spring can be described as water that is heated by subterranean volcanic activity and rises from the Earth’s crust to a spring that can be safe for bathing.
Goldmyer Hot Springs flows from the inside of an old, horizontal mineshaft. There are four pools that vary in temperature from 111ºF to 104ºF all the way down to the cold pool. In the cave (mineshaft), the water enters the pool at about 125ºF and continues to trickle down into the lower pools getting gradually cooler until the 4th pool, also known as the cold pool where people can cool down.
Because the water flows through rocks there will be some minerals present in the water giving the springs an earthy smell.
How to get there?
Traveling to Goldmyer involves driving through an old growth forest on a dirt road that can some might describe as rough. After driving five miles on the unpaved, Forest Service road there is a gradual uphill 4.5 mile hike.
If you prefer, you can ride a bike on the trail instead of hiking. There is a place to lock up bikes if this is what you end up doing. Many people like to backpack into Goldmyer. They often stay for multiple days. Camp sites are available if this option sounds interesting to you.
If traveling from Seattle, take I-90 to exit 34. From there drive to Dingford Trailhead. If all goes smoothly this should take you about 45 minutes.
From Dingford Trailhead you can expect a 2-3 hour long hike — if hiking at a consistent/moderate pace. Biking can take 1-3 hours, depending on your pace and how much you are packing. If you do plan to bike, the trail can be pretty rough so experience is advised.
There are also other ways to get to Goldmyer outside of Dingford Trail. If you are interested in exploring other options www.wta.org will provide multiple different trail descriptions and is typically a good resource for travel logistics.
A Truck May Be Required
During the fall and winter months high clearance vehicles are necessary to drive through to Goldmyer. This does NOT include small SUVs and Subarus, but rather trucks. During summer a large SUV or truck is still highly recommended, but a high clearance Subaru should be fine as long as there isn’t flooding.
To get current updates on road conditions please visit the Goldmyer website. During the fall and winter months, you should definitely check the website. This is necessary in knowing whether or not you will be able to make a trip out to the hot springs.
If you want to be extra prepared in the winter, consider bringing chains along with a saw or axe for fallen trees. Always bring extra food, water and warm preparation to be warm for an extended period of time should your car break down or get stuck.
Goldmyer Hot Springs is a popular spot for people throughout the Pacific Northwest. Only 20 individuals are allowed in per day so reservations are necessary. If you show up without a reservation you will likely be asked to turn around and head home unless you are incredibly lucky and there is an unfilled spot for the day.
When planning a trip to Goldmyer it’s advised to give yourself at least two weeks to confirm a spot. Reservations are by phone. To secure your spot call 206.789.5631, and leave a voicemail. In your voicemail be sure to include your name (first and last), date you would like to visit, amount of visitors in your group and a call back number with a good time to reach you. Please note that groups are limited to a maximum of eight people.
The cost to visit Goldmyer is:
- Children (0-17) Free
- Adults (18-64) $15 (increasing to $20 in January 2019)
- Seniors (65+) $10
- Camping Charge: Additional fee of $5 per night for every person 18 and older.
Middle Fork Valley
Goldmyer Hot Springs is a great home base for those interested in exploring the Middle Fork Valley of the Snoqualmie River.
This is a multi-use trail so be sure to follow proper trail etiquette. Also note that depending on the time of year this may not be a hiking option. Appropriate research is necessary.
Other important logistics
Goldmyer Hot Springs is run by a nonprofit and to guarantee access a reservation is required.
Clean drinking water is not available at Goldmyer, so make sure to pack in what you need for a full stay.
Outhouses are available, but again there is no running water.
Goldmyer Hot Springs is a clothing optional spot. If you would like to arrange for a no nudity stay please be sure to mention this to the office when booking your reservation.
Check in time at Goldmyer is between the hours of 9am and 9pm. If you are just visiting for the day, you need to be checked out of the hot spring by 9pm.
If you are camping please note that campfires are not an option. Pack your food accordingly.
You will likely lose phone service once you are out there so be sure to print out directions. These are easily found on the Goldmyer website.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking at the Dingford Trailhead. If you need more information about this pass you can visit http://www.discovernw.org/store_recreation-passes_1PASS/.
Don’t forget your towel!