Backpacking Trip to Goldmyer Hot Springs
August, 2003

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Elevation Profile

So early in the morning!
Lin, Liz, Joyce and I decided to hike to Goldmyer Hot Springs on the Middle Fork Trail, which follows (more or less) the MIddle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

As we left the trailhead outside of North Bend, WA we debated how far we really had to go. Liz's book said about 10.5 miles and Lin's sheet from Goldmyer said a little over 12 miles. That's a big difference with backpacks on! But the weather was great (not too sunny) and we were excited so off we went. The trail was well-maintained and lush. We walked and talked and looked at all the berries and flowers. The hours and miles melted away. As we went, we were constantly amazed by the variety and beauty of the fungus around us. The colors were so vibrant! The bright orange fungus in the photos below was about 2-1/2 feet wide and is called "Chicken of the Woods" because it's edible. According to the caretaker at Goldmyer Hot Springs, you carve part of the leave out and saute it with butter or oil. Sounded good to me, by the time we arrived at our destination.
Lush green trail Lin checks out the fallen timber Great color! Not hard to spot! Would you eat this?

After many more hours of walking, we met a guy coming the other way on his mountain bike. He was very friendly and while we tried not to ask how much farther we had to go, somehow it came up in conversation and to our surprise, we still had about five more miles. So we stopped and had a snack before carrying on. At our first tea-break, we had lavender cookies that Liz had made. At the next tea-break, we munched energy bars and sipped our water as we were all running low.

By the time we crossed Thunder Creek we were getting pretty tired and by the time we arrived at Burnboot Creek we were ready to get to the Hot Springs! And there they were, just across a cold shin-deep creek filled with slippery moss-laden stones. We filtered some water to fill our bottles and discussed our strategy for crossing. Despite our best efforts, we got pretty wet! But in no time at all, we were "checking in" at the little cabin and selecting our campsite from the several they have there. It's a beautiful, peaceful place and we wasted no time setting up our tents and heading for the Hot Springs. They were wonderful - so relaxing and soothing on our tired muscles. We languished in the water and talked for a long time before heading back to camp to make dinner. I think we all hit the sack around 10pm.

To my surprise, we didn't get up until 8am the next day! That's quite late but the sun was blocked by the rain-forest canopy and if it hadn't been for the crows I think we would have slept even longer. We had breakfast (tea, coffee, and oatmeal) and struck camp. It was about 10am before we hit the road home and we stopped a while to talk to the caretaker at the cabin.Goldmyer Hot Springs has a long and fascinating history. It's on private property and only 20 people are permitted to visit the springs per day. Lin made our reservations back in June to ensure a Saturday night stay. Check out their website - it's really full of information. We had to cross the Middle Fork to get to the road, though, but the crossing was much easier this time.

Burnboot Creek

Where we crossed

Fast moving and COLD

The Middle Fork Road also follows the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River and although it is a rough road, you can drive to within a third of a mile of Goldmyer. We decided to return to the trailhead via the road, thinking that it would be an easier,and therefore faster,hike. It was but when the sun came out we got HOT because there was little cover from the sky while on the road. After about 3.5 miles, we decided to stick out our thumbs in hopes of getting a ride back to the trailhead. Soon a couple of trucks stopped and four women helped us load our gear and our tired bodies into the back of one of them and we were off at light-speed across the bumpiest road I've ever been on! It was quite an adventure trying not to fall out of the back of the truck. But we held on to each other and laughed the whole way. In no time at all (actually, about 45 minutes) we were back at the trailhead and eating our lunch. What wonderful trip that was! I cant' wait to return to Goldmyer Hot Springs! Thanks to Lin for planning the whole adventure, thanks to Liz for driving, and thanks to Joyce for keeping me company at the back of the mule line!
Quiet campsite (we were tired!) Lin's mom in her tent Slippery rocks = careful steps! Laughing all the way home!  

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