Located just 55 miles east of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Goldmyer Hot Springs is an exclusive, secret gem that only a few know about. If you’re planning at trip to Seattle, this is one stop you don’t want to miss.
Here are 15 things you need to know before visiting Goldmyer Hot Springs in Washington state.
Only 20 people are allowed to visit Goldmyer Hot Springs each day. This included visitors who camp and those who are just visiting for the day.
A restoration effort is in effect at Goldmyer. The goal is to limit the amount of human impact on the environment. As a result, no more than 20 people can visit Goldmyer per day.
Additionally, by limiting the number of visitors each day, guests can enjoy a more intimate and less crowded experience.
2. Reservations Highly Recommended
Due to the strict 20 person limit, walk-ins will be turned away if the hot springs are at capacity. It is for this reason that you should make a reservation ahead of time. Please see Goldmyer’s website for reservation details.
That being said, you might get lucky and snag a spot if you do choose to wing it and show up without a reservation. At least check the calendar ahead of time to make sure it’s not already full. Walk-ins are required to pay cash if there is space available.
3. There Are 3 Hot Pools and 1 Cold Pool
Goldmyer boast three interconnected hot pools and one cold pool. Each of the hot pools is slightly cooler in temperature since the water cools as if flows from one pool to the next.
The refreshing cold water pool is located right next to the hot springs.
4. Water Temperatures Up To 125ºF
The temperature of the water at the source of Goldmyer Hot Springs is a consistent 125ºF (52ºC). As the water flows into each of the subsequent three pools, it cools down to a toasty 104ºF (40ºC).
In the cave itself, the air temperature remains around 111ºF (44ºC).
5. Trace Amounts of 7 Minerals
With a moderately high pH of 8.5, Goldmyer spring water consists of traces of the following minerals: sodium, chloride, silica, bicarbonate, sulfate, potassium, and calcium.
Compared to some natural hot springs, the sulfur scent of Goldmyer is not overpowering.
6. Health Benefits of Goldmyer Hot Springs
It’s been said that hot springs, in general, are great for your health. After a visit to Goldmyer Hot Springs, you may benefit from one or more of the following.
- Stress relief
- Improved circulation
- Muscles ache relief
- Joint pain relief
7. Northwest Wilderness Programs Owns Goldmyer
Northwest Wilderness Programs (NWWP), a non-profit in Washington State, owns and operates Goldmyer Hot Springs. A group of volunteers runs the Goldmyer property.
Established in 1976, the Northwest Wilderness Programs has a goal to provide “wilderness experiences to the public while maintaining the long term preservation policies for the hot springs property and surrounding eco-system”.
8. Nearly All Funds Go to Charity
The only employees of Goldmyer are the caretakers, office staff, and directors. Everyone else is a volunteer. Therefore, 95% of all funds go towards charitable causes.
The non-profit is dedicated to reviving and protecting the forest for future generations.
In addition to improving trails, removing garbage, and controlling erosion, volunteers removed 100+ pounds of broken glass from Goldmyer Hot Springs during its restoration phase.
9. William Goldmyer Found the Hot Springs
In 1868, William Goldmyer hiked from California to Washington. He established Crystal Hot Springs Resort in the early 1900’s. It was here that William mined for hot mineral water until the 1920’s.
Ownership of the hot springs changed a few times throughout the years. After some natural disasters and human destruction, the hot springs were donated to the NWWP by the Morrow family.
10. Daily Use Fee Is $20 per Day
As of January 1, 2019, daily prices for the Goldmyer Hot Springs are as follows:
- Children: Free
- Adults (18-64): $20
- Seniors: $15
In order to camp, it costs an additional $5 per night, per person 18 years of age and older.
11. Reservations Over the Phone ONLY
Reservations are not accepted via email. Therefore, the only way to access Goldmyer is by confirming a reservation over the phone. Reservation instructions are on the Goldmyer’s website.
12. Goldmyer Is Just 55 Miles from Seattle
Assuming ideal road conditions, Goldmyer is a short 1 hour 45 minute drive from Seattle, Washington.
At just 55 miles from city center, Goldmyer Hot Springs is an easy day trip. Make a weekend out of it by spending a night or two at a Goldmyer campsite along Burnt Boot Creek
13. Pools Cleaned Twice a Week
Twice a week, cleaning of the hot spring pools takes place . During this time, the pools are closed, drained, scrubbed, and refilled. Cleaning takes around 5 hours of the caretakers’ time.
14. Clothing Optional at Goldmyer
Clothing is optional at Goldmyer Hot Springs. That’s right, feel free to enjoy the hot springs in the nude.
If you’re looking for a less revealing time at Goldmyer, please speak to the staff when you make your reservation.
15. A Rare Ancient Forest Ecosystem
According to its website, Goldmyer Hot Springs exists in one of the last remaining intact ancient forest ecosystems in North America. Since it rains twice as much at Goldmyer as it does in Seattle, Goldmyer is considered a temperate rainforest.
At an elevation of around 1,900 feet, Goldmyer and its surrounding forests are home to many rare plants and animals that are only found in ancient forest ecosystems.