Kennedy Hot Springs

Darrington, Washington

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Hot springs and snow are a seductive combination, so it’s not surprising that Kennedy Hot Springs is a popular winter destination. A long soak in the hot springs after a day of skiing soothes the back and takes the boredom out of winter camping. There is no best time to make a winter visit to Kennedy Hot Springs. If the snowfall has been heavy, skiing may start long before you reach the end of the 11-mile access road up the White Chuck River valley. When the snowfall has been light, the road may be drivable right to the trailhead, and then you may have to walk some or all of the trail. The trail travels upriver, tunneling through thick brush and around tall trees for 4 miles before traversing a steep hillside above the river. At 12 miles, descend to cross Fire Creek, where the intersection with Meadow Mountain Trail is passed. The next check-point is Pumice Creek, which is crossed at 2 miles. The trail then descends to the river and traverses a beach area covered with boulders freshly dislodged from the hillside above. Do not linger in this hazardous area. Avalanche potential: high
100 Best Cross-Country Ski Trails in Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Best Cross-Country Ski Trails in Washington

by Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall (The Mountaineers Books)

Hot springs and snow are a seductive combination, so it’s not surprising that Kennedy Hot Springs is a popular winter destination. A long soak in the hot springs after a day of skiing soothes the back and takes the boredom out of winter camping. There is no best time to make a winter visit to Kennedy Hot Springs. If the snowfall has been heavy, skiing may start long before you reach the end of the 11-mile access road up the White Chuck River valley. When the snowfall has been light, the road may be drivable right to the trailhead, and then you may have to walk some or all of the trail.

The trail travels upriver, tunneling through thick brush and around tall trees for 4 miles before traversing a steep hillside above the river. At 12 miles, descend to cross Fire Creek, where the intersection with Meadow Mountain Trail is passed. The next check-point is Pumice Creek, which is crossed at 2 miles. The trail then descends to the river and traverses a beach area covered with boulders freshly dislodged from the hillside above. Do not linger in this hazardous area. Avalanche potential: high

©  Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing
Nearby City: Darrington
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 8 hours
Season: February through March
Trailhead Elevation: 2,300 feet
Top Elevation: 3,300 feet
Additional Use: Skiing
Local Maps: Green Trails, Sloan Peak No. 111 and Glacier Peak No. 112
Driving Directions: Directions to Kennedy Hot Springs

Recent Trail Reviews

10/31/2003
0

White Chuck Road #23 was severely damaged by 10/2003 flood. Vehicle access is stopped approximately nine miles below the White Chuck Trailhead. Washout of the Boundary Bridge over the Suiattle River on FS Road #25 makes the Rat Trap Pass area and Road #2700 inaccessible. The White Chuck Trail was heavily damaged. It appears likely that the entire trail above Fire Creek will need to be relocated. The bridges over Kennedy Creek and the White Chuck River were also destroyed, as well as the backcountry camp, Kennedy Cabins, and Kennedy Hot Springs. The trail is inaccessible to stock. Fording of the White Chuck River is NOT recommended.



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May 2018