By Bryan Dorr
September 8, 2008, 3:50 pm PDT
MT. HOOD NATIONAL FOREST/CLACKAMAS RIVER—The spring water at Austin Hot Springs along the Clackamas River can become extremely hot, almost close to boiling point.
Using an indoor/outdoor thermometer with a sensor probe, I tested the water temperature in one of the unoccupied hot springs pools located next to the parking area.
The initial water temperature reading from a spring pool in the Clackamas River indicated the water was at 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Minutes later, the probe was moved to another area in the same pool and the water temperature reading shot up to a blistering 156 degrees.
Across Clackamas River, steam emitted from the spring outlet on the hillside, giving an indication the water temperature had to be much hotter than the spring pools in the Clackamas River.
Excessive steam and a “KEEP OUT” sign posted above the spring outlet were clear signs to take a pass on obtaining a temperature reading across the river.
Several warning signs posted to warn visitors about the 200-degree water were vandalized and deteriorating.
Three people were reportedly injured from burns sustained from the hot springs this weekend.