By Marguerite Cleveland
Since 1876 when Isadore St. Martin discovered the hot springs and shared them with his wife, Margaret who suffered severe pain from damaged nerves, people have flocked to bathe in the waters. The St. Martins developed the property with a hotel in 1901 followed by cabins and a bathhouse which are still in use today.
Tucked away in a forested area off the Columbia River Gorge, the resort works hard to maintain the authentic, charm of the St. Martins vision. This is a place that has many repeat guests which come back year after year. The accommodations are cozy and the grounds utilize the natural surroundings. Wildlife can often be scene in the area. The resort likes to say they have some rust in their rustic. If you are looking for a high-end luxury spa this is not the place for you. If you like an authentic local experience steeped in history, plan a visit.
Make sure to experience the “Bathhouse” and an experience it is. This is no fancy pampering spa but more a historical experience of taking the waters. There are separate areas for men and women and each section has eight clawfoot tubs lined up in a room. Privacy is not an option. Sulfur-rich, healing, mineral water is pumped into the vintage tubs and offers a variety of health benefits. After your bath you can follow it up with a linen wrap and massage.
If golf is your thing, the Elk Ridge Golf Course was named the best northwest golf course you’ve probably never heard of by “The Oregonian”. The course is situated on rolling hills, lined by forestation and has 18 challenging holes with a par 71. Enjoy spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge while enjoying your golf game. The Elk Ridge Clubhouse is open for breakfast, lunch and has weekend dinner specials.
If you are looking for an atypical vacation destination while spending time in the Columbia River Gorge area, step back in time to the Carson Hot Springs.
Carson Hots Springs Golf and Spa Resort, Daily, 372 St. Martin’s Springs Road, Carson, Washington, 509.427.8296, www.carsonhotspringsresort.com

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