Early settlers traveling the Applegate Trail to Oregon passed within 100 yards of the present-day Tub Springs State Wayside alongside the scenic Green Springs Highway linking Ashland and Klamath Falls.
The wayside gets its name from large stone tubs overflowing with crystalline spring mountain water. An Applegate Trail history marker at the site, reads, “Then as now, with streams located in deep ravines, Tub Springs was a welcome source of easily accessible water.”
The renovated tubs, first installed in the 1930’s, offer modern travelers easy access to drinking water purified by an ultra-violet system and periodically flushed with chlorine.
The wayside is 18.5 miles east of Ashland on the historic Green Springs Highway, officially State Route 66. The wayside attracts some 75,000 day-use visitors a year, some of them water purists who regularly collect the spring water for home use.
The history marker notes that the opening of the Applegate Trail in 1846 offered emigrants an alternative to the “perilous ‘last leg’ of the Oregon Trail down the treacherous Columbia River” that drowned a son and nephew of trailblazer Jesse Applegate.
The wayside has picnic tables, an outdoor toilet and short nature trail.
Source: "Tub Springs State Wayside." Oregon State Parks, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 2017, oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=73. Accessed 25 Mar. 2017.