Sykes Hot Springs: Only memories remain
The Forest Service announced today that Sykes Hot Springs have run dry, apparently as a result of a small earthquake centered in the Ventana backcountry.
This followed an earlier announcement by the EPA that the area surrounding the famous springs has been declared a Superfund site, pursuant to CERCLA. According to the EPA, an assessment of the canyon bottom in the Sykes vicinity revealed an astonishing level of fecal coliform contamination, as well as the presence of hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus and other serious diseases and pathogens. High levels of hydrocarbon contamination were also detected, apparently as a result of decades of spillage from camping stoves.
As a precautionary measure, all visitors to Sykes will now be required to spend two weeks quarantined in an isolation ward before being allowed to rejoin the general population.
The Forest Service and EPA strongly advise backcountry travelers in the Ventana to find somewhere else to go. “It’s a little known fact, but there are actually backcountry camps other than Sykes out there,” claims a Forest Service spokesman. “Please give somewhere else a try.”