Those who enjoy a slight hike which can last about 45 minutes, Deep Creek Hot Springs is a perfect place to be. Deep Creek Hot Springs is located southeast of the town of Hesperia and is located within the federal lands of the San Bernardino National Forest. The hot pools are located in some fascinating rock outcroppings where the creek makes a sharp bend around the end of a ridge. The hot spring's water is clear and non-sulphur smelling. Its temperature exiting the ground is over 100 degrees where it then flows into seven man-made soaking pools adjacent an annual flowing creek.
To reach Deep Creek Hot Springs from the greater Los Angeles region, take Interstate 15 north to Hesperia. Exit to Bear Valley Road and travel east for almost 10 miles to Central Road. Turn right on Central and drive 3 miles south to Ocotillo Way and turn left. Then go 2.3 miles to Bowen Ranch Road. Turn right (south) and go an additional 6 miles to Bowen Ranch. Bowen Ranch is private land which lies directly north of the shortest National Forest trail (1.1 miles long) to the hot springs.
There is an entrance fee to be paid and a short drive to a parking site. A photocopy of a map of Deep Creek is also provided. From the parking site you will reach the national forest hot springs trailhead after a half-mile hike with about a 160-foot drop in elevation. The national forest trailhead starts at a desert elevation of about 4220 feet. During a 1.1 mile hike, it descends to an elevation of 3720 feet. At this point, you are about 700 feet away from the hot spring but you are standing atop the end of a ridge 200 feet overlooking your destination. From here, most hikers choose to take the steep, sandy, and slippery direct route. However, if you want a safer route you may follow a trail on the west slope of the ridge but the distance is about double.
If you're into the weird sort of adventure, many take this hike wearing their birthday suits - that is, fully naked. Not only it is allowed, but by custom some hikers do that, but of course there are those who do not have that much guts and by chance you may encounter some of them and that includes myself.
On the way to the springs, you will pass through scrub brushes, so if you plan to do a nude hike beware low hanging fruit may get some not so welcome attentionJ. Be sure to wear some sunscreen or do not do it in the summer. Near the springs the scrub brush transforms into shade trees and green vegetation along the creek. The hot springs are located on the opposite side of the wide cold creek, which is several feet deep. After wading through the cold creek, which can be very cold, allow a few minutes for your body to recover from the chill before plunging in the hot spring to avoid temperature shock. The water is so relaxing and said to be therapeutic.
No overnight camping is allowed near the creek so decide to leave early before darkness fall. The return hike will take about double the time you spent in going to the springs because this time it will be an uphill climb back to Bowen Ranch. But Deep Creek Hot Springs is definitely the best of its kind in the Southwest. Enjoy!
© 2008, Joe Loiacano
Available for free reprint in original content only.
Joe Loiacano is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys exploring all that nature has to offer. He combines his love of the great outdoors with writing to share with others natures hidden gems that so few even realize were right there under their nose all along. For a great website to meet others with a passion for adventure visit http://www.outdoorsclub.org