This hot spring is a perfect day trip from L.A.
There are many ways to get there; this time I took the easiest route from Bowen Ranch.
Deep Creek Hot Springs is located near Los Angeles, but it is in the San Bernardino National Forest and cannot be reached directly by car.
The shortest walking distance is a detour from the north side, which is not well searched on Google Maps.
From Interstate 15, go east on Main Street in Hesperia, turn onto Ocotillo Way, and then south on Bowen Ranch Road.
The dirt road just goes on and on.
There is no problem with normal cars, but it is safer to come with a truck or SUV.
The Bowen Ranch is a private property that you have to cross to get to the hot springs, and you are charged a toll.
You need to follow the strict rule to stop your car engine completely while paying the fee of $10.00/person per day (as of this writing).
Also, if you go outside the opening hours of 7am to 5pm, the gates are locked without question.
From the end of the dirt road, it is a one-hour, five-mile hike each way.
The outward journey is downhill and the return journey is uphill.
The difference in elevation is about 1,300 feet, so you need to be prepared.
After descending a steep slope to the bottom of a deep valley, I saw what looked like an outdoor tubs on a rocky hill along a mountain stream.
The only way to get there was to walk across the river.
The water level in the river was knee-high and the flow was slow.
It may be necessary to make sure in advance that there is no effect of rainfall.
Deep Creek is known to attract a large number of nudists who have escaped the pressures of the huge city.
Their lack of shame can be a bit disconcerting; but if you start hiking as soon as the restaurant opens at 7am, you could have this monopoly even on weekends.
An early morning visit is highly recommended.
There was a long, narrow pool of hot water in the front, a deep pool in the back, and a pool in the middle where they flowed into.
In the area surrounded by sandbags, river water and hot water were mixed together.
The water temp was a miraculous optimum temperature of about 109 degrees F.
The water was tasteless, odorless, and colorless.
The pool at the back was dammed up and nearly six feet at the deepest part.
There were three outlets: one flowing loudly on the left, one seeping out from the central bedrock, and one flowing in from the right.
The soaking experience was refreshing, and the wild scenery was superb.
But it would be a shame to go home satisfied with this.
Go around the rocky hill
Climbing up the rock wall from the long, narrow pool, I found a small pool made of mortar.
The amount of fresh water input was low and it was lukewarm.
It was located high above the river and had the best view.
As I walked around the rocky hill, I found a pool surrounded by rocks where the water was being poured over and over.
The water here was the hottest and most refreshing.
That was just as well, because when I looked down from the part overhanging the river, I could see that deep pool I had just left.
What I thought was the water outlet was the hot water that overflowed from this pool.
It was difficult to get a full picture of Deep Creek because of the complicated structure attached to the rocky hill, but there seemed to be other streams of hot water besides these.
As I walked a little further upstream, I found some more natural pools.
Don't worry if the pools along the stream are filled with nudists.
Find your places to take a relaxing soak.
Deep Creek Hot Springs, San Bernardino National Forest, California, U.S.
Rule: Clothing optional
Water temp: Up to 109 degrees F