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Deep Creek Hot Springs to Bradford Ridge Path

moderate(141)
San Bernardino National Forest

Deep Creek Hot Springs to Bradford Ridge Path is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Blue Jay, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,322 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

beach

hot springs

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

washed out

no shade

This is a beautiful hike. In the warmer months, start early in the day it gets pretty warm. You are hiking out of the mountains into the desert. There is one part that is pretty difficult and very loose sand. You may loose your footing. Remember what you go down you have to come back up. :) Hot springs are beautiful and peaceful. Of course, there are a lot of naked people, so if you are not comfortable with nudity, this may not be the hike for you. There were hot springs and cold springs too so you can cool off before you head out.

hiking
scramble
washed out
8 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

We found ticks on our dog after this trail.

hiking
over grown
snow
washed out
28 days ago

The trail is washed out and had snow that melted on the way back. Be very careful on the way back, markers washed out and over shot Bowen ranch by 2 miles (phone died and lost map). Luckily some dirt bikers gave me a lift back to base. Worth the trek to the hot springs but again, be very careful on the way back out.

The hot springs & creek of course are absolutely beautiful! However, as an avid hiker this trail was hell on the way back. Definitely come prepared with plenty of water!! & even more if it’s the warmer months. Go to Bowen Ranch if you want an easier hike in / out!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in on 2/12 and would highly recommend! Bring trekking poles if you have them, the last half mile is very steep. It’s harder climbing up, especially in the exposed sun, so be prepared. Otherwise the hike is easy to moderate as long as you’re at least a little in shape. Two decent sized hot springs to soak in, I arrived early on a Wednesday morning and had them to myself till about 10am when some younger people came and started playing music, which was my cue to hike out. It bisects the PCT, so you may see thru-hikers in the area spring-summer.

tough .5 miles back up after the hot springs/creek. But great hike.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

We went on our first journey last July 2019 knowing that it was going to be hot. Especially on the way out. Hit the trail at 8am on Tues morning and made it easily to the hot springs by 9am. This is not hard, more moderate. The trail was very beautiful and pretty easy to follow, definately steep at the last part and we mentally prepared ourselves for the steep and very hot climb out. There was only one other couple there so we feel like we owned the place, take note go early and midweek! The hot springs were awesome and the pools all different temps. I usually break out in a rash from hot springs (Borrego/Palm Spgs) but no rashes and no foul smelling rotten eggs! We will def be back and plan to avoid the crowds again. People did finally start showing up within the hour but still not crazy busy and most people like me keeping their clothes on (don’t mind the nudies, just not for me:). Keep your food well secured from the little critters waiting for you to get in the pools;-). Hot steep uphill but embraced it, great workout took about 1.5 hrs back to the car. Can’t wait to go back!

hiking
2 months ago

Trail was easy to find off the roadway. Extremely long day of hiking with 6 miles each way, and rather cold after dark. Glad I had brought gloves for the return hike. This trail is 3 times longer than hiking from the Apple Valley side but a shorter drive, but considering the 3 hours of hiking vs 1 hour of driving, I prefer the extra driving over to the Apple Valley trail where it’s a shorter hike & more time to be at the hot springs relaxing.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike, clocked in around 6 miles. Very exposed so take a lot of water in the hotter months. Also, be very careful on the downhill at 1.5 - 2 miles. It is very loose dirt and you can lose balance easily. I took a bad step and ended up fracturing my toe on a boulder.

hiking
bugs
no shade
5 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

What a fun hike with an amazing oasis of 100 degree hot springs and ice cold swimming at the end. Hike down was challenging and a bit technical and hike back up was definitely a work out. Yes naked people along hike and in hot spring area. Hike there took about an hour 15 minutes and about an hour in a half back.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

I did this trail today started at about 9:30am and it stayed under 55 degrees the whole time so it was pretty comfortable since there is no shade. Bring lots of water mainly for the way back up. From parking on the 173 the trail starts on the east side of the guard rail and take the path to the left. (there's an uphill path to the right which is something else) The way to the hot springs is pretty easy until the last section which is very steep with loose sand. Hiking poles or a walking stick helped me a ton. Once at the Hot Springs you have some options for pool temps. Even the creek right there was a very pleasant temperature. Be aware that my my phone clocked me at 6.5 miles and NOT the 4.6 as listed on All Trails. The way back is very steep leading into a gradual incline with some switch backs. I've done longer "harder" hikes and my legs weren't as burned out as they were after this one. Definitely recommend. Bonus on the hike are the naked people at the hot springs that were friendly and down for some friendly conversations

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 months ago

did this trail with some buddies from hiker babes, it was great company. i used the all trails app and clocked in 5.7 miles - not 4.6, as described! during our hike, it lightly rained about 5 minutes, abd it was cloudy most of the way. there was also an intermittent breeze on the way out, which really helped bc it was HOT. i went thru my entire 3L pack + an extra bottle of water. i also dipped in the hot springs though, so that may have done it. the creek was cool and refreshing, it was perfect to offset the heat. the springs were warm and tolerable- i enjoyed them. the incline on the hike out kicked out butts but it was a great workout. also saw a GIANT rattlesnake on the trail that didnt warn us til we were about 3-5 feet away from it, so keep your eyes open! we went on a Wednesday and there were only about 7 other people at the creek. quiet, relaxing, perfect.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this in January with friends who had done the research. Apparently there’s an easier route if you pay to park at the trailhead on private property. But we parked for free along the side of the road to an unmarked entrance for this route which is supposed to be more challenging. The first hour or so is pretty moderate with some flat parts and hills. The difficult part is going down towards the springs where there’s loose sand/rocks. I was in trainers so slipped a little so hiking shoes might have been better. The springs itself is great with multiple pools and temps to relax in after the hike. There are naked people so be prepared to share a pool. The trail wasn’t busy but there were a good number of people at the springs as they may have come from the other trail. I don’t think I would want to do this in summer with the heat, mostly exposed trail, and then sitting in hot water but there are pools that are cooler and an ice melt pool with a rope swing that looked really fun (but water way too cold in January). The way back was much easier going up the loose rock slopes. I ran most of the way back after that part.

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

This is not an easy trail. I've been hiking for 10 years with a recent break. I should have read the reviews before taking the trail. If your goal is to enjoy the hot springs, come in from the north on Deep Creek Hot Springs Trail. It places you closer to the primary hot springs, and is much easier. If your goal is a challenging hike, this is great. The altitude changes a lot along the path, some great scenery, and most the last kilometer or so is all steeply downhill with very loose sand-like granules that mean very weak footing. As others have said, expect to slide a bit and perhaps sit one or two down without the right gear. And while every step in is a step out, here one step in is 2-3 steps out as you hike/climb your way out, from sliding down. There's very little shade from foliage, so hiking in early and out late may be advisable, but means bringing supplies for the day. Expect a much, much longer trek back than in, and understand the difficulty rating is high.

hiking
bugs
no shade
scramble
11 months ago

Just to be clear, trail’s 4/5, not the hot springs, which were really great. Spring bloom was really nice. Trail wasn’t so bad until the last half mile. If you’re fit and have proper shoes (or are okay with going barefoot, I find my feet can have better grip sometimes, just that pebbles can be annoying to step on) you’ll be fine. Watch your footing on the ridge. Lots of cars at the trailhead and lots of people at the springs, even though we got there while most people were headed back. Also I was only able to find 3-4 pools and they were pretty crowded most of the time. Also SO many bugs.

hiking
Mon Mar 11 2019

Pretty much everything we read about this one ahead of time applied, so the reviews were helpful. It was definitely difficult. We like to hike with our six month old in a backpack, so his weight was added challenge, but I think we would’ve been huffing and puffing regardless. It is indeed steep on the way in and out, I slipped and fell on my butt once. We ran into some regulars at the Hot Springs (some of them were naked) who are conditioned enough that the trail isn’t difficult for them anymore. The two bottom pools were covered up because The river is so high due to of all the rain we’ve been having (March 9 weekend 2019). The pools we did enter were lovely. There was dispersed camping set up nearby that looked attractive (you’d have to hike all your stuff in and out and there are no facilities). There is apparently another trail to access the Hot Springs coming from the north. It sounded like the trail was easier, shorter, and apparently you can pay a guy that manages the gates there to park your car safely, he may also ask for a trail access fee. (That trail is not accessible driving from the south through the SB Forest on the 173.) Where we parked at the Deep Creek Trail head, we saw broken glass indicating a past car break-in. There were no issues while we were there, but would not want to park there overnight. We consider ourselves adventurers, and found this trail to be both worthwhile and a workout!

hiking
Tue Jan 22 2019

Went out January 22nd. Drive in was fine, (in via 173) though was a bit worried there might be snow as they don’t plow parts. But no issue. Hike amazing. Temp was about 5C on starting and maybe 20C on way out. Best spring (hottest) is down by the river. The clothing optional thing is good to know in advance, just to be not surprised when you enter the site. That last pitch is indeed a bitch, both down (footing as the trail is a bit messy) and out (effort as it is damn steep). But well worth the effort!

hiking
rocky
Thu Jan 17 2019

Awesome hike! The trail is narrow, steep, and rocky at times, so be careful and wear sturdy shoes. Went on Jan 17 during the rain and the river was so high that it covered two of the pools, but still an excellent trail. A little hard to navigate at times.

hiking
Wed Dec 26 2018

Beware if your dog is afraid of gunshots! There is a gun range near the start of the hike and you hear the echos for miles. So much for nature. My dog lost it so we turned back after a few minutes.

hiking
Sat Dec 15 2018

This is definitely more of a “path” than a “trail”. Be wary of break ins at the parking spot. The hike is ok for the first two miles, but the last one is straight down on a very loose, eroded, sandy ridge. Going down is a LOT easier than coming back out, so give yourself ample time to head back, usually its double the time it takes to get in. The hot springs are clothing optional so if nudity offends you please stay away. There is no camping allowed within a mile of the springs but especially there are no campfires and glass bottles allowed. PLEASE pack out what you pack in, leave it better by taking at least one piece of trash you might see. The springs are especially crowded on holiday weekends and during PCT season in March.

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