Deep Creek Hot Springs Trail

MODERATE 217 reviews

Deep Creek Hot Springs Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hesperia, California that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
921 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

hot springs

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a short hike to natural hot springs within the San Bernardino National Forest of Southern California. This is a day-use area only and no overnight camping is permitted. You can enter the trail from Bowen Ranch Road, where you will pay a $5 per person entrance fee (not per vehicle) at the entrance to the parking area. If you do not have a 4x4 vehicle, consider a different route. The dirt road is very bumpy and rocky. From the trailhead, it is an easy 2 mile hike downhill to the Mojave River and the adjacent hot springs. The descent is a steep hill and can be sandy in areas. Once at the hot springs, there are several pools to choose from. The Pacific Crest Trail can be accessed from the hot springs. With warm temperatures in a high desert area, sunscreen and plenty of water are necessary for your hike. There is a natural drinking water source located behind the hot pools which drains out of a copper pipe which can be used for refills. The hike back out of deep creek canyon to the parking lot is all uphill and can be very steep at times. At the springs, clothing is optional, so if nudity offends you you may want to choose another hike. This hike is kids friendly, but again, there is nudity at the pools that may influence your decision to bring kids.

hiking
6 days ago

We weren’t expecting nudists at the hot spring but the trail was fun, challenging and had spectacular views.

7 days ago

1st of all there's a gate that's locked. Once you find a way around you will need a vehicle with high-clearance to reach the top. Nobody said that in these comments so unless you want to waste time & money to go out and discover this disappointment like we did then listen up. Booo!

8 days ago

If you're going to do this hike, do it from Bradford Ridge. We did the Bradford Ridge side in July and it was much more enjoyable. Less people, more difficult (we like the challenge) and you don't have to deal with the gate guard. We are very respectful people and the gate guard was just rude. We were only going down for a couple hours and they made us take our wine bottle out of our packed cooler and put our firewood on the side and proceeded to tell us "we shouldn't even be open because people break rules all of the time." We weren't camping down there nor were we going to drink. We had brought my boyfriend's parents with us. It was just an annoying 20 minutes of telling us about stuff we didn't care to know about and the way the talked to us was condescending. I absolutely LOVE Deep Creek Hot Springs but will, for now on, do it from Bradford Ridge if I make my way back there someday.

tips:
If you do take this side, be short and sweet with the gate guard to avoid a long schpeil.
If you have firewood in your car (and aren't using it down by the creek...not allowed anyways) and don't feel like unloading all of it...put it under a blanket or hide it.
Also, if you have a bottle of wine under 10 pounds of ice, water and food and don't plan to drink it, don't tell them you have it because they'll make you dig through the big ass cooler to put it on the side of the road.

I am not typically a complainer but figured others needed to hear for themselves. I've read the reviews before going and prepared to be as nice/professional/respectful as possible. They're just annoying old crotchity folk.

hiking
15 days ago

Is camping no longer allowed at Bowen Ranch? I know it’s a long shot, but trying to get some intel last minute for an overnight trip out there tonight/tmrw.

I camped there last time but this was years ago. Maybe things have changed? Gatekeeper wasn’t bad like many have said, we were respectful and chill and didn’t have any problems. He gave us detailed directions for the hike in and some tips, such as starting while there’s still a bit of light, and paying attention to trail landmarks, as the trail can be confusing in the dark. The camping was nothing special (basically a gravel lot) but you’re there for the hot springs, not the campsite. They were as awesome as all the reviews indicate! Would go back again. Actually. We’re going today haha.

Considering another alternative—hiking in via Bradford Ridge. Can anyone recommend campsites an easy shot from that trail? Either developed or primitive... Main thing is it’s super last minute so looking for an option that doesn’t require reservations. Thanks!!’

1 month ago

Amazing hike be sure to take plenty plenty plenty of water for the hike back up it’s killer but other than that the hot springs is awesome. $5 per person entrance fee to park at Bowen ranch it is not a 2 mile hike that man is lying he played my soul lol. It’s over 3 Miles almost 4 Miles. P.S. take plenty of water!!!!!!!!!!

1 month ago

Awesome view easy hike down, moderate hike back up
Parking is on someone property
5 dollars per person not car
Hot Springs are heaven on earth
Bring Beer, liquor, water and a trash bag
Holiday weekends I find to be crowd and enjoyable if you like to socialize
Camping is there is fairly cheap

hiking
2 months ago

first time and had a wonderful time.. going back again soon.

2 months ago

Amazing trail! Remember to bring more water than you need the sun gets intense so take your time on the way back. Also I had a blue heeler with me and he did great there and the way back for anyone thinking of bringing your furry kids.

backpacking
3 months ago

Just started to use application.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

A lot of people mention they’ve had issue with the gatekeeper and to take the other alt entrance, this adds extra time and risk and isn’t necessary. He is fine just be respectful and remember it’s a private ranch and he’s out there all year round dealing with constant helicopter rescues from people that don’t pay attention to his instructions / directions. They are simple and nothing to be overwhelmed by. It gets crazy hot out there in middle of summer so lots of water and don’t overheat in the pools cos you still have to get yourself back up that hill! The place is beautiful and well respected by its visitors, the pools are amazing and each vary in temperature. It’s clothing optional out there but nothing enforced. Remember to pick up any rubbish you see on your way out... keep this place clean!

4 months ago

Do not go here unless you are completely comfortable with nudity. Do not bring glass bottles, campfires and camping are prohibited. The guy that runs the ranch is known to pull a gun on visitors who disrespect the springs or drive in late to his property. He is charging $5 per person and may raise the price to $10 per person by the time of this posting. The alternate route is severely washed out and dangerous. Vandalism is known to occur at vehicles left at the ranch and alternate route parking lot.

hiking
4 months ago

Would not recommend to anyone coming in from Bowen Ranch. The gate keeper was disrespectful and rude. He didn’t let my boyfriend, son and I in because we wouldn’t turn off our car while paying for the fee. Oh and let’s not forget how he went inside and pulled out a gun on my boyfriend for coming back and apologizing for the situation. No matter if we were allowed in.

Still got in through alternate route though :)

hiking
5 months ago

We got a tab bit lost finding the trailhead. I believe there might be two ways to get there? We took the Bowen Ranch route. We brought along our 6, 17, and 18 year old boys. We knew the area was clothing optional so we spoke to them about possible nudity and to be open minded about the choice of others to wear (or not wear) clothing. There were definitely quite a few nude people, mostly men. And to our surprise the boys didn’t seem weirded out or awkward or giggly. They minded their business and enjoyed the creek and hot springs. The hike is moderate in difficulty and dog friendly. The trail is very clean. The rocks around the springs are easy enough to climb. Wish more people would remember to pick up their undergarments and trash. There is a $5 (per person) fee. The attendant that gives you the map is a bit abrupt, but I’m sure she has seen too many people do stupid things in the area so it’s understandable. Overall, we will come again, sans children and maybe even camp next time!

5 months ago

had some good fun here. went rope swinging. jumped off the cliff into the water and pretty much got in every pool lol. groups of nudist showed up. Like 10 dudes with there jocks out lmao

6 months ago

great good

hiking
6 months ago

Worth the price of admission ($5 per person). I got there around 4 so I only had an hour or so to spend in the hot springs before deciding to trek back out so I wasn’t hiking in the dark. Trails are fairly narrow (12-18” at its narrowest) and steep so I wouldn’t want to hike it in the dark. Beautiful hike in, stunning gorges. Nudists (I ended up deciding to be one of them, when in Rome right?) and other bathers were all very chill and respectful (don’t be surprised by people smoking some weed or having some beers though). Wading back through the river definitely wakes you up for the hike back up the hill (especially in March haha). H20 a must, I didn’t look for the water source mentioned but I did suck down what I brought. Road to the ranch is dirt but well graded, the only iffy spot for regular cars is about 200 yards from the ranch to the parking area. All in all just a spectacular experience that I’m absolutely going to visit again (and next time camp at the top of the trail, only $10 a person haha)

hiking
6 months ago

good little hike down enjoy the hot springs bathing suits optional

6 months ago

Best hike I have been on if I'm going with a water destination in mind. It's beautiful, fun, and a great workout. Going down is a piece of cake, opposed to coming back up. I wouldn't recommend going when the weather is over 100 degrees, because the hike back up to the top can be very exasperating. If you make the hike in weather that's hotter then you would like for a hike, I can't tell you enough times to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more. I've been to this particular location about 5 or 6 times. Early winter isn't tooo bad, but the water crossing is extremely cold around that time of year, but it's so worth it. In any weather it's worth it. I will continue to go again & again, at all times of the year. Great hike to hang out at for the day.

hiking
7 months ago

Was a nice hike. Takes you 30 minutes to get out there (downhill) and an hour to get back (uphill). Like the gatekeeper said, “It’s so easy a 10 year old could find it.” Although I HIGHLY don’t recommend taking your kids. After getting used to the nudists it was an enjoyable hang out spot. Everyone was friendly and we all had a blast. The springs were hot and it was nice to take a dip in the cold water down below. There was also a little swing that people were using to jump into the creek. All in all, make sure to be prepared because the hike is steep, brings lots of water, and a no judgement mentality. Just have fun! Happy hiking!~

7 months ago

If you enter through Bowen Ranch beware of the gate keeper. He had a mental break down with my boyfriend and I after I accidentally rolled through the stop sign and had to reverse back 8 feet to his window. He WENT off and was unbelievably condescending and disrespectful. I don’t have time to transcribe his rant here. He also asked us if we brought car camping gear or backpacking gear. We said we brought our backpacking gear to car camp with. And he once again LOST IT. He heard us say “backpacking gear “ and assumed we were going to break the rules and not car camp. Aside from the behavior from this man, the springs were gorgeous and the trail was well maintained but steep. Bring a headlamp if you think you might be cutting is close at the end of the day.

hiking
8 months ago

Well worth the effort. Came in from the northern PCT approach. 14 mile round trip hike if you are coming from highway 173. Trail parallels the Mojave River in all its glory. Lost the trail just after mile 1 until realizing you must make a water crossing to pick up the trail again on the other bank. Only person on the trail until I reached the springs. The hot springs were lovely. Nice and warm on achey muscles. As said above, lots of nude people. Very kind people, but very naked none the less. Headed back early to avoid getting caught in the dark. Fun hike overall. The long approach made making the springs well worth the adventure.

hiking
8 months ago

Was a great hike in the middle of nowhere. Took the non paved road to get there. The gate keeper was great to us. Made sure us 3 girls had the correct hiking wear after seeing me in flip flops. I told him my hiking shoes and everything was in the back. We are pretty experienced runners/hikers that know what to pack with a little extra. On way in we ran into people that had no water on them, so we gave them on of our extra waters.
Once you hike in the views from top of hills looking down into the water area was beautiful. Hiking into the Hot springs, lots of naturalist to see. Once you get past the awkwardness of what you are seeing, it was a great day. Will definitely return before summer weather approaches.
Hike out is quite strenuous, steep, and the sun was now facing us. Can imaging doing this hike in the mid summer.
Have fun, not kid friendly if you don't them to see naturalist and peeps smoking weed.

hiking
8 months ago

Steep hike, lots of naked people extremely worth it. Random dogs running everywhere, lots of pot and hippies but so much fun. Brought my kid but definitely won’t be bringing him back. Much more for adults, will definitely be coming back. Bring lots of water and a towel if your getting in the springs. You have to cross the cold water to get to the hot springs. You must come early unless you plan on staying the night due to it getting dark very early.

8 months ago

awesome natural feature. right off the PCT. downhill going in and up hill going out.

9 months ago

Extremely steep hike. About one hour to the springs. Leave when you have plenty of sunlight the trails are very confusing in the dark. We ended up sleeping on the mountain because we could not find our way back at night. Don't do it. Other than that absolutely gorgeous and worth the strenuous hike. Federal land so be prepared to see a lot of penis and other body parts of strangers that you could probably live without.

10 months ago

it is such a nice hot springs and little swimming area to go during the summer time perfect but recommend not taking kids lot of nudity

10 months ago

Sick trail. Pack light. Swim trunks. Back with a warm cloths inside. Bring a water bottle to refill. Water taste good.

10 months ago

Awesome, hot spring was very warm. Good hike

11 months ago

I chose to come from the 173 to Bradford Ridge to get to the springs, and I'm very glad I did! I think October-March is the perfect time to go. Either way is worth the trip, but here are some comparisons:

From Bowen Ranch: hike south
-Have to drive a few miles on I paved road
-Costs $5 a person or $10 ea to camp
-Mike, the gatekeeper, can be unsettling
-1.5 mile hike to hot springs

From Bradford Ridge: hike north
-Limited parking, but fully paved roads
-Free with no gatekeeper
-2.4 mile hike to hot springs
-Relatively flat trail, except for last 0.2 miles

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