Deep Creek Hot Springs:

Everything You Need to Know Guide

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Deep Creek Hot Springs is one of the best kept secrets of the greater Los Angeles area. Located about two hours away from LA, these springs are an adventurer’s paradise. This little oasis can be accessed from two points, one being a Pacific Crest Trailhead and the other through Bowen Ranch. Half a dozen pools, a slack line, a river running along the springs and a little sand beach - it’s got just about everything you could ask for. I’ve broken down some of the basic things you’ll want to know to prepare your trip to these hot springs, based on my experiences. Side note: this place is a dream for wanderers, the curious and adventure photographers.

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   The easiest access point is through Bowen Ranch. This is private land that you’ll be entering and also where you’ll be required to pay a day-use fee. I went there in September 2019 and paid $10 per person. No camping is allowed. Access to the hot springs through Bowen Ranch is day-use only, from sunrise to sunset. All violators will be towed at their own expense. 

 

Once you've arrived to Apple Valley, you’ll want to get to Bowen Ranch Road, coming off of Ocotillo Road. Ocotillo Road is paved, and a lot of the navigation systems will lead you on these crazy dirt roads that are really only suited for 4x4 Jeeps. You’ll make your way on Bowen Ranch Road for about 8 miles. Depending on the car you drive (recommended 4x4, although I have done it in a VW bug… oops!), this will take you about a half hour.

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Once you’ve arrived to Bowen Ranch, a sound will go off and you’ll be asked to step out of your car as you approach a little dependance.You’ll be asked to fill out some paperwork with vehicle information, pay your day-use fee ($10/person) and place all of those things in a little envelope. It’s a little daunting but remember you are entering private property and the proprietors have a right to enforce certain safety measures.

After you’ve completed the paperwork, you’ll find designated parking for your car. Do not leave any valuables in your car. 

You’ll walk about a ¼ mile to get to the start of the trailhead. Once you’ve descended from the main parking lot, you’ll arrive on a dirt road perpendicular which is a Jeep access road. Go left and soon on the right you’ll find a gate door. This is where you need to go to hike in to the hot springs. 


    The hike is a total of 2 ½ miles each way. It is all downhill going towards the springs, which means all uphill on the way back. It is an easy to moderate hike for the individual that is conditioned and active*. It should take you about an hour going down, taking time to look at the views and a little more going back up. 

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    After hiking all the way down you’ll have to cross through the river, and depending on the time of year, the water will be at different levels and varying in temperature. Cross the river, set up your space and enjoy a half a dozen pools, a slack line, a little sand beach and so much more. Remember to bring enough water and food for your hike and day-use at the springs. Pack out everything you pack in and as always, pick up a little more to leave the place better than you found it.

 

    The springs are well maintained, thanks to regulars and those who take the time. There are no restrooms or any luxury staples. Clothing is optional at the springs. Sit back in a pool and soak it all in. Enjoy the experiences that Deep Creek has to offer!