Los Angeles Journals

Get Away from L.A. - Deep Creek Hot Springs

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Los Angeles by Ben the Grate

Deep Creek Hot Springs Photo, Los Angeles, California More Photos
Quote: Less than thirty miles, as the crow flies, from downtown Los Angeles is a rugged canyon which hides a secret: the Deep Creek hot springs. When the bustle of LA gets too much, make your escape to these delightful pools of naturally hot water in a wild and serene setting.

Get Away from L.A. - Deep Creek Hot Springs

Overview

Deep Creek Hot Springs Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
Bask in one of at least five pools of naturally hot spring water without the sulfurous smell, which normally accompanies hot springs. Each pool has a different temperature. If you get too hot, splash around in the cool waters of Deep Creek. Bushwhack your way up or down Deep Creek Canyon and find a sunning rock to get a no-tan-line bronzing if the crowds at the hot spring get too oppressive.Quick Tips: Avoid summer weekends and holidays at Deep Creek, it's too crowded to enjoy. Fall and winter are delightful times to go, but be prepared with warm dry clothes for the hike out. Avoid the hike after recent rains, as you have to cross Deep Creek which can flood and become dangerous. In...Read More
Bowen Ranch Campground Photo, Apple Valley, California
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Deep Creek Hot SpringsBest Things About the Resort:It permits you to visit the springs late at night, when there are (usually) fewer crowds. Though night use of the Deep Creek area is technically restricted, there is flagrant disregard of this statute. Rangers will only issue tickets on holidays and weekend nights.Resort Experience:The Bowen Ranch, which is the most commonly used trailhead for Deep Creek hot springs, allows overnight camping. The sites are completely undeveloped, and not suitable for RVs. A few fire rings are scattered about, but don't count on being able to find wood. Bring your own, or be considerate of SoCal's wildfi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2004

Bowen Ranch Campground
Bowen Ranch Road
Apple Valley, California 92308

The Waffle Iron

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Restaurant

The Waffle Iron Photo, Apple Valley, California
Quote:
The Waffle Iron is the quintessential breakfast dive, hole-in-the-wall, greasy spoon. It's built in an old gas station. It's got four tables and a bar lined with stools. It's run by two little old ladies, and a couple of young girls from town. The food is cheap, fresh, and FANTASTIC. They're famous for their waffles, of course, which are the tallest I've ever seen, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Their signature breakfast comes with a waffle, eggs, and bacon for $4. The omelets are great, too, I like the Californian, which has bacon, avocado, and mozzarella. They serve it with a salsa they make themselves, and send me to Hades if it's not the best salsa I've ever ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 11, 2004

The Waffle Iron
22520 Bear Valley Road
Apple Valley, California

Roadmap to Deep Creek Hot Springs Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
The hot springs are located in the San Bernadino Mountains, northeast of LA. Take the 15 north through San Bernadino and Cajon Pass. Take the Bear Valley Rd exit. It's about 90 miles north of downtown LA. Turn right and go east on the Bear Valley Road for about 10 miles. You'll come to a stoplight at Central, and you'll see the Waffle Iron on your left. This is where you'll eat either now, or on your way out. Turn RIGHT and go south on Main St for about 3 miles, over a railroad track, and up and down a steep hill to Ocotillo Way. Turn LEFT and go east on Ocotillo Way for 2 miles. The road will become dirt soon before coming to Bowen Ranch Rd. Turn RIGHT and go south o...Read More

Hiking the Trail

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Story/Tip

Deep Creek Trail Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
There are many ways to reach Deep Creek hot springs. The most popular and shortest is the Bowen Ranch trail, trail 3W02. From the parking lot on the Bowen Ranch, follow the trail down a very steep hill and through a canyon to an intersection with a rough road. (You can actually drive to this road if you have 4WD, see that section for details.) Turn LEFT on the road and walk 20 feet to a metal trail sign on the right. Turn right onto the trail, cross the fence at the marked area, and continue down the trail, passing a metal sign regarding Day Use Only access. The trail descends moderately through a side canyon and eventually, spectacular views of Deep Creek Canyon open up. Ignore ALL s...Read More

Deep Creek Hot Springs

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Deep Creek Hot Springs Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
The Deep Creek Hot Springs have been known about for centuries by the Native American peoples who inhabited the area. The area first saw heavy recreational use in the 1970s when the pot-smoking hippie crowd discovered them. Hot springs along the south bank of Deep Creek have been diverted into pools made by volunteers from attractive stone-and-cement work. They are among the more spectacular of the hot spring pools I've ever visited. The main spring complex consists of three big pools and several smaller ones hidden within a large outcropping of boulders on the south bank of Deep Creek. The upper Anniversary Pool is the newest. It is fed by a small hot waterfall and is the warmest ...Read More
Deep Creek Trail Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
It may seem like if you hiked the trail down to the springs with no problems, that you should have none on the return. Logic would affirm this. But the truth is that most people have a little trouble getting out of Deep Creek Canyon after a visit to the hot springs. In broad daylight, with a clear head, you'll probably make it out with only minor hesitation. Locals say the area is either haunted or spiritual. After boiling yourself in hot water for hours and hiking back up the steep trail in the broiling sun, it's easy to be led astray by the many side trails, which you might not have noticed on the hike down. This problem is exacerbated if you're drunk, high, or sleep deprived, or...Read More
Deep Creek Hot Springs Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
If you have a rugged 4WD with high clearance and you DON'T MIND treating it roughly and getting it dirty (most SoCals treat their SUVs with the delicacy of a newborn, which always puzzled me...SPORT UTILITY, people!), you can access the Deep Creek Hot Springs trail via a network of rough roads across BLM and National Forest land. It will cut off about 1/2 mile of steep hiking, and you won't have to pay the $4 per person fee at the Bowen Ranch. Follow the same road directions to the Bowen Ranch Road, but turn left on Oak Springs Road instead of staying right to the ranch house. Then take the next major right turn, and another right at the T-junction onto Forest Road 3N59A. Proceed down this roug...Read More