Deep Creek Hot Springs

Less than an hour and a half away from Claremont, the Deep Creek Hot Springs are a magical oasis in the northern part of the Mojave Desert. Located just outside of Hesperia in the San Bernardino National Forest, the hot springs are perfect for a day getaway from campus.

Nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, the hot springs are an easy 45-minute hike from the parking lot. Deep Creek is located in the San Bernadino National Forest but is accessible through a private property called Bowen Ranch. The listed price to park is $5 per person, so bring a little bit of cash along.

While there are multiple hiking routes to get down to the springs, the easiest one is just enough to get a little sweaty before diving into the refreshing water.

“Hiking to the Deep Creek Hot Springs is a surreal experience,” Nicole Quilliam PO ’15 said. 

Previous visitors have spotted rattlesnakes on the trail, so be careful when walking.

Unlike many natural hot springs, the Deep Creek pools are clear and emit no sulfurous odor. The pools are on the other side of a cold river, so it is best to go on a warm day. The water coming out of the ground is over 100 degrees and flows into seven different pools, some cascading into one another. Many of the pools are slightly different temperatures, depending on how far away they are from the source.

“Think a big cold pool surrounded by hot tubs,” Kyle Whalen PO ’15 said.

Deep Creek is clothing-optional, so do not be surprised to see skinny dippers upon arrival! 

According to one perennial visitor, the mud surrounding the hot springs is a great exfoliator. To receive the beautifying benefits, simply rub the mud/sand mixture all over one’s skin, wait until dry, and then rinse it off.

“Why pay for a spa when you can exfoliate with natural product?” Haley Barrows PO ’15 said.

I’d recommend bringing picnic supplies to have lunch by the river. There is no overnight camping allowed at Deep Creek, so be prepared to leave with enough time to hike back before dark. If you do want to make it an overnight trip, there are some undeveloped campsites within Bowen Ranch farther away from Deep Creek.

(General warning: do not swallow the water in any hot springs. It is sometimes known to contain dangerous bacteria.)

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