Deep Creek Hot Springs is the perfect little adventure. Just around a 2 hour drive from the Orange County/LA area, this place is great when you want a change of scenery but don’t have a ton of time for a vacation. I went for the first time in September of 2016 & have been trying to get back there since! This past Labor Day weekend  I made it back for my 2nd adventure at Deep Creek!
The Hot Springs are known for nudity. I find it nice to have an idea of what I’m getting myself into, especially if it involves naked strangers. Nudity isn’t for everyone, but if you want to rock out with your cock out, Deep Creek is the place to be. During both of my trips, there were a handful of nudist on the trail & at the hot springs, but most of the people were clothed! If you feel like testing the waters in your birthday suit, there are a couple hot springs that are slightly more private.
Respect The Land
Pack it in & pack it out is a must for this adventure. You will not find trash cans or restrooms during the trip. The hot springs are maintained by a few volunteers, but if we don’t do our part & take care of it, they may be shut down! Please be respectful of this fun oasis mother nature provided for us & leave the place nicer than when you found it. In addition, they ask that you do not camp at the hot springs. It can be dangerous at night & it is VERY difficult to find your way back in the dark. See the rules & etiquette for more information.
Getting There & Camping
Located near Apple Valley, CA their are a few different ways to get to the hot springs. The simplest way, starts at Bowen Ranch, or you can take the Bradford Ridge Trail. I like to do things the easy way, so that is what I’ll be detailing for you.
- Bowen Ranch Address:
- Bowen Ranch Rd, Apple Valley, CA 92308
- $5 per person for day use
- $10 per person for overnight use
- No Restroom!
- A couple fire pits
- Several picnic tables
- Deep Creek Hot Springs Bowen Ranch Map
Using Google Maps I did not have any trouble getting to Bowen Ranch. Towards the end, you will need to drive on a dirt road. This part was a little tricky, but as long as you keep an eye out to ensure you’re staying on the correct road, you should be fine. Once you arrive, follow the instructions at the ranch to check in. Camping is first come first serve but even on a busy weekend like Labor Day, we were able to find a spot.
I’ll be adding a “Packing List” section soon, so keep an eye out before your next trip!
The way down to the hot springs is pretty easy, but the way back is a whole other story! Hiking along the Freedom Trail, you’ll drop about 900 feet in altitude on the 2 mile hike! There are also a few twists & forks to be mindful of. During the day it is easy to navigate, but I almost got lost on the way back (both times I went). Grab a map at the ranch or print your own before you leave. I’d also pack a flashlight just in case or leave while you still have plenty of day light!
After this sign you will reach Jeep Road. Make a slight left, cross the road, & continue right along the trail!
Once you get to the bottom of the trail, you’ll see the river! The hot springs are located around the large rock formation. To get to the warm water pools, you will have to cross the river. It has always been warm when I went, but depending on the time of year, you may need to forge the icy stream to reach the steamy stuff.
Be sure to save lots of energy for the hike back to the camping & parking area! The elevation change can be killer! I’d say it takes about an hour & 1/2 if you stay on the path, so plan accordingly. I left the hot springs as the sun was starting to set, but I would recommend leaving sooner if you don’t want to get lost!
I hope you have a fun & safe time at Deep Creek Hot Springs! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or end up going yourself! I’d love to hear what your adventure was like!