Hike to Deep Creek Hot Springs

2 miles 900 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Scotti Shafer

From soaking in the rejuvenating lithium hot springs, to trying your luck at slackline or taking a dip in the icy river, what’s not to enjoy about this high desert oasis?!

Deep Creek Hot Springs is nestled along the Mojave River at an elevation of 3,000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains. This year-round mineral water retreat consists of three pools the size of large hot tubs, that range in temperature from around 96 degrees in the first pool to 102 in the third. All three pools are right along the river so there’s ample opportunity to mix it up with an icy dip in the river or you can try your luck on the slackline.

There are two ways to get to the hot springs, the long way and the short way. The long way is a six mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail starting at Arrowhead Lake Road and going east (free). The short way is a two mile hike along the Freedom Trail starting at Bowen Ranch ($5 per person for day passes and $10 per person if you want to camp overnight at Bowen Ranch). The short route is a steep descent (drops over 900 feet in altitude) from the Ranch to the hot springs, so make sure you’re ready for the steep climb back out. If you start from Bowen Ranch, they provide a map of the trail and there is plenty of parking. Once you get to the bottom of the trail, you have to cross the river to get to the hot springs. Depending on the height of the water, you may have to forge the icy stream to reach the steamy stuff, but it’s an easy crossing and you can usually make it across by boulder hopping. Be aware - clothing is optional at the springs so don’t be surprised to find some folks in their birthday suits.

If you want to avoid the crowd, I recommend making this mission on a weekday. Last time I went was a Monday and we saw about 10 people total on the hike and at the springs.

Read More


Dog Friendly
Hot Springs
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

road conditions

For people who have recently approached via the BLM land to the freedom trail (not parking at the campground or Bowen's ranch), how are the road conditions this year (2020)? I have not been in a couple of years but know we got heavy rains this past winter.

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Awesome Place

I just hiked into deep creek over the 4th of July. The hike in isn't bad, it's the hike put that will get you. The hot springs are amazing along the cold water creek

Deep Creek Hot Springs 2020

New parking and camping area just opened up real close to the hot springs. The hike is 1 3/4 mile each direction from the Apple Valley trailhead located at Deep Creek Hot Springs campground. Do NOT pay the crazy guy to park at Bowen Ranch unless you want to be harassed for coming back to your car after 5pm and like hiking an extra mile to get to the hot springs. Park at deep creek hot springs campground for closer access and camp facilities. DCHS campground is located a 1/2 mile past the old Bowen ranch entrance and has the closest access to the hot springs because the trailhead starts on their land. And they don’t care if you come back late, so its well worth the $10 to park with piece of mind! See www.deepcreekhotspringscampground.com

Hot Springs!

Definitely worth the treacherous descend at the end of the trail. The hike overall was moderate and had seen views. The creek and the hot springs are a hidden gem. I loved the natural spa and the hot and cold water dips. Excellent for spending a day. We saw a few people camp as well. It's a nudist friendly place.

Adventures In Hotsprings!

Great hike to a hidden wealth of hot springs pools. The trail there is definitely much easier to traverse than the return trip to your vehicles, due primarily to the steady return climb. I highly recommend taking waterproof/suitable shoes for crossing the creek, as it is quite full of jagged rocks at the bed of the creek. Enjoy the calming heat of the pools and make sure to start back before sundown. I will definitely be returning again soon.

Stay Nearby

Lake Arrowhead, California

Extraordinary 5,290 Square Foot Home On 2.3 Acres

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •A one-of-a-kind ranch experience awaits at this upscale 5BR/4.5BA home whic...

From $195/night

Lake Arrowhead, California

Custom Dream Lodge W/ Mountain Views

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Boasting unparalleled charm and craftsmanship, this majestic 3BR/2.5BA lodg...

From $114/night

Lake Arrowhead, California

North Bay Retreat With Balcony Near Village!

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Lake Arrowhead fun awaits at this 3BR/2.5BA home on North Bay! The convenie...

From $283/night

Lake Arrowhead, California

Lake View Luxury Home W/ Game Room & Sauna

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Designed for a true getaway of comfort and convenience, this sprawling 3BR/...

From $586/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Aztec Falls

    From Lake Arrowhead, take the 173 to Hook Creek Road until you dead end onto Squint Ranch Road. Take a right at the first fork in the road, and park in the lot for Splinters Cabin. The dirt road can be a bit rocky and might not be the best for sma...

    1.2 miles

  • Hike the Heart Rock Trail

    This short but nice hike near Crestline, CA in the San Bernadino Forest is one for the whole family. Although finding the trailhead/parking lot can be a bit confusing, it is definitely worth it.  Driving in from the Inland Empire/LA Area, follow T...

    1.8 miles

  • Hike Grays Peak Trail

    This is a fairly easy mountain peak to climb.  The trailhead is easily accessible right off of Hwy 38 by the town of Fawnskin.  There is a large National Forest sign noting the parking area to Grays Peak Trail.  Note that parking in this lot requi...

    7 miles 1100 ft gain

  • Hike the Castle Rock Trail at Big Bear Lake

    Follow the directions to the trail head, and park on the side of the road. You will see a sign that says Castle Rock Trail, and the path is directly behind that sign.The hike up to the peak is steep, sandy, and very rocky, so shoes with good tract...

    2.7 miles 757 ft gain