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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Hwy. 173 Closed at Arrowhead/ plus Trip report

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April 28, 2005 12:22PM
I drove up to Arrowhead on Wednesday morning (4/27 around 7am) and found that they had the entrance gate to Hwy. 173 closed and locked just past Lake Arrowhead. I was experimenting to see if this would be a shorter way to access the springs from Long Beach. Big mistake!!! Hwy. 18 was closed for a short distance due to road construction and you have to go around it on a detour. I had to drive through very thick fog the whole trip up the mountain. These two factors plus the many tight turns (25 mph or less) made it a very long and slow drive. When I finally made it around Lake Arrowhead I find the gate to Hwy. 173 locked :-(. I turned around and drove back to Hwy. 138 and took that down to Lake Silverwood. I debated if I should try Hwy. 173 from this end but the way my luck was going I decided to take Summit Valley Road into Hesperia and go to the springs via Bowen Ranch. I am glad that I did because I just read a post today that said Hwy. 173 from Hwy. 138 should be driven with a high clearance vehicle due to the recent rain damages. I have a Saturn car that sits pretty low.
I finally arrived at the springs at around 10 am. There was only one other car in the Bowen Ranch parking lot. It was cold and very windy but the sun was out and no clouds were in the sky except over the mountains. I hike down to the springs and waded across the creek holding onto the rope. The raft was not there, it was up on the edge of one of the upper pools, pretty deflated. The creek was pretty cold, I am glad I did not have to swim it. Over the next few hours about 10 people arrived. First a gentleman came and treated us to some sage incense. Next a lone female arrived and soaked in a few of various pools. Then a group of 3 girls and 3 guys came. 2/3'rds of this group chose to stay textile. Later on two college girls hiked in and disrobed and sampled the pools. I had to leave at around 2 pm and just after I crossed the creek to the beach another middle aged couple had just arrived.
It was pretty windy and cool down at the springs so sun bathing was not really an option, as soon as you got out of the pools you got cold very quickly. There was not a lot of trash around, a few discarded towels was all I noticed. I hiked out in a tee shirt and worked up a good sweat dispite the wind chill factor. When I arrived at the Bowen Ranch parking lot another group of college age kids (2 or 3 couples) were putting on back packs and getting ready to head down to the springs.
There has been a little bit of repair work done on Bowen Ranch road, one of the places where the water ran across the road has had a pipe installed and the pipe covered over with dirt, eliminating the dip. The road overall is still very rough and needs to be driven slowly.

Hwy. 173 Closed at Arrowhead/ plus Trip report

lbcalrr 1798April 28, 2005 12:22PM

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