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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Re: DCHS 1-25

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February 02, 2008 02:46PM
Paul, I take my raft and ropes down on those occasions when I think the river is running high enough to make this option worth the effort. Because of the recent heavy rains, the creek levels are probably still high enough to warrant using the raft. I take the raft and ropes with me when I leave DCHS for the day, which means anyone that came across with it, has too leave when I do, or face swimming the creek. This system works great, since having the ropes attached to either side of the creek, allows you to retrieve the raft, no matter which side your on. Also the raft is like a large inner tube with four grommets for rope attachment, and when you set back in it and hold up your legs, all that touches the water is your hands for paddling. Your butt hits the creek a bit :-). Looks like we may be getting a good spell of rain tomorrow ( Sunday ), so depending on the amounts, Deep Creek may be flooding again.
I bought the raft at Wal Mart, and its called the River Rat ( about 10 bucks ). I have found going across in the big tube far better than laying on various types of flat rafts, or trying to paddle across in conventional raft types. You can get light weight ropes at walmart too. Best to get six 50 ft sections to make sure you have plenty. Three sections attached to one side of the raft, three on the other, and tie off to a strong tree or bush. Entry when crossing is very important due to the current. When crossing from the west side, walk in the water upstream from the beach as far as possible, then when you get in, then paddle to the north side of the big creek pool in front of the Womb, then when you hit the current coming through the narrows between the granite tips there, then cross the current as quick as you can so you don't wash too far downstream, and you should end up in the calmer waters directly west of the Womb and then you can just paddle over too the edge of the Serenity pool area. Just go the same way when you return. Doing this you only encounter the stronger currents rather briefly, and the small distance the current pushes you downstream, brings you into a good spot on the opposite shore. Also when sitting backwards into the Doughnut Hole of the raft, you can easily put even a large backpack on your belly, and still paddle across without touching the cold creek very much.
If you do a trip to DCHS when you think the rivers higher Paul, you can just send me an e-mail, and its possible I could meet you there with my ropes and raft. Thats up to you since you can also get the stuff for crossing pretty cheaply too. Also, you might consider going by way of the Bradford Ridge trail. HWY 173 has a " Road Closed " sign as always where it starts up into the hills, near the Mojave Forks Dam, but its just something they keep up to keep down the traffic on that road. I talked to the USFS about this. Using the Bradford Ridge trail allows you to get to DCHS, without crossing any creeks of any size at all. It is a longer trail at about two and half miles.
When you set up the raft and ropes, other visitors definitely like to use it. It does take some time to advise people on what to do, so they can cross without problems, and its always possible someone may pop the raft by accident, pulling to hard on the ropes and ripping it, running it into something sharp etc. When people just try and paddle straight across, the current is strong and wide there in front of the beach, and it washes them down stream and its harder to get them across since your pulling them against the current, and there is more chance of them falling off. When I set up the raft for the day, I just figure its just part what I will do for the day, being the Deep Creek Ferry Master :-)
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DCHS 1-25

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