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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Trip Report, Feb 12

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February 16, 2009 08:30AM
After the light snow of Friday night, I decided to see how the springs were in such cold conditions. My Wrangler turned off of the Bowen Ranch Road onto the Oak Springs trail at about 530 am. The Bowen Ranch Road was fairly muddy underneath the dusting of snow which showed 3 or 4 cars had been out already that morning. The tracks turned onto Oak Springs so I assume they came from the residents which live up the road. The road conditions were about the same as Bowen Ranch except it is steeper and has a few more ruts on those grades. Turning onto BLM Open Route 7X89 (can't remember the long numbers) I was breaking fresh snow and it was now more than a dusting. The steeper places on the trail were slow going and low gear. The downhills were hold it back with the brakes and just crawl down. It took about 50 minutes to safely arrive at the trailhead were 3W12 crosses the jeep trail at the gate to the National Forest.
There were no signs of anyone having been on the trail since the snow and the wild life were showing their tracks everywhere. Rabbits, mice, squirrels and even a Bob Cat were on the trail ahead of me at times, but it was quiet, cold and still as I made my way down the trail.
The snow was about 1/2 inch and became just a crust as I arrived at the Deep Creek crossing. Looking back the hills were a white wonderland. The creek showed it had been higher earlier in the night but was now about where it has been the last couple of weeks when I've been there - lapping at the rocks by the bush the rope is tied to. The water is quite cold and gives you a very good reason to head for the warm water in the pools.
I soaked for about 3 hours and saw no one. The pools were in good shape. Only a couple of cans and no trash. Someone has done a good job of packing it out.
The Arizona Pool has had some damage from the high water but is still holding warm water. Looks like it will need some maintenance.
By 1030 am most of the snow had melted off all the sunny slopes and the shaded areas were thinning. I started out by 1130 and met a couple coming in. By the time I reached the trailhead parking the visitors started coming in from the ranch above. I counted 4 on the trail below and 5 or 6 turning onto the jeep road.
The drive out was now quite muddy and took almost as long as the snow drive. Also there were quite a few ATVs cutting up the jeep road and making ruts.
Note: a motorcycle had come down the trail beyond the washout and cut into the side of it at places. This narrows the trail and makes it easier for the shoulder to wash out. Wish there was some way to keep them off of these delicate ribbons of access. I was hiking the PCT up by Bacon Flats last summer and a bicyclist came by pretending he didn't know it was for foot and hoof. He did a fair amount of damage as well.
All for now. Hope this lets you all know there are some times of solitude if you know when to go.



Coyote
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

Trip Report, Feb 12

coyote 943February 16, 2009 08:30AM

Re: Trip Report, Feb 12

Paul P. 1070February 16, 2009 09:22AM



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