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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Crowded weekend. Did they trash it?

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October 12, 2009 06:33PM
Was bored saturday 10-10-09 so I decided to make a day trip down to the hot springs. Being only a short distance from the Bowen ranch I passed by there only 10 minutes after leaving my house. To my surprise there a nice sized line at the old guys little toll booth, I would love to know how much of that tax free money he makes on a monthly basis by the way. I took that right fork that lead around the bowen ranch property and to the freedom trail upper parking.
For those curious on how to get to the "free" parking, and so many are by the many conversations down there. A 4x4 with some muscle can make it all the way to the trail head, also known as lower parking, almost any vehicle can make it to the Freedom Trail upper parking. If your car has poor suspention, too low, or not enough power there is a small parking area at the top of the first steep hill. This will add about 25 mins to your hike, most hot springers headed to either upper or lower parking will usually offer a ride to the trail heads. After passing the bowen ranch, the main rule to use when driving to these Freedom trail parking areas. Always Take The Left Fork. Reverse that when driving out of there.
Upon reaching the upper parking I prepared for the down hill hike and got the stop watch ready. After securing my vehicle I headed on, looking over my shoulder at the 2 other vehicles I was parked next to. When hiking solo I always try to beat my best record, 29 mins 12 secs was the current personal best. It was a beautiful day for a hike, only one on the trail I flew down that hill. Maybe one too many cups of coffee contributed to this. My new personal best! 25mins 48 secs is what I stopped my watch at when reaching the sandy shore of the Deek Creek Hot Springs.
Nice size crowed already there, I made a scan of the scenery after taking my pack off as I always do. Took off my boots and clothes and headed across the river. So cold the water was today, even colder it is going to be after reading the weather reports and looking out my window. After washing the sweat off in the chilly river, I made my way to the larger "conversation pool". Quiet bunch in there that day, unusal as there is always people talking over one another. Perhaps 10 minutes went by, time seems to stop at the hot springs, hiker after was showing up. From both the PCT and the Freedom trail they came and with the conversation pool filling I decided to head back across the river.
Another tip, always drink as much as you can when getting out of the hot spring pools as they will dehyrate you quickly. I dried off drank up and prepared to watch the show which was about to begin. It seemed a group of guys got a little excited jumping into the cold waters of the river from the side of the conversation pool. An interesting sensation is felt going from hot to cold, us regulars have done this many times. But the mixture of alcohol and smoking weed will cause some dangerous behavior. To my surprise and everyone else there, these guys started cliff diving. Almost 10 feet above the conversation pool there is an over look, a cliff I would say. This is very high and the deepest part of the river around 9ft or so. Everyone there standing in the river, in the hot pools, on the rocky island watched with an open jaw. The crash of thier bodies slamming against the water, they even started to do back flips. One slip and someone was going to get an easy hike out of there, by helicopter transport.
Seeing enough I got ready and headed out. I hope that huge crowd had a good time and I really hope those crazy guys played safe. On the hike back up the first hill I was passed 3 more groups averaging 5 people each. I really wish I would have stayed until sunset to watch all the interesting events that day. Upon reaching the upper parking area I was amazed to see packed. 9 trucks, 3 SUV's, and 1 honda civic. Driving out of there I passed 2 more trucks and 2 more vehicles at the Bowen Ranch tool booth.
I am going to head back there wednesday with a few friends via the Pacific Crest Trail from the Saddleback dams in Hesperia. I am curious to see if that huge crowd trashed it. Judging by the view outside I might have to set it back to Thursday but we will see. The trail and the hot springs are always the best after a nice little rain. Anyone wanting to join is welcome. Its going to be a nice and scenic slow paced hike starting around sunrise.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2009 07:14PM by AV desert rat.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

Crowded weekend. Did they trash it?

AV desert rat1457October 12, 2009 06:33PM

Re: Crowded weekend. Did they trash it?

Rivernude1257October 13, 2009 11:40PM



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