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October 19, 2010 06:49PM
Well I finally was able to spend my first night camping near the springs. I paid the fee and set up camp at Bowen Ranch ($10.00 for one person). There were a good 7 to 8 vehicles parked in the Bowen Ranch parking lot when I arrived at 4:00 pm Sunday night. I did not set up camp right away because I wanted to enjoy a soak before it got dark. I hiked down to the springs about an hour before sun down. I passed a few people, some with children on the trail heading back up to their cars and by the time I arrived at the springs there were only about 5 or 6 people still soaking in the tubs.

I enjoyed a short soak then a brief rest. While resting I noticed a large bag of trash near the grassy area. It was very heavy and I did not think it would have held together on the trip out. I made note to bring extra trash bags with me on Monday. Over all there was very little trash around the springs, someone had done a good job of gathering it all up and putting it in the one large bag by the grassy area.

I was able to hike out during twilight without any problems. I had a flash light but it was not needed due to a bright moon shining. There was only one other vehicle left in the parking lot when I arrived back at Bowen Ranch. I decided to set my tent up on the knoll to the right of the regular parking lot near the Bowen Ranch trail head. When I set up my tent it was very windy and I was concerned that my tent flapping all night would keep me awake so I set my tent up down wind of my car, hoping the car would block some of the gusts. It did not really matter because by the time I went to bed the wind had died down to nothing and I had a very peaceful night. For awhile I had the area to myself because the other vehicle had left shortly after dark. Right before turning in an older Chevy camper van pulled in and set up for the night close to the trail head.

I got up with the sun and made a pot of coffee before heading down to the springs. The couple in the van also got up at sunrise and headed straight to the springs. There was a heavy coating on dew on everything, my tent, the picnic table, my car, the ground, everywhere. By the time I finished my coffee and had a bowl of oatmeal the sun had made it over the mountains to the East and it warmed up nicely. My tent was still very wet so I decided to come back later and take it down once it had a chance to dry out.

I saw someone asking about camping at Bowen Ranch in an earlier post, I would highly recommend it, even though it is very primitive, it is a great escape and very peaceful. I don't mind paying the fee because of all the problems I have been reading about at the Freedom Trail parking area. I just can't take a chance of my vehicle getting trashed while I am down at the springs.

It was a very mellow day at the springs. I was able to hike all the way from Bowen Ranch to the springs sans clothing. There were never more than 8 to10 people at the springs all day. The young couple that spent the night in the van were there all day, I chatted with them and found out that they lived in Victorville. Two young women were there most of the day and then a couple of guys arrived later on. Everyone was textile free, very refreshing compared to the day before when there were only a few of us. I enjoyed soaks in the all the pools and a short nap. The sun never really made it out and there were a few drops of rain every once in a while but the tubs were very comfortable during the brief ran episodes.

I brought my trash picker upper (aka the claw) and made my way around the springs picking up mostly small sized trash items. The large trash bag by the grassy area was still there on Monday so I transferred some of it into one of my bags. I left my clothes and back pack at the springs and headed back to Bowen Ranch with the first haul of the trash. I made it all the way to the parking lot without passing anyone. I took down my tent and packed it away and then headed back to the springs. Again I made the hike down without passing anyone. I spent the rest of the day at the springs then packed out the last of the trash.

Overall it was a great trip and I look forward to camping at Bowen Ranch again, it is so nice to be able to be so near to the springs rather than having to drive all the way in from LA for just the day.

Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

lbcalrr2901October 19, 2010 06:49PM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Sam D.1253October 20, 2010 12:45AM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Paul P.1043October 20, 2010 12:32PM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

celtfire1394October 20, 2010 06:47PM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

jobe961October 21, 2010 07:07AM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Jetson946November 02, 2010 01:43PM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Sam D.915November 03, 2010 12:48AM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

jobe862November 02, 2010 02:59PM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Paul P.921November 03, 2010 11:55AM

Re: Trip & camping report 10/17 & 10/18

Rick1504November 03, 2010 01:03PM

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