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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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bradford ridge and trip report

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February 01, 2013 08:49PM
hi all. First winter visit to DCHS in my 8 years of visits. (I've never been in January or Feb.) First time trying the Bradford Ridge trail. I was helped by postings from the past on this board; from leviclancy's student reader site which has a map that lets you search directions from your origin to the Kinley Creek bridge where the trail begins; from conversations with hiker and others at the springs.

So no one really mentioned: the drive to the Bradford Ridge trail from the south is a stunning drive. It changed everything for me in terms of thinking about the approach to DCHS. Felt like I was in deepest Oregon or Vermont, went the route 18 - 189 - Grass Valley Rd - 173.

When I arrived -- or thought I had arrived as you are always unsure when doing something like this first time -- there was one pickup truck parked at the bridge. I didn't actually know which side of the road the trail was on, but looking for footprints solved that quickly and I found the trail head easily. As I was starting down it I saw another car pull up to park with a dog in the back--turned out to be someone I know from prior visits to the springs as I found out down at the springs. The Bradford Ridge trail was utterly quiet and eerily beautiful. Waterfall at the start. And snow. Lots of snow and ice on the first bit of the trail. From white snow and then ice, it went to mud. Then red dirt. Then desert. I loved following the shifts and changes, like the earth so young was uncertain of which way it should be going out there. Saw no one the whole way down.

So my question on the Bradford Ridge. The trail is easy enough to follow until the steep descent. When I reached the barb wire fence before the descent, the more well worn trail went down to my right, but it looked like you could go straight/left too. The trail to the right was super steep. It led down to a creek bed where the trail was not very present, that after about a 1/4 of a mile let you out on the PCT very near the springs. So it worked...but was this the trail? I've been looking at this map that hiker posted some months back:


You are not supposed to go right at the barb wire fence? Is the other way less insane? It was pretty insane at times down and then up the path I took. But a very good workout. I'll definitely do the BRT again: no sand on your car, no dirt roads, beautiful scenery, good workout hike, no fee to pay, no ice river to cross. The descent/climb and longer time that it takes the only big drawbacks. But definitely easier to reach the trail head here than going up to the high desert for LA folk.

DCHS was beautiful and quiet today. Maybe 6-10 people ebbing and flowing. All mellow and many very friendly. Mostly nude, or at least always 50-50. Soaked hard in the Anniversary pool all day, getting in getting out, getting hot getting cold in the winter shade. Took some walks - not much trash about, but lots of horse dung.

No one swimming in the river but the most beautiful German Shepherd you ever did see. Fetching a stick, again and again.

When I was struggling up the BRT at around 3 pm when I chose to leave I could see at least 13 more young people arriving or about to arrive via the Bowen Ranch trail. So as always, later on Friday even in winter things were about to change.

Back to my car just after 4 pm. The hike took about an hour + a few minutes for me each way. An hour down, an hour + ten minutes up?

bradford ridge and trip report

neogeo3051February 01, 2013 08:49PM

Re: bradford ridge and trip report

Wizard936February 01, 2013 10:53PM

Re: bradford ridge and trip report

neogeo803February 02, 2013 08:50AM

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neogeo820February 02, 2013 12:42PM

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mohave781February 02, 2013 03:06PM

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hiker833February 03, 2013 07:02AM

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neogeo738February 03, 2013 08:41AM

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johnnylee819February 05, 2013 03:27PM

Re: bradford ridge and trip report

hiker792February 05, 2013 09:49PM

Re: bradford ridge and trip report

johnnylee1163February 06, 2013 02:48PM

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