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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (78% of Full)


Re: Big Caliente trip

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July 05, 2010 07:48AM
Please, post a trip report after you find them.

Been meaning to get to this, but as we all know, stuff comes up.

A couple of weeks ago (June 15th), I made it out to Big Caliente Hot Springs, and, a few hundred yards further on, and more rustic, Agua Caliente hot springs.

As I mentioned previously on this forum, I'm wary of driving the road to Big Caliente or Little Caliente in anything other than a vehicle with a high-clearance suspension. I've seen other people do it, so I know it's possible, but having seen the condition of portions of that dirt road, it's not a risk I want to take with my 2008 Toyota Corolla. So I hiked it instead.

This was the route I took:

1) I parked by the water tank at the Cold Springs Canyon trailhead on East El Camino Cielo road

2) Took Cold Springs Canyon Trail down to the junction with Forbush Canyon Trail. Went right on Forbush Canyon.

3) Followed Forbush Canyon to the junction with Blue Canyon Trail @ Cottam Camp

4) Followed the trail (a little undefined in places, but basically follow the riverbed) from Cottam Camp to Camuesa rd. The trail is tricky to follow in places, but someone has recently put up helpful orange streamers, and even without them, the trail is easy to find again if you're patient.

5) Hung a right on Camuesa rd, walked it all the way to Pendola Guard Station.

6) Hiked up Forest Rt. 5N16 to Big Caliente & Agua Caliente hot springs.

This is a nice, beautiful hike. I recommend it if you like hiking anyway. It's not too strenuous for any hiker in shape, however remember that a) all the elevation gain is on the hike out (after you're already tired from a day of hiking), and b) this is a long hike. 8 miles, each way. 16, round-trip. An early start and endurance hiking skills are recommended.

Pix of my hike & of the springs here.

As for the springs themselves, I had only one complaint (and this applied to the hike in, too): THE BUGS!!!!!!!!!!!! The bugs that day were freakin' terrible. I had no bugspray with me, but I sorely wished that I did.

Big Caliente (the cement pool) was warm and nice, and I enjoyed alternating between the spring and the cool river. Agua Caliente (the rustic tubs just past the parking lot) was also nice, but HOT. Didn't have a thermometer with me, but it was so hot that I could barely stay in them for more than a minute at a time. I think hot springs might just not be the thing for the summertime.

Had a pleasant conversation with a forest service lady and her friend who were at the springs. They'd never heard of Deep Creek, so I recommended it to them. It was a weekday when I went, so there weren't the huge crowds I'd heard of before. Those two ladies were also kind enough to give me a lift in the back of their pickup, down to Pendola Guard station (so, I cheated a little on my hike out).

The portions of the road that I walked looked like they were in good condition, save the last river crossing right before Big Caliente, which, well -- I photographed it after I crossed it. That dip would likely take the muffler off a regular car, unless you're really careful.

I posted a month or two back in this thread about my attempt to walk the dirt road route instead of taking trails (got as far as the first river crossing before I had to turn back, for lack of enough daylight left in the day), and the road looked fairly hair-raising in that portion then, but that was a few weeks ago. If going by the road, I recommend either an SUV/pickup, or a mountain bike.

Overall, if you're looking to hike in to the springs from the paved East El Camino Cielo Rd, I recommend hiking from Cold Springs Canyon trailhead to Little Caliente hot springs (I have a post earlier in this thread, with specific hiking directions), because Little Caliente is the nicer of the springs, and it's a shorter hike (5 miles each way, 10 total vs. 8 miles each way, 16 total), but this hike to Big Caliente is definitely a good option, too.


Big Caliente trip

Sam D. 18752September 13, 2003 11:27PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Sam D. 2130September 14, 2003 12:12AM

Re: Big Caliente trip

DCR 1849September 15, 2003 08:32AM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Paul P. 1851September 15, 2003 01:11PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl1663March 19, 2010 03:22PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl1441March 19, 2010 03:27PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Rick1409March 19, 2010 03:37PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Rick1440March 19, 2010 03:34PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl1639April 25, 2010 04:16PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Sam D.1310April 25, 2010 07:41PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl1348April 30, 2010 12:28PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl3338May 03, 2010 10:44PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

hiker1387March 19, 2010 10:18PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl1225April 30, 2010 12:29PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Paul P.1525May 06, 2010 08:44AM

Re: Big Caliente trip

jobe1297May 13, 2010 06:30PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

jobe1236May 13, 2010 06:34PM

Re: Big Caliente trip

JoelTDahl2768July 05, 2010 07:48AM

Re: Big Caliente trip

Sam D.2147July 06, 2010 02:09PM

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