For my birthday, Josh and I went to Crestline to spend the weekend at my parents cabin at Lake Gregory. We decided to check out Deep Creek Hot Springs which is just outside of Lake Arrowhead.
We followed HWY 173 to it's end at a locked gate where we parked and started hiking up the Bradford Ridge Trail.
At 10am it was already super hot out. The trail hugs the ridgeline next to a dry creek bed losing and gaining elevation as it heads toward the creek. The total trail mileage for the trip is about 5 miles with 1,400 feet of elevation gain/loss.
Deep Creek is also a point of interest on the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT was rerouted a couple of years ago to skip a section with a damaged bridge, leaving hikers to endure a long road walk before making it to the water.
We would have preferred to travel the PCT to the creek but decided it was better to trade in the long miles on the PCT for the big elevation loss/gain that is on the Bradford Ridge Trail.
We arrived at the final HUGE descent toward the creek taking most of the path on our butts. We must have lost 800 -1000 feet in elevation in about a quarter mile.
At last, we met up with the PCT and headed toward the beach area. Deep Creek is known for it's nudist visitors and they were definitely out today!
The pools were being fed by springs coming out of the ground. The water, even in the largest pools, was around 80 degrees!
We hiked up creek a bit to survey the entire area, encountering naked folks all the way. Josh and I were a little uncomfortable with all the boobies and big old man bellies on display, so we cracked jokes to deal with it...get it...cracked jokes.
[Insert slow clap here]
After we explored a little, we headed back toward the main beach where we encountered a man in his 60's shoveling dirt in his birthday suit.
Ok, now that is just weird.
We tried to walk by without a big to-do but he engaged us in awkward conversation:
"Have you guys been here before" He asked
"uh, no." We replied, while trying figure out what to do with our eyes.
He then went into a grand explanation of the pools at the hot springs and how people come from all around the world to visit them. We thanked him for the info and hiked up a use trail where we found several man made rock pools in the side of the mountain with tubes diverting the hot water to them.
It really was quite impressive.
Josh and I were now thoroughly uncomfortable and sweating from the heat of the day. We headed down the creek to a secluded pool with cool water.
We stripped off our clothes and jumped in! Hey, if you can't beat 'em join 'em right?!
Not really, we are way too socially awkward for that. We swam in our underwear. :-)
After a long luxurious rest we readied for the climb. I soaked my shirt in the water to help counter the heat of the return trip. The climb out of the canyon was BRUTAL and my shirt dried before I reached the half way point.
It was blazing hot and we stopped several times in the shade to recover.
Me + Steep Climbs + Heat = barf-o-rama
or at least, the threat of barfing.
Finally back at the trailhead we rushed to the truck for the A/C and to down whatever warm drinks were inside. It was an awesome day and an awesome hike. I cannot wait to visit again next year on the PCT!