Saturday, May 23, 2009
Deep Creek Wow! Incredible stop on the Pacific Crest Trail!
Wow. This is the stuff. Deep Creek Hot Springs was the most incredible reward for the forty mile hike from Big Bear! Jen and I stayed a day and a half, never wanting to leave the whole time. We kept coming up with ideas about how we could stay longer, but of course of pre-planned food rations limited us to the day and a half stay, which was incredible! I basked in the sun as much as my skin would allow, and dipped in all the pools for hour after hour. Jen joined me for many of my dips in the pools. She also enjoyed the wonderful shade area under some broadleaf trees across from the hot pool. This was such a great resource during the intense heat of midday. I was totally nude in the pools and sometimes walking back to camp. I mostly wore my kilt when not in the pools though, cause this seemed to be the norm. Jen went in with her hikers swimsuit (panties and sports bra) most of the time. She did take nude dips with me in the top hot pool each morning though, when it was quiet and few people were up.
There are easier hikes into Deep Creek. There are two hikes in from nearby trailheads, one is 2.5 miles long and the other is 6 miles long. The 6 miler has free parking on a road that leads up to Lake Arrowhead. The 2.5 miler starts at a parking lot closer to Apple Valley, and it cost a few bucks to park there, and a few more to leave your car overnight.
There is supposedly no camping at Deep Creek, but it is hard to resist doing so. There are signs saying clearly "NO CAMPING", and we have heard that there is technically no camping for 1 mile around deep creek. Well, upon getting there this seems a little unrealistic. Most folks who want to camp go about 200-300 yards away and camp under some small oak trees for cover. On one of the days a Sherif helicopter did fly over camp and then circle the hot springs 4-5 times before buzzing off down the canyon. No one ever came by and issued tickets or anything like that. That was our only encounter with any law enforcement during our entire one and a half day stay. I have heard talk though of rangers giving people tickets for camping in the past. It sounds like the camping started being regulated back in the 60's when a bunch of folks decided to create a little community our here. I guess the place was just too crowded and they started to discourage camping.
This place is incredible. It is a must see for nudists, non-nudists, anyone! The river bends at the hot springs into a large deep cool pool. Next to the cool pool are big boulders where nudists sun themselves in the middle of the day. There is a small beach on the North side of the cool pool, this is great for laying out on and chatting with people coming in off the 2.5 mile trail from the High Desert. About fifteen feet up along the bank from the cool pool is the top hot pool. This is the nicest and second hottest pool. It is made by a rock boulder on one side and large cobbles cemented together on the other. It could fit 4-5 people easily. There is a hot little waterfall filling the pool constantly with hot water that comes straight out of the ground. A 1 1/2 inch pipe coming out of this top pool pours down over a ten foot drop into the cool pool. It is shallow where the water hits the cool pool, right over a nice boulder for sitting on and receiving an incredible water massage!
The top pool has an offshoot down along the boulders to a medium warm pool. This pool is overlooking the cool pool, from about 8-10 feet above. This pool is created almost entirely out of rock boulder. It is sort of an inverted cone shape, with the bottom almost coming to a blunt point. This pool has had 8 people in it and it didn't even seem full! There is one more pool down next to the cool pool on the South bank. This is the hottest pool, it is very shallow, maybe a couple of feet deep or so.
The crowd at Deep Creel when we were there was fairly mixed. Nudists and non-nudists hung out casually enjoying the wonderful hot springs. Most people in the nude were people who came there regularly (like each week) or who had been there several times before. Some of the hikers went nude or top free, but some chose clothed dipping. It was a typical mix there I suppose. Everyone was really nice, and no weird vibes. I'd say that is pretty good for a place out in the middle of nowhere with no one really regulating it! I asked a regular if there were any groups or organizations that worked to maintain this place. He said there were not. I was surprised to hear no nudist group had signed up to take care of this incredible spot.