By Levi Clancy for לוי on
- Southern California
Deep Creek hot springs is a primitive oasis about an hour hike into high desert mountains, famous for excellent water, great scenery, and naturism/nudism.
The hot springs are along the Mojave River (aka Deep Creek), on public land near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino National Forest. Deep Creek belongs to everyone. Nudity is the norm because fabrics carry harmful dyes and detergents that contaminate the water. Also, remember to always rinse off in the river or outdoor shower before you start soaking. Water tests have shown that the hot springs get super high fecal coliform counts. Simply put: unclean people and their dogs bring poop into the water. Pick up your trash! In fact, bring extra trash bags to haul out litter. Every step of trail you walked, and every tub you soaked in, was built and maintained by sisyphean volunteers. Do your part.
The hot springs and nearby trails are an oasis for happy naked people of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors.
Those volunteers who maintain the place have been coming for decades. The culture that has prevailed fully accepts all visitors to peacefully enjoy nature in its entirety. Every human body of any size, age and color, is accepted equally and without judgment. It is a lesson in tolerance and acceptance. Share it. Go skinny-dipping. You will find everyone from a five-year-old boy wearing only floaties to an old woman wearing nothing but some sand on her back.
Be very careful
Help is hard to get. Cell reception is a mile from the springs. Don't be one of the fools who needs a helicopter rescue.
First of all, bring water. The trails are very steep. Only go if you are in good shape. Lots of people start puking from the vigorous hike. And watch where you step. Rattlesnakes are very common, especially in rocky areas. Also, bring a first aid kit. My second time there I saw a stomach-churning and really bloody injury. And that was mild compared to the five or six helicopter rescues annually. Things get dangerous fast.
Follow the map. Some GPS directions give other routes, but these are closed or dangerously washed-out. I made that mistake. Stick with these directions even if they seem round-about. AAA only serves paved roads. If you have auto troubles along those Bowen Ranch dirt roads, you will require expensive third-party services. Bring Fix-A-Flat and spare tires. Top up your gas tank. Bring extra gas!
The Bradford Ridge trail and Bowen Ranch trail are the most popular routes.
The Bradford Ridge trail comes up from the south, so take it if you are coming from Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Lake Arrowhead. The Bowen Ranch trail, on the other hand, comes from the north and the road to it originates in Victorville area (off Highway 15). Also, there is an alternate route near Bowen Ranch called the Freedom Trail.
Deep Creek meetups
Young Naturists America does regular trips to Deep Creek.
Check out Young Naturists America at meetup.com/YNA-SoCal and facebook.com/yna.socal to find out when is the next scheduled outing. They are usually held every three to four weeks. Also, meetup.com/hot-springs-soakers does outings every month or two.