Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
3,923.00 ft (1,195.73 m)
Trail type
23.40 mi (37.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Deep Creek Loop is a 23-mile loop that starts from Mojave River Forks, connects to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and winds down to the rejuvenating Deep Creek Hot Springs. This journey offers a blend of rugged beauty, serene landscapes, and the reward of natural hot springs. Featuring rolling hills, a flowing creek, and the soothing waters of natural hot springs, it is moderately rated and open to hikers, trail runners, and backpackers.


Begin your journey at the parking area in Mojave River Forks, where you'll find the connector trail leading to the PCT. Head south on the PCT, and follow the trail as it hugs the contours of Deep Creek, offering stunning views of the creek's clear waters and the surrounding canyon. After approximately 11 miles, you'll arrive at Deep Creek Hot Springs, a perfect spot for a break and relaxing soak in the natural pools, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the area.

After enjoying the hot springs, retrace your steps along the PCT briefly before taking the Bradford Ridge Path. This trail provides a change of scenery with its unique vistas and leads to the road (173).

The area around Deep Creek Hot Springs and parts of the old Highway 173 can be quite remote and rugged. Follow the road to the junction with the PCT, then take the PCT north, retracing your steps back to Mojave River Forks.


  • Be prepared for a long hike with significant sun exposure; bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

  • The hot springs area can be popular; remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect other visitors.

  • Portions of the trail can be steep and rugged.

  • Rattlesnakes are common in this area.

  • Check for any trail closures or restrictions before your hike, especially during fire season or after heavy rains.


The trailhead at Mojave River Forks offers parking and is the starting point for this loop. Be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot and start your hike in the cooler morning hours.


  • Day use does not require a permit.

  • Dispersed camping is allowed in certain areas of the San Bernardino National Forest, which surrounds Deep Creek. It's essential to follow all forest service regulations, including camping at least 200 feet away from water sources, trails, and other occupied areas.

  • Campfires are usually prohibited in dispersed camping areas to reduce the risk of wildfires. Always check current fire restrictions with the San Bernardino National Forest before your trip.

  • Direct camping at Deep Creek Hot Springs is not recommended and may be restricted due to the sensitive ecological area around the hot springs. The area is habitat for endangered species and is subject to specific regulations to minimize human impact.

  • Visitors are encouraged to use Leave No Trace principles to preserve the area's natural beauty and cleanliness.

  • While dispersed camping in the national forest typically does not require a permit, it's always best to check the latest regulations with the San Bernardino National Forest or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office.

  • If you plan on parking overnight at trailheads or certain access points, you may need an Adventure Pass or other parking permits. Verify the requirements for your specific trailhead or parking area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Hot Springs. Desert Landscapes. Creek.


Exposure. Rattlesnakes are common.

Trailhead Elevation

3,126.00 ft (952.80 m)

Highest point

4,369.00 ft (1,331.67 m)


Backcountry camping
Near lake or river
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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