Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
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.

Bowen Ranch provides the easiest access to Deep Creek, which are some of Southern California's favorite hot springs. The free route is 5 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, so the shorter hiking option (2.6 miles from Bowen Ranch) is worth the entry fee. Use care and caution. This is a sensitive area that has been widely trammeled by unconscientious users.

The springs are located on BLM land, but privately-owned Bowen Ranch provides the closest access. As of December 2018, camping is prohibited at Bowen Ranch due to overuse and abuse. Overnight stays are not allowed at either Deep Creek or Bowen Ranch. The owners charge a fair $10 fee to use their property to access the hot springs between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Plan your visit accordingly, and begin your return hike by 3:30 p.m. to comply with closing hours. Bowen Ranch may charge an additional fee for users who remain after hours, and access may be blocked by the ranch owner.

Those looking to camp nearby should look to Dogwood Campground, the relatively lavish campground near Arrowhead Lake.

Bowen Ranch does not include any amenities, and all trash must be packed out. Bring plenty of drinking water and other supplies, because the site is remote from any services. The day-use area sometimes fills up on busy weekends, so arrive early to secure your spot near the paradise of Deep Creek Hot Springs.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

2.6-mile walk to Deep Creek Hot Springs.

Cons

No amenities. Sun and wind exposure.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Reservations possible

No

Features

Hot springs
Picnic tables

Site type

Tent only

Location

Field Guide

Comments

The man at this property is crazy, he pulled out a gun on my brother and his friends for being late to picking up their car. He choked my brother and would not lower the gun from his head. He ended up taking all of their cash and told them he would kill them if they didn’t leave right away. Stay away from this property.
Thanks for the update, Paul. Having searched the internet for confirmation—and perhaps finding your comments at deepcreekhotsprings.net—I updated this adventure with the most recent and relevant information. Your input is much appreciated!
12/01/2018
As of 12/1/2018 Bowen Ranch no longer allows camping at their parking lot. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of Deep Creek Hot Springs, amplified by social media and hiking apps and websites. Many people were hiking in unprepared and would become injured, dangerously dehydrated or lost and require rescue from a helicopter. A man died at the springs in August 2018 while cliff jumping and self recording with a GoPro. The day use fee is now $10 per person and the hours of operation are restricted to 7am-5pm. Camping is prohibited at the springs and within a mile of Deep Creek.
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