Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


2.6-mile walk to Deep Creek Hot Springs.


No amenities. Sun and wind exposure.

Pets allowed


Reservations possible



Hot springs
Picnic tables

Site type

Tent only


Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


I've visited the Springs twice now. The first time we hiked in from Lake Arrowhead, and while beautiful, it was a pain, especially when you consider you're not suppose to camp down AT the Springs.
For our second trip, we stayed at the ranch, and oh boy! What a difference! Highly recommended, but please, do be respectful.
Mike Castro expects all who cross his property and camp on his property to pay him a fee. He is very strict on people about following the rules. I wonder if he also follows the rules. A recent encounter and reading some comments makes me think he doesn't. He is quick to verbally assault and to make threats.
Does he have a conditional use permit to have a business there?
Does he pay his employees minimum wage and have workers compensation? Does he follow all laws for collecting cash from the public? Does he report all his income on his state and federal tax returns? Has he always reported all the income?
Is he an honest person? If an incident happens there and the sheriff is called would he tell the truth or is he a liar expecting others to be honest?
Mike said "I don't care if people don't like me". He really doesn't. The only thing he cares about is the five dollars.
Most businesses use the income to improve the business. It's pretty obvious Mike has never done that. It's the same shack as it was 30 or 40 years ago. Mike has nothing to be proud of.
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