Day 24 – Leaving Lil’ Bear we decided to hike a 23 mile day so we could make it to Deep Creek hot springs that night. Almost the whole day we followed bubbling creeks – first Holcomb and then Deep Creek. After crossing so many dry areas, it was comforting to follow the rushing waters.
We’d also get glimpses of the gorgeous snowy San Gabriels on the horizon. We picniced under the high bridge above Deep Creek and then followed the contours of the hills above the roaring river. The hillside was badly eroded in some sections and some nosy dirtbikers disturbed our peaceful journey, but other than that it was a brilliant day.
At last, around dusk we arrived at Deep Creek Hot Springs and were warmly welcomed by some naked neighbors. It’s a popular skinny dipping location for an assortment of locals – ranging from white gantsta wanabe tweens to hippies to old men sporting the Pooh Bear (wearing a t-shirt and ONLY a t-shirt). There was even a women dressed in a skin-tight suit decorated with pictures of the body’s internal organs and nerves doing a modern dance for a video camera.
A natural hot spring flows from the hillside above the river and 3 stone pools have been made to contain the hot water. One was so hot I could barely put my toes in for more than a few minutes. One was verging on lukewarm. But just like Goldylocks, we found one that was just right! The perfect temperature to soothe our aching muscles and warm us up as the sunlight slipped away. Truly divine!