You’d never expect this hidden gem to be in San Bernardino. Tucked deep in the foothills of the San Bernardino National Forest, you’ll find the beautiful Deep Creek Hot Springs.
It’s the perfect place to soak after a long hike and enjoy nature. Unlike other SoCal hot springs, you’ll have to go a little further off the beaten path to get your reward. But it’s so worth it! This high desert dip is the perfect oasis.
You’ll find the Deep Creek Hot Springs nestled in the Mojave riverbed. There are three different pools to swim and soak in. Temperatures range from 96 to a toasty 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get too hot, you’re in luck. There’s also a refreshing river stream right next to them where you can cool off.
The best time to visit is during the summer and early fall. The river gets cold in the winter. *
There are two different ways to reach the hot springs. If you’re down for a hike, you can take the 6-mile path from Pacific Crest Trail starting at Lake Arrowhead Road.
For those of you who want to get there quickly, you can take a 2-mile path along Freedom Trail. The shorter way is a steep descent to the hot springs. Keep in mind that you’ll have to hike it on your way back up. It costs $5 per person during the day and $10 per person at night. Make sure not to bring any glass bottles. *
Once you reach the bottom of the trail, you’ll have to cross the river to reach the hot springs. You can usually cross by stepping on boulders. Watch out for high water levels, strong currents, and slippery rocks.
The views are so rewarding. You can pick a pool to soak in and lather yourself in mineral-rich mud. It’s like an outdoor spa! The water is also super clear and has a beautiful emerald color.
It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the forest and crack open a cold drink with your friends. You can even pack a picnic and make the day of it. You’ve earned it after that hike. You can even bring a slackline and try to cross!
These hot springs are clothing optional. So you can opt to pack a swimsuit or leave it behind. If you really want to get the pools to yourself, we recommend taking the trip during the week.
If you’re in SoCal and seeking a scenic adventure, these springs are the place to be. The soothing mineral waters are a great way to unwind and connect with the great outdoors. The Deep Creek Hot Springs is one hidden gem you don’t want to miss.
Deep Creek Hot Springs: San Bernardino National Forest
Location: Pacific Crest Trail, Apple Valley, CA 92308
Why you should go: You can soak in emerald hot springs in the middle of the mountains. The views are beautiful.
* This article has been updated.
Editor’s Note: San Bernardino has very high temperatures throughout the year. The best time to go is late fall through winter.
Make sure to check the weather before you go. We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.