PCT Day 28 – Thursday May 11
Holcomb Crossing Camp Mile 294 to Deep Creek Hot Springs Mile 307.9
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 13.9
Feet Ascended Today: 1104
Feet Descended Today: 2788
Current Elevation: 3541
Today I had one goal in mind: Deep Creek Hot Springs. I’d heard about these hot springs from some other hikers and it seemed like a good goal for the day. Ending the day by soaking in hot water sounded AMAZING!
I broke camp and was on the trail by 6:30 am. My wet tent and sleeping bag weren’t exactly encouraging me to stay in bed. I was feeling a little tired this morning due to my interrupted sleep. I had washed my shoes last night because they looked filthy and they honestly didn’t look that much better after I was done. My shoes were still wet when I put them on this morning.
I stopped for a break around 9:00 am and found that I had cell reception. I was able to talk to Daniel and we confirmed the details for his upcoming visit. I’m going to meet him when I arrive in Agua Dulce. Yay! I’m so excited. I’ve been missing him a lot lately and knowing I’ll see him soon really brightened my day.
Around 11:00 am I stopped for a break at Splinters Cabin, a day use area with a gazebo and pit toilets and garbage cans. I was able to discard my accumulated garbage which was nice, as well as to dry out my tent. Shortly thereafter I passed the 300 mile mark. 300 miles on the PCT! Woop woop!
From here on out the trail followed along Deep Creek for the rest of the day, which really looks more like a river than a creek. The trail usually traversed the canyon walls high up above the creek but every once in a while it was possible to access the creek down below. I broke for lunch at one such access point and sat by the river while I ate and rinsed my sweaty clothes in the water.
I arrived at the Hot Springs shortly after 5:00 pm and met some other hikers who had been here for a few days. They advised me to hang my food due to the rambunctious squirrels and pointed out the best places to swim and soak. I hung my food and explored the various hot pools. Hot water seeped out of the ground and was captured into pools that were blocked off with rocks and sandbags from the rest of the river. The pools had different temperatures and felt amazing. In one pool enormous tadpoles swam around between my feet. I didn’t take any pictures, however, because the hot springs are clothing optional and I didn’t want to be a creepy person taking bunch of pictures of naked people.
When I returned to my backpack I discovered I had forgotten to hang my garbage with my food bag and the squirrels had gotten into it. Lesson learned!
The hot springs drew an interesting crowd of thru-hikers and locals – some younger folks looked like they drove in from the city and some other folks appeared to party at the hot springs a lot. There were a lot of unburied piles of poop and toilet paper around the edges of the Hot Spring environs which was gross – clearly some folks didn’t understand about Leave No Trace best practice principles.
Soon another group of hikers arrived comprising mostly of the folks that I ate pizza with in Big Bear – including Halfway, Taco, Bottom, Sunshine, Katrine, Elise, Sevie and Neil. It took them only 2 days to hike the same length of trail that it took me 3 days to hike. They are a fun group and we set up camp and ate dinner together. it was nice to camp with friends again.
I’m now camped by the river, with my food bag hanging from a tree, listening to the river and hoping a ranger doesn’t come by. This is technically a day use area and we are not supposed to camp here.