Directions

Simplest Route > Bowen Ranch  ~   Alternate Route > Bradford Ridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simplest Route:

From LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego County, take the easiest route to the I-15 and follow it north through Cajon pass.  Exit at Bear Valley Road and turn right.  If you are coming from Barstow or Victorville come south on I-15, exit at Bear Valley road and turn left.

Go east on Bear Valley Road for about 10 miles, after passing the Apple Valley Plaza make a right at the traffic light on Central. Drive about 3 miles on Central, across a railway line and over a steep hill to Ocotillo Way.  Turn left on Ocotillo and continue for 2.2 miles, starting on a paved road but turning into a dirt road, until you hit Bowen Ranch Road.  Turn right and drive 6+ miles to Bowen Ranch.
 

This is a winding road with blind curves, so drive carefully. After about a mile you will pass this ranch with a tire fence, a good indicator that you're on the right road.  At any forks you should stay right and you will need to cross a cattle guard after four miles.  The road becomes narrow shortly before you reach Bowen Ranch.

Bowen Ranch is a private property and the owner expects you to pay $5.00 per person per day and $10.00 for overnight camping.  If the owner does not come to the door there are some envelopes and pencil on the steps for you to deposit your payment in the slot on the wall.  Then continue down the road for another 0.5 miles to the parking lot.  You will see signs of "No vehicles beyond this point". 

The hike is just over 2 miles down to the springs and includes an elevation change of approximately 930 feet.

Look for the signs that mark the trailhead at the south end of the parking lot.

The trail is clearly marked, and starts off wide enough to drive a vehicle on.
Follow this wide trail until the end of the hill and then look for the foot path down the hill.

Path down the hill

This is the marker at the end of the path down the hill.  Go left on the road.  Remember to follow the arrow on the marker on the way back, as this is where visitors most often get lost.

You will cross a dirt road where you may find some parked vehicles, this is the official USFS parking lot but you need a 4WD vehicle to reach it.
You will need to walk down the road for about 50 yards, the trail continues to your right through an opening in the fence, just before you reach the parking lot.

From here you are on National Forest Service land and the trail meanders down the canyon and is easy to follow.
After a 1.5 mile hike, the springs are visible ahead and left.

There will be a fork in the trail.  They both lead to the springs.  The fork to the left leads to a very steep decent and the right fork is a more gradual slope.

Follow this trail down to the bottom of the hill and then take one of the branches to your left to the little beach that exists where the trail meets the creek.


Cross to other side

The hot springs are located on the other side of the creek.


Hot Springs

Some folks choose to leave all their stuff on the beach and cross over to the hot pools.

Others carry their stuff to the other side and choose a spot in the rocks or in the grass.

Wherever you choose to leave your stuff the easiest way to cross the creek is to remove your clothes and wade across.
In winter, the water can be cold, but the hot pools are waiting to reward you on the other side.

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Bradford Ridge Alternate Route:

To reach this trailhead you need to exit the I-15 at highway 138 half-way up to Cajon Pass and follow it southeast until you get to highway 173.  Turn left on highway 173 before Lake Silverwood.  Stay on Highway 173 until you reach the turn-off to Hesperia.  Do not turn here, stay on the 173 till it becomes a dirt road.

Continue on this winding road, and drive carefully for about 5 miles after the road becomes dirt.  Just after four miles you will cross a small white wooden bridge, continue straight until you come to a concrete bridge with silver metal siding.  You can park at the small parking area on the right just before the second little white bridge, at about 5 miles.  Forest Adventure Pass NO LONGER required to park here. Click here for more info and/or High Impact Recreational Area (HIRA) map for the area. click here

The trail starts on the other side of the road and creek from where you parked.  Go around the gate and follow the trail.  This footpath is quite well marked and is about 2.5 miles long.  The first part is a very gradual trail that meanders through the hills until it reaches Deep Creek Canyon.

The descent into the canyon is quite steep which makes it hard, on the way out.  Before the final descent the trail splits in two.  The right fork comes down a small canyon while the left sticks to the ridge.  Both are steep, but most people find the trail on the ridge, hence the Bradford Ridge Trail name, the preferred trail.  This will put you on the Pacific Crest Trail, and if you follow this trail to your right you will come to the hot springs just a short hike away.  The advantage of this trail is that you do not need to cross the creek. 

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