Daily mileage: 21
(mile 291 to 312)
So we have been hearing about the deep creek hot springs for days now. These are hot springs directly on the trail, apparently quite popular with the local naked folks as well. The tricky part is that last year this section of the trail had a detour in place due to damaged trail (word was broken bridge and cliff edges). Last year quite a few hikers ignored the detour and said the trail was safe enough. So what to do, ignore the detour and go to the hot springs or be good hikers and road walk skipping the detour.
We got to mile 297.4 with the first bridge over the creek was and where the detour was supposed to start. Only there were no detour signs and the trail looked open, decision made. Off into the canyon we went, and wow what an amazing canyon. Deep creek is gorgeous and we stared at it for quite a few miles before caving and taking a side trail down for quick water and feet soaking break. Glad we took it because it was heating up. That creek looked great but the trail stuck it out contouring us a few hundred feet above for what felt like forever.
Finally made it to the hot springs and man was it cooking outside. Said hi to a few other hikers we had been seeing all day and headed into the cold river. Once we had cooled down the hot springs were just pools in the river and built up on the side, amazing. Plus we got to talk to some locals from big bear which is always fun. What a great siesta spot, great shade, new people to talk to and lots of snacks. (Sorry no photos too many naked strangers...)
5:30 rolled around and we headed out. Contouring and switchbacks with a beautiful sunset, another great evening of hiking. GrayJay has been having some knee troubles and I am always slow so when we got to the Mojave Dam Spillway we decided to call it a night right as it got dark. Nice stealth camping spot, great temperature and out day was done.
We camped on the edge of that big flat spillway, pretty great.
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