Deep Creek Wild & Scenic River

Fact Sheet: Deep Creek Wild & Scenic River


Deep Creek is a stunning tributary of the Mojave River with miles of deep pools and cascading waterfalls. The creek is flanked by a chaparral ecosystem and beautiful rocky hills. The well known hot pools are situated in fascinating rock outcroppings with incredible opportunities for viewing the surrounding geology. The stream was a major entry point to the San Bernardino Mountains for the Vanyume Serrano Indians who once traversed from the Mojave Desert to the Mountains each summer to collect acorns.

Deep Creek is home to the endangered Southwestern Arroyo Toad and supports the greatest diversity of wildlife habitats of any drainage on the San Bernardino National Forest. Black bear, mountain lion, raccoon, ground squirrel, coyote, beaver, and bobcat visit the creek and numerous fish species are found in the water. The creek has earned the State designation of a Wild Trout Stream for its popularity amongst anglers. Rainbow and brown trout are primary game fish.

This healthy riparian habitat supports sparse creosote, chamise, and California buckwheat at lower elevations along with oak and pinyon woodland and scattered mixed conifer.

Threats include vandalism and opportunities for development.

This area provides opportunities for hiking and swimming. The Pacific Crest Trail follows the river for 16 miles from the Mojave River Forks Dam. The hot springs are 6 miles in on a rough trail. Wear suitable footwear and enjoy a relaxing and wild setting.

Quick Facts

  • Management Agency: US Forest Service, San Bernardino
  • Location: From I-15 in Hesperia, CA take the Main Street/Phelan Road exit and travel east through downtown Hesperia. Veer right on Arrowhead Lake Road. You will pass the Mojave dam on your left. Turn left on CA-173. Go about 0.8 miles and look for the trail head on your left. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail toward the dam. The Wild and Scenic section of the river begins after approximately 1 mile.
  • Size: 34.5 miles
  • Recreational Uses: Hiking, fishing
  • Ecological Values: Wild Trout Stream, waterfalls, and wildlife habitat