Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hot Creek Geologic Site (CA)

After staying put for two weeks, it was exciting to get on the road again on 30 May 2019 and to see new sights. Just a few miles north of where we had camped at Crowley Lake Campground, is this fascinating geothermal area—Hot Creek Geologic Site. Margaret found out about this area from the ebook, California Boondocking: The Desert and Eastern Sierra—A Frugal Shunpiker’s Guide by Marianne Edwards, which has been an invaluable guide for us. Hot Creek begins mostly from snow melt as Mammoth Creek in the eastern Sierra Nevada. It flows east through the Long Valley Caldera, where the water is warmed by geothermal springs at the Hot Creek State Fish Hatchery. The geothermal springs come up through two faults as scalding hot calcium-rich water into several pools along the creek at the bottom of the Hot Creek Gorge. Parts of the creek were actually fenced off due to the “geysering” of the hazardously hot water back in 2006.

Driving east on Hot Creek Hatchery Road. Photo by Virginia.

Hot Creek Geothermal Site is about 3-1/2 miles east of Highway 395. Photo by Virginia.

The Roadtrek with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. Photo by Virginia.

A three minute movie by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]

The view from the top of the gorge in the parking area is impressive, but walking down to the creek on the paved trail is the best way to see the creek and geothermic pools. We walked west beyond the paved part of the trail to the end of the dirt path where the clear and cool creek water rushes over large river rocks. People are allowed to fish in this area. The views in every direction left us awestruck and led Margaret and me to take lots of photographs and videos. We spent an enjoyable hour-and-a-half there. We are very glad we visited this out-of-the-way geological gem on our West Coast States Adventure!

Hot Creek Gorge with the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. Photo by Margaret.

The Hot Creek geothermal pools. Photo by Virginia.

Hot Creek Gorge and Creek. Photo by Margaret.

Hot Creek to the east. Photo by Margaret.

Hot Creek to the west. Photo by Virginia.

Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, and the weather was cool; so Margaret brought Peaches along. [Margaret's text for the rest of this paragraph.] After we walked from the parking lot to the trail, Peaches decided she needed to go poop. Well, I always carry her poop bags on her Flexi Leash, so no problem. All I would have to do is either carry the filled bag on the tour (she has tiny poopettes, no surprise) or walk back to the first trash can I found. As I was bending down, I was startled by a young man from a tour group approaching me suddenly. He graciously offered to take Peaches' used poop bag back to a trash can so I wouldn't have to or have to carry it with me on the trail. Wow! What a knight in shining armor. I never expected such a thing. I was very grateful for his kindness and thanked him profusely when he left and when he returned to his tour group. Doesn't that little act just make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

Peaches in the creek (before it gets hot)! Photo by Virginia.

Virginia on the trail above the creek. Photo by Margaret.

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Cyn said...

Wow, this place is SO beautiful! Can you swim there if you want to? The water is just stunningly blue. I love it. Still laughing re "poopettes" and what a nice guy you met!

Margaret Hill said...

Sorry, Cyn, no swimming allowed at this place, especially in the turquoise blue water! That’s where the volcanic, scalding hot water comes up through faults to join Hot Creek. Farther up the creek toward the fish hatchery where Peaches stepped into the shallow water is cooler and where fishing is allowed. There are fences and warning sign all over the area because people have died after sneaking in. However, the greater area is still so active volcanically that it’s full of numerous regular hot springs that people are able to soak in. In fact, find Buckeye Hot Springs on the Index page; it will take you to the post where it’s mentioned. Click on the link to see how beautiful that hot springs looks. In hindsight, we should have gone the short distance from our campsite to see it and take photos, even though we chose not to enter the water. (It takes me a long time to get myself into hot water due to the discomfort; and by the time I’m finally there, I start getting lightheaded!)

Margaret Hill said...

Glad you got a laugh, Cyn! I didn't have time to add my "poopettes" paragraph when this post was published, so I added it later. Good thing you read this post a little late so you didn't miss it! That guy was a gem!