Hot Springs Creek originates at Burnside Lake, nearly 8,200 feet above sea level on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in Alpine County, east of Hope Valley, southwest of Hawkins Peak. In its first 2.5 miles it tumbles down steep cascades more than 2,000 feet into Hot Springs Valley and through Grover Hot Springs State Park, picking up volume with input from Charity Valley Creek and Sawmill Creek. East of Hot Springs Valley it becomes Markleville Creek at the confluence with Pleasant Valley Creek. A mile and a half beyond Markleeville, these waters join the East Fork Carson River, bound for Carson Valley, Lahontan Reservoir, and eventually the Carson Sink.
Several small “falls” in the lower steep section of the creek are popular destinations for day hikers.
In early June, 2016, the waters were the highest I’ve ever seen on Hot Springs Creek (since I’m usually here later in the summer, well after spring runoff).
In late summer, when the creek slows to a trickle, there’s a swimming hole under this fall.
Looking down from granite outcrops at the west end of the valley.Near the west end of Hot Springs Valley. Near the campground.
Alders grow on stream banks that are submerged during high water.