Long Valley Caldera

Hot Creek Geologic Site, Long Valley, California

Hot Creek is the lower reach of Mammoth Creek where several vigorous hot springs discharge hot water to the surface; the largest springs discharge subaqueously into the stream.

Hot Creek Gorge viewed upstream toward the southwest; the steep wal...

Hot Creek Gorge viewed upstream toward the southwest; the steep walls of the gorge consist of a single rhyolite lava flow erupted from a vent 4 km (2.5 mi) to the south.

(Credit: Farrar, Chris. Public domain.)

Hot Creek's bubbling subaqueous springs can be detected by upwellin...

Hot Creek's bubbling subaqueous springs can be detected by upwelling at the water surface.

(Credit: Farrar, Chris. Public domain.)

Hot Creek, managed by U.S. Forest Service, is a popular recreational area. Hot Creek is the lower reach of Mammoth Creek where several vigorous hot springs discharge hot water to the surface; the largest springs discharge subaqueously into the stream. The boiling pools along the creek (93°C at this elevation), commonly change in vigor and location in response to local earthquakes and the seasonal rise and fall of the water level in the creek. Some of these hot springs are hot enough to cause severe burns or even death. Hot-spring formations and ecosystems are very fragile. These areas should always be approached with respect and extreme caution.

Hot Creek is included as a stop in our online field guide to the Long Valley area.