Forest Service Officials report that the popular Hot Creek swimming hole will remain closed to swimming this summer.
Geyser activity, where the hot springs bubble up in the middle of Hot Creek, picked up two years ago. While the periodic geyser eruptions appear to have quieted down, the fence around the water will remain and bathers could still receive tickets for taking a soak.
When we spoke to Dave Hill with the US Geologic Survey, he reported that the geyser activity has declined but it is unknown if it has stopped. Hill explained that as the spring run-off picks up, its hard to know for sure.
Hot Creek Geologic site is constantly changing, Hill reports. The underground hot water system that supplies the hot springs is a couple of hundred meters deep in that area. The water seeps to the surface through faults that cross the creek. As one crack seals up with sediment, the water pushes through to a new area. Hill says that this year there is new hot spring activity down stream of the normal pools.
While the Hot Creek Geologic site has never been totally safe for swimming, the Forest Service put up a fence around the main pools two years ago and started writing tickets to bathers. Nancy Upham with the Forest Service reports that there are no plans to re-open the site this year.