Miracle Hot Springs, California
Miracle Hot Springs
Hobo Hot Springs
Compressor Hot Springs
Clear Creek Hot Springs
Hobo Hot Springs on the Kern River, Miracle Hot Springs, California
|Elevation||2,382 ft (726 m)|
Miracle Hot Springs (formerly, Hobo Hot Springs; also known as Compressor Hot Springs and Clear Creek Hot Springs) is an unincorporated community in the Kern River Valley, in Kern County, California. It is located along the Kern River in the Sequoia National Forest 10 miles (16 km)West of Lake Isabella, California, at an elevation of 2,382 feet (726 m).
The earliest known name for this hot spring was Compressor, named after a turbine built by an indigenous miner. The turbine was supplied with water from Clear Creek that drove a compressor that provided air to miners working underground.
The name Hobo was based on the rancher's name for the workmen who lived there, who were accused of stealing sheep and cattle. Another account of the name Hobo Hot Springs claims that a hobo camp that included several bathhouses was built in 1901 when the Borel power plant was under construction.
In 1927, a hotel was constructed on land leased from the U.S. Forest Service.
In 1933 a two-lane highway was built, the nearby Delongha Hot Springs resort went defunct, whereas Miracle Hot Springs flourished.
The hotel burned down in 1975, leaving only the rock soaking pools. In 1976, a 4-lane highway was built, cutting off access to the springs. What was left of the hot springs resort fell into disrepair, and was closed.
The hot springs were closed by the Kern County Health Department because the water is high in uranium and radon.
The Miracle Hot Springs uranium mine, also known as the Miracle Mine, is located one mile west of Miracle Hot Springs. In 1954 uranium deposits were found by the prospector Henry Brooks Mann and his associates. The highest radiation counts detected were 6,000 counts per second (background rate: 160 counts per second.) Robert Martin of Miracle Hot Springs owned the Last Chance prospect, one mile east of Miracle Hot Springs. It primarily contained tungsten, and also held low-grade radioactive minerals ten times above background counts. Geologists believe the uranium in the area to be "related to the thermal springs of the area", however D.E. White in 1956 stated that "hot-spring water generally contains less uranium than many other types of water." A 1960 publication of the Atomic Energy Commission states that most of the springs in the area are not radioactive.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Miracle Hot Springs, California
- Powers, Bob. "Hot Springs in the Sequoia National Forest". Kern River Ranger District, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
- Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1073. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
- Wilkerson, Gregg (2017). Geology and Mining History of the Kern Canyon, Lake Isabella, and Walker Basin, Kern County California. Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
- MacKevett, Jr., E.M. (1960). Geology and Ore Deposits of the Kern River Uranium Area, California (PDF). Washington DC.: Department of the Interior, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. pp. 170, 205, 213, 215. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
- Berry, George W.; Grim, Paul J.; Ikelman, Joy A. (1980). Thermal Spring List for the United States. Boulder, Colorado: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. p. 12.