South Fork Trail to Dry Lake

HARD 38 reviews

South Fork Trail to Dry Lake is a 11.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Angelus Oaks, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.1 miles
2217 feet

dogs on leash





trail running


cross country skiing

horseback riding





wild flowers




Distance: 12.5 miles RT Elevation gain: 2400 ft Hike time: 6-7 hours Difficulty: Strenuous Trail condition: well maintained Hike type: out and back If you're not used to high altitude hiking, get in shape first before doing this six mile hike. The Ranger station has the most updated map, but even then don't believe the switchbacks it displays; there are about nine or ten at the four mile mark just past the junction of three streams.

1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Hiked up to Dry Lake two days ago. Beautiful as always. 113 degrees in the valley and 75 on the mountain. Had a run in with a very large mountain lion two miles up from Jenks Lake road just before Horse Meadow so be careful out there. Awesome trail.

3 months ago

8/6/2017 new to hiking 2 weeks ago hubby took me about half way. great workout. this Sunday went half way again. it was a nice hike. if you dont workout on a regular basis try something more mild.we started at 540am while it was cool outside with slight breeze.we were back to the car by 840am all in all wonderful hike lots of pretty wild flowers.super cool to see bear paw prints half way up the trail. funny to see them going up the trail like us humans. well it is their home after all.

3 months ago

Took off at 8AM from the trail head this morning 07/28/2017. Ran into two volunteers about a 1/4 mile up the trail and that was the last time I saw anyone for the rest of the day. The trail has recently reopened and due to the burn the wild flowers are insane. There's plenty of water throughout the hike. I got to Dry Lake at 10:30AM and had some lunch and then bailed back down the mountain. Awesome hike.

4 months ago

Picked up the permit just after 7am and was on the South Fork Trail just before 8am. Sun was out early but it was a mild morning. First couple of miles were through fire damaged trees, but there were areas that flourished around springs here and there. The forest grew lusher approaching the main river and there was a cool breeze through the canyon. Pretty steady climb to the river crossing then steepened up going to Dry Lake, which was wet, about 2/3 of the riverbed. Overall a worthwhile hike which I enjoyed.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trail closed

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It still gets chilly in the first week of April up there, and you are even likely to find snow and ice once your get above 8,000 feet or so. It depends on the year. This is a very strenuous hike to do in one day, but absolutely worth it. I highly recommend it. Dry Lake is a great spot to eat lunch before you head back to the trailhead.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wow! Can't believe its been a year since I did this trail. It was a special treat today! The weather was perfect and a bit on the warm side. When I got to Dry Lake I decided to "take the plunge" and try the loop that lies above the Lake. I started out heading toward "Lodgepole" It was a difficult trail that was not easy to follow. I was "sweating" and not because of the heat…At times I wasn't sure if I was on the trail. I was soooo glad to get to Fish Creek Camp or saddle. From there the trail was very distinct. It was an awesome loop to do if you are brave enough to forge through the unknown forest…Haha! I was sure glad I did. This loop was amazing and the formidable views of Gray Back looming over you was just breathtaking! I highly recommend this adventure….but take some company for encouragement!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Great hike!!! Beautiful & well graded. There are some traverses with exposure, but not too bad, just slow down a bit. We will definitely do this one again some time!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The trail has plenty of water sources, however, when we reached Dry Lake...the lake was really DRY. Dogs are allowed on the trail. Awesome views of the San Bernardino Mountain range.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Did this hike on 10/16/13 with just me and my dog. Left the south fork trailhead around noon and got up to dry lake in around 3.5 hours including breaks and filling my water. Filled up at south fork meadows (plenty of water here) then again at lodgepole springs (water is flowing). Snow was scattered and mostly only in the shaded areas on the north facing slopes. Camped at lodgepole springs. Got pretty cold at night and didn't get above 32 till after 9AM. It was a nice hike and the weather was perfect the whole way. Only saw about 5 people on the way up and only 1 person on the way down. I would definitely recommend this hike

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Great trail and wonderful time spent at Lodgepole camp. The water source was good but very minimal. Lake was dry when I went. The trail heading out from there to the summit is sketchy at best. Very rocky. But it opens up after about a half a mile or so.

Monday, July 08, 2013

I love this trail and I enjoy that you can have a few destination choices upon departure. Up to dry lake has its challenges. There is quite a rocky dry stream bed that you hike alone. So the footing is uneven and difficult at times. Once at the top the little lake is quite picturesque. I went with friends from a meet up group.