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carletonknight favorited a route, South Fork Loop - 20.4 mi 
Favorited on April 03, 2018

South Fork Loop

20.4 mi 

From Hikin' Jim:

Two night plan: Start at the S. Fork Trailhead. Hike to Lodgepole Spring (reliable water year round except in multi-year droughts). Camp at nearby Lodgepole Camp. The next day, head to the summit and savor the view. After summiting, head to Dollar Lake Camp. There should be water in early season or in wet years coming from a spring at the south end of Dollar Lake. Both Dollar Lake and the spring frequently go dry. Check the conditions before embarking on your hike.

Water sources:
I'll start at the trailhead and go clockwise. In some times and seasons, there may be other water sources; I'm just trying to hit some of the more important ones here and just those on the route. See other sections for sources off the route.
1. Flume. **** This is the flume that diverts water from the S Fork of the Santa Ana River to Jenks Lake. Just after you pass the wilderness sign near Poopout Saddle, start looking to your left (east). You should see water flowing in the flume below you. The flume for whatever reason isn't shown on most maps but is a nice source of water after you've climbed up from the S Fork Trailhead.
2. Grinnell Crossing. ***** Extremely reliable water, perhaps the most reliable in the entire SGW.
3. Creek crossings in the S Fork meadows area. *****
4. Lodgepole Spring. **** There may also be water in Dry Lake. The water quality at the spring is typically better. There are also some small springs along the trail and at least one big spring below the trail as you come up from S Fork Meadows. The small springs aren't typically worthwhile (too shallow, too low flow). The one large spring is pretty worthwhile, but it's off trail and you've just passed a wonderful source down in S Fork Meadows and you'll soon get to another good source at Lodgepole, so I don't consider it vital.
5. Dollar Lake Spring. ** The spring is at the extreme south end of the lake, just above the lake. Both the lake and the spring frequently run dry in late season.