Spring 2017: There is abundant water almost everywhere in the Wilderness. We will try to keep conditions updated as the year goes on.
For current water availability, call or visit the Mill Creek Ranger Station. Another good source is to visit our Forum. If you don’t see a current post about water in the area you’d like to visit, submit a post and ask – there is almost always someone who has been there recently. Veteran hiker “Hikin’ Jim” has compiled an interactive map of the Wilderness, including the location of many water sources, some not in this list. Visit his blog here.
List of Water Sources
Alger Trail Camp: Water from Alger Creek. Almost always reliable.
Big Tree: 2017:
Columbine: Water at Columbine is notoriously unreliable. If no water in the creekbed, follow the ravine up a few hundred yards; but unless you have a current report assume you will not find water.
Dobbs Trail Camp: Water is generally available.
Dollar Lake: Spring is located a little southwest of the lake, down from the campsites. The spring is unreliable in a drought year.
Fish Creek Camp: Stream crosses trail .5 miles up from camp. 2017: Fish Creek Camp is still closed due to the Lake Fire. We will update when conditions change.
Fish Creek Saddle: There is a very small spring WNW of camp; if this is dry, easiest to go down to Lodgepole. 2017: Fish Creek Trail is still closed due to the Lake Fire. We will update when conditions change.
Halfway Trail Camp
High Creek Trail Camp: See Vivian Trail Camp.
High Meadow Spring: Water is a bit downhill from camp.
Jackstraw: Water crosses the spur trail to the camp. Not reliable.
John’s Meadow: Forsee Creek is extremely reliable and to date has always had water.
Limber Pine: Water is .3 miles east up trail
Lodgepole Spring: Lodgepole Spring is generally reliable but the recent drought dried it up. However , as of July 2017: The trace trail to the spring was heavily damaged in the Lake Fire, but a short hike up and you will find there is plenty of water in the spring.
Mineshaft Flat: Water is .3 mile down trail.
Saxton Trail Camp: Water is .2 mil west
South Fork Meadows: Takes its name from the South Fork of the Santa Ana River; water is very reliable and lasts all year.
Trail Fork: Water at Trail Fork Springs is fairly reliable, lasting until mid to late summer and in a good year into fall.
Vivian Trail Camp: Creek is in camp; water is generally available in early season.