South Fork Campground

General Information
Other Web Information

General Information

South Fork Campground (4,560') is a major trailhead for exploring the north-facing desert slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains and an overnight campground with 21 tent and RV (up to 16') spaces. There are vault toilets, but no water. The campground is open from May to November.

The name comes from the adjacent South Fork of Big Rock Creek, which disappears into the Mojave Desert.


Map: Mt. Islip Region Hikes (SF is in the upper center of the map.)
See also: USGS 7.5' x 7.5' Map: Valyermo (34° 23' 40" N, 117° 49' 10" W )

By Car: All routes below end up at the beginning of Big Rock Creek Road (4N11) at its junction of Valyermo Road. At that intersection, a sign on Big Road Creek Road points to Sycamore Flat Campground. From that junction, take Big Rock Creek Road past the campground to the road (4N11A) to South Fork Campground on the right, about 2.4 miles.

From I-210 in La Cañada, you have two choices. The scenic route is to take the Angeles Crest Highway, SR2, to the Angeles Forest Highway, N-3. Take the Angeles Forest Highway to the Mt. Emma - Little Rock Cutoff to the Fort Tejon Road to Valyermo Road (turn right). Continue on past the ANF Valyermo Station to Big Rock Creek Road.

Alternatively, you can take the I-210 to I-5 to the Antelope Valley Freeway, SR-14, to the Pearblossom Highway, SR-138, to Longview Road, N-6. Turn right here and then left at Fort Tejon Road, and continue as above.

From I-15, take SR-138 to Mountain Top Junction. Here the scenic route is left on SR2 to the Big Pines Highway (N-4) to the Big Rock Creek Road. Otherwise, continue on SR-138 to 165th Street East / Bob's Gap Road. Turn left and left again at Valyermo Road. The turnoff to the Big Rock Creek Road on the right comes almost immediately, 0.5 miles.

If you don't mind driving dirt roads, you can drive the Big Rock Creek Road (4N11) down from Vincent Gap on the Angeles Crest Highway when it is open.

By Trail: The South Fork Trail comes in from Islip Saddle to the south. The Manzanita Trail comes in from Vincent Gap to the east. The Punchbowl Trail comes in from Devil's Punchbowl to the west. These trails are all parts of the High Desert National Recreation Trail system.

Season: Depends on your choice of trail. Desert ones are too hot in summer; mountain ones too icy in winter!


Warning: this list does not get updated as often as the hikes listed in the region tables. Consult Mt. Islip Region Hikes for the latest listing.

6961000oct-junSouth Fork Campground to Devil's Punchbowl
70102100allSouth Fork Trail - South Fork Campground to Islip Saddle
(1 way)
may-novSouth Fork Campground to Vincent Gap via Manzanita Trail
70.210.42400may-novSouth Fork Campground to Vincent Gap via Manzanita Trail

Other Web Information

Go to Field Guide to the San Gabriel Mountains: Places

Copyright © 1999-2000 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester
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Updated 14 January 2000.