2400 feet gain
Take the 10 east to Redlands, exit University Ave. Turn right and then make a quick left at the light onto Citrus. Turn left again on Judson/Ford St. Follow it to Lugonia Ave(38). make a right. Lugonia becomes Mentone Blvd and Mill Creek Road. Permits are required for all trips into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Get them early, this is a popular trail. The ranger station is a few miles from Redlands on the right hand side of the road. Continue on the 38 past Mountain Home Village. Follow the 38 as it makes the hairpin turn left and continue up the mountain. Follow it past Angelus Oaks and turn right onto Jenks Lake Road. Continue to the trailhead parking for South Fork Trail.
Park in the enormous Disneyland size parking lot and head south across the road for the trailhead. The trail is well marked all the way to Dry Lake, and there are some side routes and trail junctions. Pay attention to the signs.
If you time this one right, you are in for a real treat. Dry Lake got its name for an obvious reason. As the summer progresses, the lake dries up and becomes a meadow. However, during runoff, the lake is a beautiful alpine reflection of the wilderness, and worth every uphill step it takes to get there.
The trail passes by several streams, this year (2005) after all the rain, they were virtual rivers. In late June there were wildflowers everywhere, and water was abundant. Earlier, there was so much snow as to make the trip improbable without snow gear, and there is a real danger of avalanche here too, so only go in winter if you are experienced in snow outings. This hike takes place entirely on North facing slopes.
There are some nice stops like Horse Meadows along the trail, and while it is steep, it is pleasantly graded, enough so that horses routinely travel this route.
South Fork is one of the most popular routes in the wilderness.