At an elevation of 2400 feet, this area offers dispersed camping along the northern edge of the lake. The lake is stocked periodically with rainbow trout. There is access for launching non-motorized boats. A vault toilet is provided but no potable water. It is also the eastern trailhead of the Pioneer – Indian Trail.
This is simple, primitive campground mostly centered around a small picturesque lake.
There are a few other sites dispersed in the area. One of the best ones is just around the bend from the lake sites and its of the road and gets more sun, if thats your thing.
When i visited mid week in July it was empty.
Its quite a distance on sometimes very rough gravel roads, with no tirn outs and sometimes large drops on one side, so be very careful with log trucks .
But i made it OK with my beat up old Grand Caravan.
It's basically a few tent spots right off the road you can pull up to with your car. No amenities besides a vault toilet and no fee. Nothing fancy, but really beautiful, clean, nice rangers, and not busy at all. Get ready to dodge loads of potholes and deer as you travel up the gravel roads to get here, though
ALSO we had full data and cell service!
This was a last minute find for us on the 4th of July. There were a few sites left for us to choose from. The sites are not numbered but are designated by a rock ringed fire pit. We hammock camp and there are plenty of sites with trees positioned perfectly for hanging the hammocks. The lake is small but very beautiful. We did bring our kayaks but didn't launch them. There is a launching area but it's pretty mucky and there are a lot of downed trees in the water. I only saw one really great beach area to pull up to but it was already claimed by another small boat. There are trails all over leading from the campsites to the lake and around it. We also met other campers that had hiked a trail from Hebo lake to South Lake which was about a 7 mile hike for them.
We will go back and try out South Lake again in the other seasons.
This free campground is just far enough out from the coast and the city that you'll likely be alone, even on a Saturday night. Most folks coming to this area of the forest camp in the more popular (and more expensive) Hebo Lake campground. If you don't need amenities and are just looking for a beautiful place to camp, South Lake is a better option. The road leading to the campground is easy gravel and receives a moderate amount of traffic. During my stay on a Saturday, there was a truck passing by every couple of hours. Most of these folks are hunters. If you want complete isolation, this is not a good place to camp. This is also not the best place to camp if you are afraid of Cougars (I am). There have been several recent Cougar sightings at this Lake. Thankfully I did not see any during my visit. :)