One of the few lakes in the San Gabriels, Jackson Lake is a small, serene lake set among groves of oak and Jeffrey pine alongside the Big Pines Highway west of Wrightwood, California. Created by a depression above the San Andreas Fault, which runs beneath the lake, Jackson Lake is what is known as a “sag pond,” and is one of many such features found along the notorious fault. Jackson Lake Day Use Area sees heavy use, in particular during the spring and summer months when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake with fish. The lake is so well stocked, many fishers report catching their quota in short order, in particular rainbow trout, though bluegill and largemouth bass have also been reported there.
Jackson Lake has a surface area of 7 acres, though this can fluctuate throughout the season and especially during dry years. No concessions are available, so be sure to stock up beforehand and arrive prepared. While the lake is small, it does provide for a good place to float, and small, hand-launched boats and tubes are allowed at Jackson Lake. No motorized boats are allowed.
The Jackson Lake Day Use Area also accommodates a broad beach and grassy areas to relax in. A picnic area exists on the south side of the lake, where picnic tables and a restroom are available for use. Because of the high elevation, the temperatures stay cool even in the height of summer, which makes it ideal for day-trippers looking to escape the city heat. Jackson Lake is a hotspot for casual fishers and swimmers, especially during the high season, so early risers will find the lake at its most quiet. For those hoping to spend a night or more near Jackson Lake, Mountain Oak Campground and Lake Campground are less than a quarter mile away and offer excellent and economical camping opportunities.