The Chosen Undead sitting at the bonfire in Ash Lake.

Dark Souls: How to Get to Ash Lake

Are those...Erdtrees?

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

Start from the bonfire at the bottom of Blighttown. After exiting the bonfire room, head to the left until you reach the giant tree surrounded by slugs. Go up the ramp-like branch and keep heading forward until you make it into the Great Hollow. From this spot, simply keep descending until you reach Ash Lake.

The Ash Lake is an optional level you can explore in Dark Souls. This place is full of intrigue and mystery and holds a ton of significance regarding the lore of the game’s universe. It’s home to a handful of tough enemies as well.

Table Of Contents

    Avoid making your way down to Ash Lake before obtaining the Lordvessel. Once you get to Ash Lake, it is highly inconvenient to make your way back up to the upper levels of the game without the ability to fast travel. That said, take care of business at Anor Londo first and obtain the Lordvessel before going on this trip.

    Getting From Blighttown to Ash Lake in Dark Souls

    To get to Ash Lake, you must begin your journey in Blighttown. Start from this area’s first bonfire—the one in the room near the bottom of the elevator. Exit the bonfire room and make a left. Keep heading forward while sticking to the left side of the area. You’ll eventually get to the lowest branch of the great tree ahead. This branch acts as a ramp.

    Beware the gang of slugs crowding around the base of the great tree. Individually, they’re weak, but together they can overwhelm you easily.
    The Chosen Undead running towards the giant tree in Blighttown.

    Get on the branch and start climbing. You’ll begin to enter the tree’s trunk at the end of this path. You’ll find a corpse on the ground here with loot you can pick up. To the left of the corpse is an illusory wall. Strike it to dispel the illusion.

    Proceed forward and you’ll find a chest and another dead end. Loot the chest and strike the wall behind the chest to reveal another hidden path. Simply keep heading forward from here and you’ll arrive at the Great Hollow.

    The Chosen Undead arriving at the Great Hollow.

    Keep going forward, jump down, and you’ll find a bonfire. Rest up before descending.

    It’s time to begin your descent. Use the series of branches, ladders, and platforms here to slowly and carefully make your way down. Kill the Crystal Lizards and enemies you come across to obtain loot and Souls. At the very bottom, you’ll eventually find yourself in Ash Lake.

    When you finally make it to Ash Lake, make a right once you get off the branch to find the area’s first bonfire.

    What to Do in Ash Lake

    One of the first things you’ll notice as soon as you arrive in Ash Lake is the Black Hydra in the water to your left.

    The Chosen Undead running towards the Black Hydra in Ash Lake in Dark Souls.

    It will keep shooting you with water blasts as you walk around Ash Lake, making it tough to navigate the area without eliminating it. That said, defeating the Black Hydra is the first order of business when you finally arrive here. Once defeated, it will drop 10,000 Souls and 2 Dragon Scales.

    You’ll also find Siegmeyer and Sieglinde of Catarina here if you’ve been following their quest lines. If you have, you’ll receive a Titanite Slab from Sieglinde.

    Other than the Black Hydra, the only hostiles in the Ash Lake are Man-Eater Shells. The Ash Lake variant of these enemies has a 30% chance of dropping Twinkling Titanite and a 10% chance of dropping Purging Stones upon defeat.

    At the far end of the Ash Lake is a giant tree. Enter it and you’ll meet the Everlasting Dragon. Interacting with it will let you join the Path of the Dragon covenant.

    The Chosen Undead facing the Everlasting Dragon in Ash Lake in Dark Souls.

    How to Leave Ash Lake

    As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is highly recommended to only come to Ash Lake after you’ve obtained the Lordvessel. That way, you can leave the area by warping from the bonfire. However, if you somehow found yourself here prior to obtaining the Lordvessel, you can leave Ash Lake the exact same way you came in.

    That said, you’re in for a long ascent. Return to the Great Hollow and start heading up. From the mushroom area, climb until you’re on a branch once more. Keep rising through the branches until you’re in the section with the basilisks. There’s a ladder on this level you can use to keep ascending.

    Once you’re on the next level, find another ladder to continue climbing. Then, take the next ladder to go higher. From here, you must traverse upwards using the branches as ramps. Keep finding branches that slope upwards until you finally reach the first bonfire in the Great Hollow.

    From the bonfire, proceed forward, climb up the ladder, and continue pressing on until you finally make it back to Blighttown.

    How Long It Takes to Get Out of Ash Lake Without the Lordvessel

    This process is lengthy; it should take you about 5 to 10 minutes to make your way back to Blighttown from Ash Lake…if you don’t get cursed along the way.

    The Purging Stones (which removes curse buildup and removes the cursed status) dropped by the Man-Eater Shells in Ash Lake can help you deal with those pesky basilisks in the Great Hollow.

    Although Ash Lake is a completely optional area in Dark Souls that holds no bearings to the game’s main quest progression, exploring it is worthwhile simply for the sake of lore discovery and spectacle. Fans of FromSoftware games will definitely get a kick out of the similarities of the giant trees in Ash Lake to Elden Ring’s Erdtree.

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