Ash Lake is an optional area in Dark Souls and Dark Souls Remastered. Somewhat hidden from regular progress, this area is only accessible through the Great Hollow (entered through Blighttown) It is home to the Path of the Dragon covenant.


Full Ash Lake Walkthrough

Entering Ash Lake

Enter Ash Lake from The Great Hollow, you will come down a half-pipe, hollow-log ramp. At the end of this ramp, you should turn immediately right and head for the Bonfire, while avoiding the massive Black Hydra on the left.

ashlake hydrabonfire

NPC Storyline (optional)

If you have been following Siegmeyer of Catarina, you will find the end of the questline here and receive a Titanite Slab.

Engaging the Black Hydra

This Hydra is fairly easy and since you are right next to a bonfire, you may just as well kill it and obtain two Dragon Scales and 10000 souls. After killing the Hydra, head towards the left where you will see a dead body with a Dragon Scale. A few things to consider:

  • The Black Hydra will not always be on your left. It will leap across to the lake on the right or the left depending on where it can best get at you.
  • If you wish to avoid the Hydra, lighten your equipment load, cast a spell or equip an item that hides you or makes you less easy to detect, and run along the crest of the sandy ridge towards the giant tree in the distance. Use the driftwood found along the way to block the Hydra's water-attack. Inside one piece of driftwood, is a corpse with a Dragon Scale.
  • Killing the Hydra, is not too difficult. A good strategy to employ is to lure it towards the sand. Once it's close and in range to strike with its heads, be ready. Once the heads attack, they will remain on the surface they landed on for a couple of seconds, giving you enough time for some well-executed strikes to the head; enough damage will cut the head off. If you can manage this, you can create yourself a safe spot - the headless tentacles cannot harm you - for you to cast spells, or use your bow from a short distance.
  • A safer method of killing the Hydra, is to equip a strong bow (a 100% physical shield is also a good idea). Start at the bonfire running along the beach, towards the first tree. The hydra will be on your left, but if you keep running along the right side of the dune it shouldn't be able to bother you too much. Listen for the sound of the Hydra crossing over to the other side of the lake (your right). When you get to the first tree, drop down behind the sand dune and quickly run into the hollow with the two basilisks and the mushroom parent. Kill all three, then go back to the entrance of the cave and look to your left. You will be able to see the heads of the Hydra, and can attack them using your bow, however its water attack will be unable to hit you due to the ridge of the dune. You may need to move around a bit to get a good angle on the various heads as you kill off others. Be careful when walking towards the main body of the Hydra, as you can get close enough to trigger the physical attack. Just switch to your shield when walking and you'll be able to block the attack if it comes. With a +5 enchanted bow, using heavy arrows, each head took about 15 arrows to kill.
  • Reset the Black Hydra to its original point in the lake, by quick saving and quitting the game; this is helpful once you make it past the first Giant Tree as it wont realize you are past it and just stay there, leaving you to run the way to the Everlasting Dragon unhindered.

Exploring Ash Lake

ashlake blackhydradirections 

From the Hydra, head left towards the Great Hollow Tree, sticking to the coastline. Continue onwards until you come across a corpse with a Dragon Scale.

Now turn back and head in that direction, where you will find a hollowed tree laying across the sand. Enter it and collect another Dragon Scale from a dead body. Heading towards the large tree along the beach you will encounter two Man-Eater Shells; each worth 200 souls with a chance to drop Twinkling Titanite or possibly even a Purging Stone. Just before you reach the large tree, if you carefully walk along the shoreline on the left - remember, regardless of all the obstacles you have braved, you cannot swim - you can find a Dragon Scale at the end.

ashlake maneaters

The first giant tree you come to has a hidden entrance at its base, and a root entrance on the right side of the tree. If you enter via the hidden passage you will walk straight into the hollowed tree and encounter into two Basilisks, and a Mushroom Parent. Alternatively, entering via the ramp will bring you to a Basilisk in the middle of the root leading into the tree. Follow this root to the end, and you will end up in the room you would have entered, had you done so through the hidden entrance.

About half way around the root, look down over the edge of the branch pat h towards the water and you will see the tip of a hollow log protruding below you. It is a part of the tree. Drop down carefully and land inside the tip of this tunnel/log and head back inside tree to find the Miracle: Great Magic Barrier.

ashlake miracle

Join the Dragon Covenant

Beyond the first giant tree there is a winding sandy path heading towards another large tree in the distance. Deviating a little way from this path will land you in deep water, which is deadly, so be careful! On your way (being wary of the Hydra if you didn't kill it) you will see a depression in the sand with a Man-Eater Shell inside, which is much easier to kill if you can keep it in the hole.

ashlake everlastingpath

Further along the winding path you will reach the last of the large trees. This tree contains a bonfire and the Everlasting Dragon. Praying to this Dragon will allow you to join the Path of the Dragon covenant. You can also go around behind it and cut off its tail to get the Dragon Greatsword. Don't worry about being attacked; the Everlasting Great Dragon is passive - even after you chop off his tail - and seemingly impossible to kill.

ashlake everlastingdragon

Speed Run Walkthrough

A fast walkthrough of how to get to the end of the level the fastest, picking up only essential items goes here.

Notes & Trivia:

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Anor Londo  ♦  Blighttown  ♦  Chasm of the Abyss  ♦  Crystal Cave  ♦  Darkroot Basin  ♦  Darkroot Garden  ♦  Demon Ruins  ♦  Depths  ♦  Firelink Shrine  ♦  Kiln of the First Flame  ♦  Lost Izalith  ♦  New Londo Ruins  ♦  New Londo Ruins Lower  ♦  New Londo Ruins Upper  ♦  Northern Undead Asylum  ♦  Oolacile Sanctuary  ♦  Oolacile Township  ♦  Painted World of Ariamis  ♦  Quelaag's Domain  ♦  Royal Wood  ♦  Sanctuary Garden  ♦  Sen's Fortress  ♦  The Abyss  ♦  The Catacombs  ♦  The Duke's Archives  ♦  The Great Hollow  ♦  Tomb of Giants  ♦  Undead Burg  ♦  Valley of Drakes



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    • Anonymous

      Why is there a lake (more like an ocean)? In the opening cinematic the archtrees were planted in a land of gray crags. Now you could argue that it's because when the lord traveled to the surface, the water was drain from what now is the swamp, but is that enough to fill the entire underworld where animals like hydras live in?

      • Anonymous


        • Anonymous

          If you can, I recommend letting the Hydra alive for sceneric purpose. It is a pretty cool view with that big bundle of sneks in it. Without the Hydra, the lake just feels too empty.

          • Anonymous

            I'm sure it's mentioned elsewhere on this page, but do yourself a favor and wait until obtaining the Lordvessel before climbing down the tree to save yourself the climb back up. As pretty as Ash Lake is, there's nothing down there worth an early trip.

            • Anonymous

              I'm surprised this page doesn't mention the big shot from above you get of this place from the Tomb of the Giants.

              • Anonymous

                Just a tip, there's no shortcut, so in a way to avoid a 3km walk in the beach to return the tree where you came. DON'T rest at the bonfire in front of the everlasting dragon, so you can use a homeward bone once you finished your exploration.

                • Anonymous

                  Say I entered Ash Lake before getting the Lord Vessel. Is there a way back up and out the great Hollow or would I need to rest at Blighton, and activate but not rest at the other bonfires along the way, and use a homeward bone at stone Dragon to return to blighton?

                  • Anonymous

                    I've often wondered if this was intended to be something more important, like maybe the original end game area or something. It's depicted in the opening cut scene, and it's one of the few areas to have its own music. Seems like a lot of effort to go to for an optional area with so little in it.

                    • Anonymous

                      I thought Anor Londo was the only beautiful place in DS1, until I took a trip here in my NG+ playthrough. I love the feel of it. The blue
                      foggy scenery that looks like it's underwater, the little beach, anr the seemingly infinite giant trees in the background. My only complaint is that the Hydra was annoying to get rid off with a short ranged weapon and that the Great Hollow was a pain in the ass with all the frogs cursing me 3 times all of them while I was alt-tabbing.

                      • Anonymous

                        The dragons lair had to be the inspiration for Shrine of Amana in DS2. When you enter it and look up it has that same aesthetic about it.

                        • Anonymous

                          this is my favorite area, all fromsoft games included. the theme, the archtrees, the beach, the last dragon... everything feels so mystical

                          • Anonymous


                            • Anonymous

                              It is indeed very strange that such a lonely, endless place with a deep, sad mood, wide sandy beaches and huge trees, the tops of which are lost in the fog, can have such an enchanting beauty

                              • Anonymous

                                "The flow of time itself is convoluted..." Hmm. I wonder if the Ask Lake, with it's present archtrees and the Everlasting Dragon, could actually be a link to the the Age of Archdragons. It wouldn't be the first that areas that are nearby physically turn out to be twisted in their reality of time and space within the lore ie. like how the "lands converge" in Dark Souls 3. Of course, there isn't much evidence to this theory, but the beginning cinematic suggests that all true dragons other than Seeth were killed and that the archtrees were destroyed. So, why are they here and how is such a large location with a wide open sky hidden away from view to the rest of Lordran (correct me if I'm wrong on that one)? Perhaps, like when we travel to Oolacile, time in the Dark Souls universe works as a traditional line, but all points upon that line are actually accessible if you know where to look/know how to access them.

                                • Anonymous

                                  I love this area. It’s aesthetic and music make it very atmospheric. I don’t know if it was intentional but it’s an example of achieving more with less and I think that’s fair to throw in occasionally as a surprise in a game like Dark Souls that’s packed with detail and high effort content!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    If you look at the landscape surrounding Firelink Shrine, you can make out the top of the Great Hollow poking out of Blighttown in the distance, and judging by their alignment, the Stone Dragon seems to be nesting in the roots of the very tree that shades Firelink Shrine...

                                    • Anonymous

                                      i think that stone dragon is a firekeeper. it would be cool if it is the first firekeeper. you realise that bonfires near a firekeeper is already lit and kindled once. same goes for this bonfire. daughter of chaos, anor londo, firelink shrine and stone dragon are bonfires that kindled and guarded by firekeeper.

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