Top 10 Lake Arrowhead Hikes
Leave the concrete jungle of Los Angeles behind by driving on one of the multi-lane freeways north of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County.
Enjoy hiking, bicycling, or walking the trails that snake through the San Bernardino Mountains, experiencing amazing panoramic views and native wildlife, and relaxing in the calm of nature.
Lake Arrowhead Village offers visitors world-class dining, shopping, lakeside steamboat rides, mini-golf, and the opportunity to play family-friendly games with your loved ones.
Please check out the following list of top Lake Arrowhead hikes before skipping through the wildflower fields that have dotted this spectacular great outdoor resort area frequented since the 1920s.
Children’s Forest Exploration Trail
Adventure through the San Bernardino Mountains. This moderate hiking/cycling trail begins on California Highway 18 for the first time, just past the Deer Lick Fire Station on Keller Peak Road in Running Springs.
Open year-round, this Lake Arrowhead hiking trail is both paved and dirt at various points, which makes for an exciting hike.
As you hike or bike along the 9-mile return (14.5 kilometers), the terrain can be challenging with many descents, large rocks, tree roots, and wooded areas.
In addition to cabins nearby, there are places along the trail to take a break or picnic to experience the spectacular natural views of the mountains and valley below.
Drive along California Highway 18 until you reach Lake Gregory Drive continuing onto San Moritz Drive. After turning right on San Moritz, you will reach the start point behind the South Beach parking lot.
The Nature Loop is one of the best hikes at Lake Arrowhead. Enjoy hiking this easy 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) dirt trail through the evergreen forest while taking in breathtaking views of pristine Lake Gregory.
For fun things to do, you can take a stroll with the dogs or take a refreshing dip in the lake on a warm California day spent in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Mark of the Phoenix
Enjoy a 0.5-mile (0.8-kilometer) hike along this paved trail from the top of Keller Peak Road in Running Springs.
This is an ideal trail to take with kids and pets as it is paved, so it is less strenuous than other mountain trails and only covers a short distance.
Experience magical views of the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains and dense forests while hiking this easy trail.
Seely Creek Trail
Travel along Highway 138 until you reach the entrance to Camp Seely, turning left onto FS Road 2N03. Continue a short distance until you reach the starting point of Heart Rock 4W07, where you can begin a slow 2-mile (3.2 km) hike.
Enjoy hiking on a dirt path littered with roots and rocks while surrounded by massive rock walls and awe-inspiring sequoia trees that reach the heavens.
Continue past small waterfalls near a rock with a heart carved by nature before reaching a large pool surrounded by large cascading waterfalls where you can playfully splash in the cool water.
Keep going on Highway 173 until you reach the Shooting Club, where you should see the trailhead post nearby. Pack plenty of water in your bag as you travel in a desert climate that can reach scorching temperatures during the day.
During your trek along this 7-mile return (11.2 kilometers) dirt trail, you’ll see many wildflowers and plants native to the desert climate, including sagebrush.
Follow the trail markers to stay on the right path as you climb between several boulders until you reach the summit to experience panoramic views of the Mojave Desert and Mount Baldy in the distance.
Drive along Highway 173 until you reach the end of Hook Creek Road, and continue until you reach a picnic and restroom area. Stroll this 3.6-mile (5.8-kilometer) narrow dirt trail along steep sagebrush-covered hills.
Stay well hydrated as you traverse the mighty San Bernardino Mountains because the California sun is coming down on this moderately challenging hike.
When you finally reach the trail’s end, there will be large boulders and warm hot springs to relax your muscles before trekking back to civilization. The best hike is near Deep Creek Arrowhead Lake.
Will Abel Memorial Trail on Arrowhead Ridge
Wear your running shoes for a good hike for all skill levels, including kids. Enjoy a trip through California’s San Bernardino Mountains on this 1.9-mile (3.1-kilometer) narrow dirt road with steep embankments.
As you walk this hiking trail across Arrowhead Lake, remember the occasional roots, rocks, and animals, such as lizards, bobcats, mountain lions, and deer.
There are several ascents and descents along this trail deep in the pine forest before reaching a paved road to return to the trail.
North Shore National Recreation Area
Drive along Hwy 173, turn onto Hospital Road, and continue until you reach the North Shore Campground at Trail Site #11.
Begin your leisurely 1.7-mile (3.1-kilometer) tour along the dirt road that winds through the dense forest of the San Bernardino Mountain Range.
While walking through the forest, hikers will come across red needle trees and fallen trees due to bark beetle infestations, seven-year droughts, and severe wildfires.
Enjoy breathtaking views of Tavern Bay, surrounded by dense mangrove forest, as you wander along the way.
Heaps Peak Arboretum Trail
Travel along Highway 18 about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) east of Sky Forest to begin a hike suitable for all skill levels.
Enjoy walking this 0.8-mile (1.3 km) easy dirt road and listening to the calls of native birds while taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding forest.
The narrow winding path weaves its way through the rock walls, surrounded by steep cliffs. Wildflowers strewed on a dirt path dotted with stones and roots alongside centuries-old giant sequoia trees and native fauna and flora.
Escaping LA’s Concrete Jungle to Arrowhead Lakes
Lake Arrowhead offers visitors a much-needed escape from the busy city life of nearby Los Angeles and its sprawling suburbs.
While there are wonderful hotels nearby, tourists can also stay at lakefront Vrbo rentals to experience the best of Lake Arrowhead’s outdoor recreation.
Any time of year is ideal for fun activities, hiking, relaxing in heated geothermal pools, and indulging in California’s natural wonderland.
After a leisurely swim along Lake Arrowhead in the California sunshine, visitors would be hard-pressed not to make plans to return to the rustic mountain retreat of San Bernardino.
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