Just two hours from Los Angeles but a world away, Lake Arrowhead is a charming mountain getaway surrounded by the San Bernardino Mountains. While the lake itself is reason enough to call Lake Arrowhead your home away from home, it’s also a great destination for outdoor lovers. The area has trails and hikes for all skill levels, many offering incredible views. Pack your hiking shoes and check out these five must-try adventures.
Will Abell Memorial Trail
If you’re hiking with kids or just short on time, the Will Abell Memorial Trail is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours. It’s just 1.9 miles with 419 feet of elevation, but it delivers plenty of natural beauty. From the trailhead, you’ll quickly find yourself in the woods, ascending gradually to a lookout with views of Lake Arrowhead. The story of how this trail came to be is interesting, too. Once destined to be a luxury residential development, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust purchased these 80 acres in 2011 and worked to reforest the area and build the trail, which is named for a longtime Land Trust volunteer.
Lake Gregory Trail
For those looking for a relaxing stroll, take a short drive to nearby Lake Gregory. There’s a 2.3-mile, mostly flat loop trail that makes its way around the edge of the lake. It’s a popular trail for families and dog owners, and the views of the lake are simply beautiful. Walk the loop in the morning and then find a spot at Lake Gregory Regional Park. Unlike Lake Arrowhead, which is privately owned, Lake Gregory is open to the public and has ample space for swimming and watersports.
Arrowhead Pinnacles Trail
A 4.6-mile out-and-back trail less than 20 minutes from town, Arrowhead Pinnacles Trail is a moderately difficult hike with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Unlike the more forested trails common in the area, the landscape surrounding this trail is more like rocky scrubland. The first mile starts off easy, but before you know it, you’ll find yourself scrambling over rocks and boulders to stay on course. It’s recommended you download a GPS map ahead of time. The cairns left by earlier hikers help point the way, too. While you may twist and turn a bit along the way, at the peak you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the Mojave Desert, Silverwood Lake and Mt. Baldy.
Crafts Peak Trail
At 7.2 miles long and an impressive 1,500 feet of elevation gain, this scenic out-and-back hike is perfect for those who are up for a challenge. Crafts Peak Trail begins at the Green Valley Campground and winds along forest service roads, through rocky inclines, ponderosa forests and finally, you’ll arrive at the peak. Scramble to the top of the rock formation for spectacular views — on a clear day, you can see all the way to Big Bear.
Children’s Forest Exploration Trail
As the name implies, this 9-mile, out-and-back hike was designed by the U.S. Forest Service, in collaboration with children across the country. Inquisitive young hikers will enjoy interpretive panels located along a 0.75-mile interpretive tail loop. The National Children’s Forest offers multiple ways for young people to learn about being stewards of the land. There’s a visitor information center, environmental education program and youth volunteer opportunities.
The great outdoors are calling in Lake Arrowhead
There are so many great Lake Arrowhead hikes that a quick weekend getaway just won’t suffice. Co-owning a Pacaso second home in the “Alps of Southern California” gives you ample time to explore the many beautiful trails near this lakefront community.