If you’re looking to get out about with your hiking boots in the San Bernardino area, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere better than Lake Arrowhead to start your journey, Now, it doesn’t matter what your level, ability, or time restraints are - there’s a trail with your name on it. So, let’s check them out.
- Pacific Crest Trail
If you have the time, planning and experience, you can go the full Reese Witherspoon and join up with the Pacific Crest Trail or PCT from the access point at Cedar Glen. This trail goes all the way to Canada and Mexico depending on the direction and is famously challenging due to the length, different terrains and different temperatures. Of course, you can just do a section of the trail too, by heading to the trailhead off Hook Creek road. Stay left when the road works and there’ll be a restroom at the start of the trail.
- Deep Creek
From the same trailhead as the PCT, you can hit up the Deep Creek trail which is 3.6 miles (5.8km). This moderately challenging trail takes you through the San Bernardino mountains and ends with hot springs that you can plunge into before returning home. Sounds like a pretty amazing way to spend a day to us!
- The Pinnacles
Want something with a little bit more heat? Well if stocking up on tonnes of water and wandering through the desert is your kind of hike then The Pinnacles should definitely be on your list. From this 7 mile there and back trail, you’ll be able to take in incredible vistas of the Mojave Desert landscape. This is definitely one to pack your camera for. To find the trailhead, go to the Rifle Range on Highway 173, north of Rock Camp, and you’ll be able to follow the trail signs to the peak from there.
- Will Abell Memorial Trail at Arrowhead Ridge
So, you want to give your legs a real workout? Then this is the trail for you. With plenty of steep ascents and descents, you’re definitely going to feel it the next day. The Will Abell is popular with trail runners, so if you want to test yourself at a faster pace, you won’t be the only one. Remember to keep an eye out for mountain lions, deers and roots that might want to trip you up!
- Seeley Creek Trail
If you’re looking for something less scorching and a little bit more leafy and green, then you might want to check out the Seeley Creek trail off Highway 138. Escape all the hustle and bustle of the city to roam in between giant sequoias and beautiful waterfalls. It’s a short 2 mile return hike with a viewpoint at the top called “Heart Rock”, because of the heart-shaped hole in the cliff next to the amazing 20-foot waterfall that marks the end of the trail. Pretty spectacular for a short, easy hike that you could do with the whole family. Even your most hike-adverse friend would fail to enjoy this particular hike.
- Trail of the Phoenix at the Children’s Forest
For those of you with strollers or with disability requirements, you’ll be pleased to know that this trail was built entirely with accessibility in mind. There are clear signs and trail markers in Braille throughout the 4.5 mile hike. A cool fact is that it was actually designed by kids too!
- North Shore National Recreation Trail
If you’re interested in the devastating effects that forest fires can have on our local environment, then take a wander along the 2 mile North Shore National Recreation Trail. You’ll be rewarded with some outstanding views of Tavern Bay as you hike through the forest that’s been prone to drought, as well as fires.
- Heaps Peak Arboretum Trail
If being surrounded by trees is your kind of thing, then heading up to Heaps Peak Arboretum just east of the Sky Forest is an absolute must for you. It doesn’t matter what season it is, this trail keeps you sheltered from the sun and gives you plenty of cool flowers, wildlife and greenery to check out. It’s a pretty easy 1.3km walk on a well-maintained trail so there’s no excuse not to check it out.
- Strawberry Peak Fire Tower
If you like a little bit of history with your hike, then take a trip to Strawberry Peak Fire Tower originally built in 1922 and rebuilt in 1934. It’s more of a lookout than a trail in itself but it’s a nice place to visit when you’re in the area. The name comes from the surrounding strawberry farms, so you can always grab a box or two on your way back.
- Nature Loop
Finally, if you’re looking for a flat, easy walk that the whole family and your pets can enjoy then head out to the Nature Loop at Lake Gregory. It’s a 2 mile forest trail that follows the lake, giving you relaxing, calming views that can end with a cooling dip in the water. To find it go on California Highway 18 then take San Moritz Drive until you reach the parking lot. This one’s super accessible and great if your legs aren’t feeling up to massive inclines.
So, whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for, whether it's a quick walk around nature or an intense hike through the mountains, Lake Arrowhead is the perfect place to start and head those journeys.
Once you’re done with your exploration of the area, why not top it off with a visit to us here at The Wander Co for all kinds of sustainable, eco-friendly souvenirs and gifts? You can find us at 28200 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352, near Yacht Club Bay and the Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company. We’re always excited to hear about your adventures and we’re here with recommendations and tips for the area if you need them. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out and enjoy everything Lake Arrowhead has to offer.