Its been a while since we’ve done a quick vacations post so its time to pack up the car and head to your next destination: Lake Arrowhead. Summertime is usually vacation time, but if you weren’t able to get enough time off to travel to a far-off destination, there are still places you can visit that are close enough for a short visit. If you’re looking for a change of scenery near-by besides Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead is definitely worth checking out. With just a under 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles, Lake Arrowhead has plenty to offer for a fun filled time with friends or family even if you only have a couple of days to spare. Let’s check out what there is to do at Lake Arrowhead.
The main feature of Lake Arrowhead, besides Lake Arrowhead Village, seems to be Saddleback Inn. It’s the main Inn at Lake Arrowhead and features small or multiple room cottages under the shade of gorgeous cedars and pines. Dine at Diane's Saddleback Grill where you can get anything from pasta, chicken dishes, steak dishes, and hearty appetizers that can be a meal on their own. They even have karaoke nights. If you want something a little more private, there are many cabin rental properties you can rent cabins through for Lake Arrowhead. The best cabins seem to be through Air BnB where many cabins have direct lake access and even toys to play in the water with! Cabin rentals are usually the best route to go if you want lake access since they usually already come with permits. Using boats and other “water vehicles” usually requires extra permits so make sure to check in with the rules before you try to take a boat out.
If you want to rough it out and connect to nature a little more, Lake Arrowhead also offers great camping with dedicated grounds such as Dogwood Campground and Northshore Campground. Dogwood offers plenty of campsites and features an amphitheater with evening campfire programs. Remote camping is also available at Lake Arrowhead so just check to make sure which areas are open. Check where you’re camping to see whether you need a Forest Adventure Pass or any other pass that may be required for remote camping. Just don’t forget that remote camping doesn’t offer some luxuries such as bathrooms, fire rings, etc. that dedicated campgrounds offer so be prepared to rough it even more.
There is plenty of hiking available around Lake Arrowhead with some trails starting at the campsites. You can hike the Deep Creek Hot Springs/ Goat Trail which is 6 miles round trip. The trail leads to hot springs that you can enjoy just don’t submerge your head as the springs contain a sometimes fatal bacteria in the water so proceed with caution. Little Bear Creek Trail is also a great loop hike that’s a little shorter being only 3.8 miles roundtrip. The Heaps Peak Arboretum is also nearby and worth checking out with its unique arboretum, botanical gardens, and short hiking trails. Don’t forget to check out the Lake Arrowhead Village where you can enjoy a narrated Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour around the lake or even learn to water ski at the McKenzie Water Ski School. Grab a bite to eat at one of its many eating establishments with seating overlooking the lake.
Although its not as large or accessible as Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead is still a fun change of scenery with plenty or amazing things to do. Check it out next time you’re looking for a quick vacation not too far from home.