Top 11 Hiking Spots Near Lake Arrowhead

hiking in lake arrowhead
| 4 min read

Leave the concrete jungle of Los Angeles behind by driving at one of the multi-laned freeways north to serene Lake Arrowhead in San Bernadino County. Enjoy hiking, cycling, or walking along the trails that carve narrow pathways through the San Bernadino Mountains to experience amazing panoramic views, and native wildlife, and relax with the calming nature. Lake Arrowhead Village provides visitors with the opportunity to indulge in world-class dining, and shopping, ride along the lake on a steamboat, mini-golf, and play family-friendly games with your loved ones. Prior to skipping through the wildflower fields scattered throughout this magnificent great outdoors resort area, frequented since the 1920s, here are the best hiking spots near Lake Arrowhead.

For a place to stay in the area, take a look at the best Vrbo vacation rentals and pet-friendly cabins that we’ve also listed for you.

1. Little Bear Creek Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This trail near Lake Arrowhead offers a 6.4-kilometer (3.98-mile) trail that is considered moderately challenging. You’ll get to see plenty of beautiful scenery while you complete the approximately two-hour route. You can start your adventure by camping at the North Shore Campground or finding a lakefront cabin to retreat to after the hike. Unfortunately, the trail had been affected by a seven-year drought and the 2003 Old Fire which means you’ll probably see traces of the old forest and the bark beetle infestation that has since infested some of the woods. Make sure to bring your furbaby to join the adventure and there are even off-leash areas along the trail.

Little Bear Creek Trail

Address: 40971 North Shore Drive, Highway 38, Fawnskin, CA 92333

Website: Little Bear Creek Trail

Opening hours: Thurday-Monday; (closed on Tue & Wed)

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2. Sawmill Road Loop Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the best things to do near Lake Arrowhead is challenge yourself and take on this hike labeled “difficult” up the Sawmill Road Loop Trail. The trail ascends 3000 feet (914.40 meters) - 7000 feet (2133.60 meters) and provides stunning views of the desert below. The hike is within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument so you’re guaranteed to pass by majestic trees and natural sceneries. The first 5.5 miles (8.85 kilometers) of the trail can be traversed by a bike, a horse, or a car.

Sawmill Road Loop Trail

Address: 51500 Highway 7, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Website: Sawmill Road Loop Trail

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3. Children's Forest Exploration Trail

This moderate hiking/cycling trail commences at the first right after Deer Lick Fire Station at Keller Peak Road in Running Springs on California Highway 18. Open year-round, this Lake Arrowhead hiking trail is both paved and dirt at various points making for an exciting adventure through the San Bernadino Mountains. As you climb or bike along the 9-mile return (14.5 kilometres) the terrain can be challenging with many descents, large rocks, tree roots, and forested areas. Apart from the nearby cabins, there are also places along the trail to take a break or picnic to experience stunning scenic views of the mountains and valley below.

Children's Forest Exploration Trail

Address: 32573 Highway 18, Running Springs, CA 92382

Website: Children’s Forest Exploration Trail

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 9:30am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Fri)

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4. Nature Loop

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Drive along California Highway 18 until you reach Lake Gregory Drive continuing on to San Moritz Drive. After turning right on San Moritz you will reach the start point which is located at the back of the South Beach Parking lot. Enjoy hiking along this easy 2.5 mile (4 kilometre) earthen trail through an evergreen forest while taking in breathtaking views of pristine Lake Gregory. For fun things to do, you can take a leisurely walk with the dogs or take a refreshing dip in the lake on a warm California day spent in San Bernadino Mountains. Nature Loop is one of the best hikes in Lake Arrowhead.

Nature Loop

Address: 28200 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead, CA

Website: Nature Loop

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

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5. Trail of the Phoenix

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Enjoy a leisurely 0.5 mile (0.8 kilometre) hike along this paved trail from the top of Keller Peak Road in Running Springs. Experience magical views of the surrounding San Bernadino Mountains and dense forests while walking along this easy pathway. It’s the ideal trail to bring children and pets along since the trail is paved making it not as strenuous as other mountain trails and covers only a short distance.

Trail of the Phoenix

Address: 28200 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead, CA

Website: Trail of the Phoenix

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

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6. Seeley Creek Trail

Seeley Creek
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user San Bernardino Na... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Travel along Highway 138 until you reach the entrance of Camp Seeley turning left on FS Road 2N03. Continue a short distance until you reach the starting point at Heart Rock 4W07 where you can begin a gentle 2-mile return (3.2 kilometres) hike. Enjoy hiking along the dirt trail littered with roots and rocks while being bordered by massive rock walls and awe-inspiring sequoia trees that reach heavenward. Continue past small falls near a rock with a heart carved out by nature before reaching a large pool surrounded by larger cascading waterfalls where you can splash playfully in the cool waters.

Seeley Creek Trail

Address: 28200 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead, CA

Website: Seeley Creek Trail

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

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7. The Pinnacles

View of Angeles National Forest From Lake Arrowhead Pinnacles Summit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Crishazzard used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Continue along Highway 173 until you reach the shooting club where you should see the trailhead post nearby. Pack plenty of water in your backpack as you will be travelling in a desert climate which can reach scorching temperatures during the day. During your treck along this 7-mile return (11.2 kilometres) packed dirt trail, you will notice many wildflowers and plants native to desert climates including sagebrush. Follow the trail markers to keep on the right path while climbing between numerous boulders until reaching the summit to experience panoramic views of Mojave Desert and Mount Baldy off in the distance.

The Pinnacles

Address: CA-173, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

Website: The Pinnacles

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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8. Deep Creek

Deep Creek Hot Springs Mojave River 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Levi Clancy used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Drive along Highway 173 until you reach the end of Hook Creek Road and continue until you reach the picnic and restroom area. Wander along this 3.6-mile (5.8-kilometre) narrow dirt trail along steep sagebrush-covered mountainsides. As you traverse the Deep Creek trail near Lake Arrowhead, keep well hydrated as the California sun beats down on this moderately challenging hike. When you finally reach the end of the trail, there will be large boulders and warm hot spring pools to relax your muscles before you start trekking back to civilization. Deep Creek is one of the best hikes near Lake Arrowhead.

Deep Creek

Address: Pacific Crest Trail, Apple Valley, CA 92308, United States

Website: Deep Creek

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

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9. Will Abell Memorial Trail at Arrowhead Ridge

Get your running shoes on for a moderate hike good for all skill levels including children. Enjoy traveling along this 1.9-mile (3.1-kilometer) narrow dirt trail along steep embankments through California’s San Bernadino Mountains. As you walk along the Will Abell Memorial Trail at Arrowhead Ridge, beware of roots, rocks, and animals such as lizards, bobcats, mountain lions, and deer at times. There are many ascents and descents along this trail deep in the pine forest before reaching the paved roadway to return to the trailhead.

Will Abell Memorial Trail at Arrowhead Ridge

Address: Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

Website: Will Abell Memorial Trail at Arrowhead Ridge

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

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10. North Shore National Recreational Area

Drive along Highway 173 turning on to Hospital Road and continue until you reach North Shore Campground at trail site #11. Start your leisurely 1.7 miles (3.1 kilometres) journey along a dirt trail that cuts through the dense forest of San Bernadino Mountain range. As you wander along the pathway enjoy breathtaking views of Tavern Bay surrounded by thick evergreen forest. While passing through the forest, hikers will be exposed to the red needled trees and fallen trees resulting from bark beetle infestation, a seven-year drought, and severe forest fire.

North Shore National Recreational Area

Address: 29103 Hospital Rd, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

Website: North Shore National Recreational Area

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

Price: 25 USD onward

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11. Heaps Peak Arboretum Trail

Heaps Peak Arboretum in Autumn (28021215917)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user San Bernardino Na... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Travel along Highway 18 for 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) east of Sky Forest to begin a hike suitable for all skill levels. Enjoy walking along this 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometres) easy dirt path listening to calls of native birds while admiring scenic views of the surrounding forest. The narrow winding path weaves its way through rock walls while being bordered by steep cliffsides. Encounter centuries-old giant sequoia trees along with native fauna and flora including wildflowers scattered along the dirt path dotted with stones and roots.

Heaps Peak Arboretum Trail

Address: 9358 Rim of the World Hwy #18, Skyforest, CA 92385, United States

Website: Heaps Peak Arboretum Trail

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

Price: 5 - 30 USD

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Escape the concrete jungle of LA to Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead provides visitors a much-needed escape from the hectic city life of nearby Los Angeles and its sprawling suburbs. While there are amazing hotels nearby, tourists are also given the option to stay in lakefront Vrbo rentals to experience the best of Lake Arrowhead’s outdoor recreation. Any time of the year is ideal for fun activities, hiking, relaxing in hot geothermal pools, and indulging in California’s natural wonderland. After relaxing leisurely floating along Lake Arrowhead while soaking up the California sunshine, visitors will be hard-pressed to not make plans to return to San Bernadino’s rustic mountain retreat.

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Frequently asked questions about hiking spots near Lake Arrowhead

1. Which hiking trails around Lake Arrowhead are ideal for children?

Children will have so much fun running in nature and seeing the beautiful scenery on these hikes. The Children’s Forest Exploration Trail and Trail of the Phoenix are great options. The Nature Loop is also great with the option to jump in the lake to refresh!

2. Which hiking trails around Lake Arrowhead are dog friendly?

The Little Bear Creek trail is a great hike for your furbaby and even offers off-leash areas to let your dog run freely. Nature Loop is also a pet-friendly hike

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Celeste is a writer based in British Columbia with a profound passion for travel and the exploration of new destinations. Her adventurous spirit leads her to engage in exciting activities during...Read more

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