Lake Arrowhead, CA

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What better way to spend an August day than to head for a mountain lake?  Just an hour’s drive from my door is Lake Arrowhead , surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest.  It was a spontaneous visit and I was a little taken aback to meet a detour that took me off my Google Map and into Crestline.  I followed the few cars that were also on the road and soon I was heading into the small town of Lake Arrowhead.  This is year round resort territory with skiing in the winter and boating, fishing, hiking and camping the rest of the year.

Lake Arrowhead Village is dubbed the new village and it’s very modern with the usual banks and convenience stores.  There are also restaurants and several outlet stores such as Coach, Bass, Jockey, and Pendleton.  I enjoyed walking around, but note to some readers, there are lots of stairs.  One doesn’t necessarily have to take them, but I found myself going up and down a lot.

Carousel in Lollipop Park at Lake Arrowhead

Carousel in Lollipop Park at Lake Arrowhead

The Lake is man-made and located in an area once known as Little Bear Valley.  The dam, which is clearly visible on the east end of the lake, wasn’t deemed structurally sound after an earthquake and a second dam was built to bring everything up to code.  The property owners supported this effort and in turn the lake became a private lake for their use.  Visitors can use it only as part of a tour or if attending the water ski school.  Just so happens I was here to cruise the lake on the Lake Arrowhead Queen.

Small paddle-wheel boat, the Arrowhead Queen

The Arrowhead Queen awaiting passengers on Lake Arrowhead

The paddle-wheel boat makes a tour of the lake in about an hour.  It’s a marvelous way to spend a little time.  The skipper has a great banter about the history and homes in the area.  And of course there are the homes of the rich and famous which line the shore.  Think of this as a smaller version, a more folksy version, of one of the Beverly Hills tours of “The Homes of the Stars.”  Doris Day, Brian Wilson, John Candy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Priscilla Presley are just a few of the names mentioned during the tour.  It was rather hard to take in.  The setting, a normal lake and forest, was so un-celebrity.

But not every home belonged to a movie star.  This one below features a garage which covers the entire lower level.  That garage holds 22 to 23 cars.  What a place for a collector to show off his toys.  The price?  Oh, something in the neighborhood of $14 million.

Lake Arrowhead Mansio

Lake Arrowhead Mansion

Is the store Trader Joe’s just a California thing?  Well the “Joe” behind the store has a house here as well.  His is a simple affair.  I love the tower rooms, and the dock looks lovely too.

Trader Joe's house on Lake Arrowhead

Trader Joe’s house on Lake Arrowhead

But it wasn’t all about looking at homes.  The skipper let some of the younger passengers captain the boat.

Children line up to take a turn steering the Arrowhead Queen

A Young Captain at the Helm!

We were running at full speed!  The kids got a kick out of it, but frankly I don’t think we were going all that fast.  Please don’t tell the kids!.


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