Nestled at an altitude of 5,100' in a magnificent forest of pines and cedars is Lake Arrowhead, a 784 acre alpine lake some describe as the "Jewel of Southern California". Located just 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Lake Arrowhead is within a two-hour drive of a population of 15 million people.
The Lake Arrowhead Communities are located on 9,215 privately owned acres totally enclosed within the 812,000 acre San Bernardino National Forest. Lake Arrowhead, a man made lake, was created in the early 1900's. For almost one hundred years, Arrowhead has been the premier mountain resort in Southern California. Access from the San Bernardino Valley is via State Highway 18, a nationally designated scenic byway known as "Rim of the World Highway". Most of the thirty minute drive is over a four lane limited access highway with the last seven miles being a two lane road providing magnificent views ranging on clear days to the Pacific Ocean.
Lake Arrowhead Village
Lake Arrowhead Village is the center of resort activities with a wide variety of lodging, dining and shopping opportunities for visitors. Other communities service not only the tourist, but also permanent and vacation home residents. The area also has over 50 group camps as well as being the base for camping and recreation in the National Forest.
Almost all the private land surrounding Lake Arrowhead has been subdivided into residential lots. About 10,000 lots are in Arrowhead Woods where property ownership carries with it the right to use Lake Arrowhead. 10,000 lots have been improved with residences ranging from modest cabins to some of the most expensive homes in the world. 4,000 of these homes are occupied full time by the permanent population of about 10,000. The 6,000 second homes are used on weekends, holidays and in the summer. In a summer holiday weekend, the population swells to forty thousand.
Lake Arrowhead has a unique climate for Southern California; it has four distinct seasons. In the summer, it is about 20 degrees cooler than the valley floor with summer highs generally in the 80's. In the winter, nighttime temperatures regularly dip below freezing but are usually above freezing by 9 a.m. with an average winter high in the 50's. Average rainfall is 50 inches a year, which is 3 to 4 times typical rainfall in the Southern California area. Average snowfall is 80 inches a year starting in late November and usually ending in March.
The area receives 310 annual days of sunshine being above the marine layer that covers the Los Angeles Basin during much of the year. Air quality is generally good due to the elevation being above the valley's inversion layer.
Tourism is the primary economic generator for the area contributing 78 million dollars a year and providing 600 full time and 700 part time jobs for local residents. The area is host to 2.4 million visitors a year, primarily part-time vacation homeowners and their guests. There are 400 guest rooms in hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts for overnight visitors as well as 500 cabins, which are rented out on a short-term basis. Ski packages, Weddings and Eco-Tourism are major sources of visitor growth. The area is also popular for business conferences. Accommodation occupancy during most of the year is very high, 90% on holidays and weekends and only 45% on weekdays. Summer is the most popular tourist season with winter usage growing.
There are virtually no research and development, manufacturing, wholesaling or distribution employers in the Arrowhead area. These types of businesses are located in the Valley below, a 20 to 45 minute drive for mountain residents. Estimates are that about 50% of the employed people who live at Arrowhead and the surrounding communities commute down the mountain on a daily basis.
Water activities on Lake Arrowhead include lake fishing, water skiing, sailing and two beach clubs for swimming and sunbathing. Since Lake Arrowhead is private, visitors who are not guests of property owners have limited use of the Lake. To find out more about lake rights, please click here. There is also a private Yacht Club on the lake. Opportunities in the nearby National Forest include hiking, stream fishing, off road and equestrian trails and camping. Alpine and cross country skiing is 20 minutes away.
The Rim of the World Parks and Recreation District sponsors a craft and self-improvement class program as well as adult and youth sports leagues and programs. The district also provides child care facilities.
Organized youth sports available in the area include Gold Softball, Little League, Pop Warner Football and AYSO Soccer. For seniors there is an active Senior Center in the Twin Peaks area.
Arts and Science
Arrowhead has numerous cultural events and organizations. The Arrowhead Arts Association has a number of jazz and classical concert presentations during the year as well as an art auction. The Rim of the World Art Council maintains an art exhibit in Lake Arrowhead Village gear round featuring work by numerous local artists. There are also several active local theater groups.
Several times a year the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club brings in artists from all over Southern California to showcase their work in a lakeside Art and Wine Festival. In addition almost every weekend there is a craft fair, a hike race, a 15K run, a boat show, community dances, or some other event held for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. Fourth of July Fireworks on the lake are a Southern California tradition.
Arrowhead is also the home of the Mountain Skies Astronomical Society, a 1,500 member organization. This group is presently designing a 1.8 million-dollar, 6,500-sq. ft. facility, which will house a premier astronomical instrument and a science education center on a three-acre site along Rim of the World Highway.
Mountains Community Hospital is an acute care medical facility located in Arrowhead which also provides a 24 hour emergency room, long term nursing care as well as home health services. 20 physicians representing a broad range of specialties serve the community along with dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists and psychologists.
Paramedic units operated by the fire department cover the entire community, which together with the hospital and air ambulance, transport to the specialized facilities of Loma Linda and St. Bernardine's just several minutes away. This provides the area with outstanding medical services.
Principal road access to the Arrowhead area and among the Arrowhead communities is on the network of State Highways 18, 138, 173 and 189. Caltrans maintains two road maintenance facilities in the area. San Bernardino County maintains the balance of the public road network and has a maintenance facility in the area.
A fixed route bus system operates around Lake Arrowhead and connects to the other mountain communities of Crestline and Lake Gregory, Running Springs and Big Bear. Public transportation down the hill to San Bernardino is in the planning stages.
Ontario International Airport, 45 minutes from Lake Arrowhead, is serviced by most major domestic carriers as well as being serviced by Southwest Airlines and Aero Mexico. Currently plans are underway to convert a San Bernardino Air Force facility to an International Airport. This is just 70 minutes from the Arrowhead area.
Lake Arrowhead is an unincorporated area governed by the County of San Bernardino. A County building in Twin Peaks houses building and safety. The County also provides a library in Blue Jay. The California Highway Patrol has a facility in Running Springs. Fire protection and Paramedic service are provided by the Lake Arrowhead and Crest Forest Fire Districts with four full time and four volunteer stations located in the Arrowhead area. In addition, the Forest Service and California Division of Forestry provide fire protection facilities, equipment and personnel in the area.
Lake Arrowhead Communities Service District provides water and sewer to Arrowhead Woods. Water service to surrounding communities outside of Arrowhead Woods is provided by private water companies. The Rim of the World School District covers not only the Lake Arrowhead area but also the Crestline and Running Springs area. The single high school and junior high school as well as two of the district's five elementary schools are located in the Arrowhead area. Several Universities are located within commuter distance from the Arrowhead area in San Bernardino and in the Desert to the North.
The U.S. Postal Service maintains seven post offices in the Arrowhead area. All mail is delivered to post office boxes only.
"The Mountain News" is published weekly covering the Lake Arrowhead area. Charter Cable provides cable television as well as high speed Internet service. Cellular phone service is provided by several carriers while Verizon provides regular phone service. Natural gas is provided by Southern California Gas and electricity by Southern California Edison. United Parcel Service, DHL/Airborne, and Federal Express also service the community for messenger and delivery services.