Hike Little Bear Creek near Lake Arrowhead

We decided to hike with our dogs somewhere a little more local this weekend, so we chose a hike near Lake Arrowhead.  The area around Arrowhead reminds me Idyllwild, in that where ever you look, you are not too far away from someone's cabin.  The only exception is that Arrowhead, of course, has a lake, and as a result is VERY much commercialized.

We followed the directions to the trailhead.  But according to the book, we should have been able to access the trail after walking a dirt fire road, just off a small parking area.  Well,  that was NOT the case.  I guess when you go to a more populated area like Lake Arrowhead, you would have to assume that they are always changing the landscape.  We ran into a locked gate across the paved road, so we parked there.  Luckily, the community had just built, what looked like brand new vault toilets.  AND they had put up poop bag dispensers.  The only thing we didn't know how to do, at the time, was get to the little parking lot, from the road.  I figured it by the end of the hike.

Needless to say, because of the changes in terrain, we had to actually look for the trailhead.  We found it after about 30 minutes of scouting around.  After that it was just following this 1 1/2 track trail down the side to the creek.  Mind you, this is not a creek that overflows with water. It is mid/late summer, so everything is pretty dry right now.  It was, however, a gorgeous day. And with the dogs behaving pretty well off leash, it made it even better. I  was definitely impressed with Nanook, who I started fostering about 1 week ago.  Something about the power of the pack that keeps dogs and humans migrating together.  I love it.  I've seen more transformations while in "migration" or while moving, it's a testament to pack mentality - but that's a topic for another blog.

The trail itself is actually on a south facing section of the mountain, so if you are thinking about doing this one, I would suggest to hike either early in the morning or wait until late fall or early spring.

Like I mentioned, the directions we received from the book we used were outdated, so I am going to give you directions, after I figured out how to get to the small parking lot.

Go to Lake Arrowhead from Rim of the World Hwy 18, via Hwy 173.  Follow Hwy 173 around the lake to
the east (turn right at the stop sign to Arrowhead Village). At one point you will see the Marina on the right hand side with Papoose Lake and Arrowhead Dam on the right hand side. At the far end where the Marina ends, there is a little road on the right.  This is Torrey Road.  Turn Right.

You will go up a steep hill, but the road is paved, so don't worry.  You will see a chain link fence.  At the top of the hill, you must make a very acute hairpin left turn.  This road is graded dirt, and will take you to the little parking lot where the vault toilets are located. You can park here for the day.

To find the trail head, you must walk towards the hairpin turn.  At the turn, look to the left. You will see a fire road.  Follow the fire road for about 1/4 mile.  You will see the trail veer off to the right.  Follow the trail down towards the valley and the creek.

There are great views and at the creek bed, you will have to waft through the creek grasses.

Afterwards, have lunch at Arrowhead Village.  According to BringFido.com, they say that no dog are allowed at Arrowhead Village.  However, we found this to be incorrect.  It seemed that everyone brought their dogs.  We sat and had lunch on one of the fake grass islands in the middle of the mall walkway.  It was the only way we could accommodate all 5 dogs without disrupting foot traffic.

If you do decide to journey into Arrowhead Village, please stay aware of the temperature.  If you can't walk barefoot on the hot cement/asphalt, then neither should your dog.  Maybe bring some socks for them.

FYI, there is a GREAT bakery for dog treats here. It may be worth the trip to the Village just to visit this place alone.  It is called Three Dogs Bakery. This was the MOST delightful store and best EVER bakery that I have been to.  I HIGHLY recommend you go here, if you find yourself in the Arrowhead area. All treats are 100% natural, wholesome ingredients and, of course, made in the U.S.

And what was really "pawsome", was that because we had 5 non-reactive, well behaved big dogs, there were some customers that wanted to buy us treats!!  One person said that they wished their dog would behave as well, so that they could take them into the stores.  The clerk had give us a couple pieces of her imperfect treats that she couldn't see.  Again...PAWSOME!

After visiting the bakery, I discovered that Three Dogs Bakery was actually a chain.  They may be in a city near you.  Check out their website:  Link to Three Dogs Bakery

I like to end my hikes on a good note, and this was definitely a good note.

Happy trails all!  See you on the next hike!

p.s. See more pics of us lounging at Arrowhead Village on our Facebook page!