Tips for Hiking in Lake Arrowhead
Hiking TipsThere are many creatures in our forest. It is unlikely that you will see a bear, for they are few in numbers and normally avoid humans. In general, Lake Arrowhead's native mountain critters include coyotes, bob cats, black bear, grey squirrel (though they are not nearly as plentiful as they used to be), chipmunks, ground squirrels, raccoons, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, skunks & cougars. Birds in our mountains include the Stellar Jay! Blue Jay, Quail, Ducks, Western Tanager, Northern Tanager, Wood Peckers, Chickadees, Barn Owls, Bald Eagles & hawks.
The forest is a complex community of living things that rely on each other to survive. Among the most beautiful is the Dogwood Tree, whose spectacular white blossoms from late April through May announce the arrival of spring. During October the leaves change to brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, heralding the approach of winter.
While the Dogwood serves as a seasonal "clock", the Ponderosa Pine is the mainstay of the forest. Reaching 150 to 180 feet in height, with a life expectancy of 350 to 500 years, it provides food and shelter for wildlife, and lumber for building.
Care for the EnvironmentWalking offers freedom to the forest traveler. You become a part of a scenic landscape and survive in a primitive environment with few modern conveniences Self-sufficient, yes, but with this freedom goes on individual responsibility to care for the environment and respect the rights of those you meet along the way and those who follow you. For thousands of years our wild-lands have existed in a complex ecological interrelationship. This interrelationship can be easily upset or even destroyed. Once damaged, some plants and soils may not recover in our lifetime.
Remote CampingThose who prefer "the wilds" can, through the Remote Area Camping Program, camp outside developed campgrounds. Obtain your free permit at the Arrowhead Ranger Station Phone: (909) 337-2444, Skyforest, Ca 92378.
Planning Your HikeCareful planning and preparation are essential to a safe and enjoyable hike. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check weather forecasts and avoid storms
Leave word with a friend
Avoid hiking alone
We Need Your HelpPack out everything. If you can pack it in full, you can pack it out empty. Animals dig up buried trash.
Trail Switchbacks. Switchbacks are expensive to construct and maintain. Cutting across switchbacks hastens destructive trail erosion and could injure yourself and others.
Sanitation and Waste disposal. Human waste and toilet tissue must be disposed of properly if you dig a "cat hole" about 8 inches deep (use trowel), micro organisms can recycle the wastes over time. Cover the hole with a layer of soil. Locate cat holes at least 200 feet from the nearest water, trail, or camp.
Fire SafetySmoking: If you smoke, please stop in an area clear of vegetation. Be sure to pocket all materials.
Fire: Campfire regulations vary throughout the year. Check at the Ranger Station.
EssentialsItems necessary for any trip into the back country, including day hikes:
Sturdy boots, warm jacket, and extra clothing
Canteen, water purification tablets, and extra food
Dark glasses and sunburn lotion
Waterproof matches and candle for fire starter
First aid kit
Flashlight (spare bulb and batteries)
Map and compass
Trowel for sanitation and fire
Some people also consider mosquito repellent and toilet tissue essential