Lake Arrowhead - Camping above Australia
Trip Start Jul 31, 2011
13Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Camped at North Shore Campground
We decided to stop for a few nights in a National Forest/Park called 'San Bernardino' approximately 100kms to the east of LA, and specifically near a mountain lake named ‘Lake Arrowhead’. A small town of the same name borders the large private lake (water access is only for property owners). The town is more so an alpine village with impressive log cabins and fancy multi-story homes: presumably holiday homes of wealthy LA’ites.
Laura drove us from the plains in her first drive in USA and we managed to survive the 2hr drive into the mountains J. She was nervous as hell but quickly got the hang of it. The mountain road was named ‘Rim of the World Highway’ and was aptly named from the numerous switchbacks, cliff-hangs and breath-taking views of the plains. At the top we were higher than any point in Australia (nearly 8000ft = 2400m)!
We spent 3 nights camping just north of the Lake in a small campground with a view of the mountain wilderness. A small population of black bears live in forests so we were careful with our foodstuffs. We weren’t lucky enough to see any during our stay.
It is currently early ‘Fall’ (autumn) in USA and is a great time for camping: Day temps are mild 25degC, and night temps aren’t too cold (yet!).
- We went for a big hike to a nearby gorge cut-out by ‘Deep Creek’: A cool river mainly fed by winter snowfall up in the mountains. The river is dotted with waterfalls and large pools that are great for swimming. After a warm 3km hike along the rim we descended to the river and braved the cold water for a dip. The decent into the gorge was so steep a rope was required for a few sections.
- We enjoyed relaxing at our campsite on the edge of the mountain wilderness and watching the wildlife including: Mule deer, rock squirrels, various lizards, small birds (hummingbird, jays) and the cute little ground mole living near our tent (see pics)
- Had our first camp fire! Strangely they allow fires at campsites pretty much all year round. It was windy and dry and a high risk of creating a bushfire!
- Picnic lunch on the water’s edge by the nearby Lake Gregory
It was great to finally see some natural USA away from the big Californian cities. We thoroughly enjoyed watching all the wildlife and little critters running about!
After the short camping trip we head to VEGAS for some crazy action! Blog up soon.