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Winter Fun in Lake Arrowhead

Author: Jill Weinlein
Date of Trip: January 2015

Since California is having a dry winter, we knew Lake Arrowhead wouldn’t have much snow, even with a couple storms in December, 2014.

To find snow, we drove higher beyond Running Springs to the Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park. They had a little of the real white stuff and some man-made snow to cover their hills for thousands of So Cal residents to slide down on a black rubber donuts.

If you want to park along the side of the road, get a Forest Adventure Pass at the Lake Arrowhead Village or Chamber Visitor Center, to put on your dash, otherwise you will receive an expensive ticket.

The tubing area charges $5 to park in their lot and $12 an hour to slide down their hills. One hour is enough time at this small park climbing up various flights of stairs to get to the edge of each hill to slide down.

Driving back down the hill, we drove into Lake Arrowhead to stay one night at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. It’s now a Marriott, Autograph Collection property. The exterior has been painted in green tones, while inside offers an elegant cabin decor.

The walls near the conference rooms are decorated with headshots of movie stars who have filmed feature films in Lake Arrowhead. Over 100 movies and television episodes have been filmed in these mountains to replicate the setting of Canada, Switzerland or Alaska.

The first film – The Romance Of The Bar O was shot in 1911. There were photos of Bing Crosby, Ethel Barrymore, and a young Natalie Wood. They made the movie, Just For You, in Lake Arrowhead in 1952. Other photos included Bob Hope, Frankie Avalon and Tuesday Weld. They filmed, I’ll Take Sweden in 1965.

The property is the finest accommodations in the So Cal mountains, featuring 162 guest rooms and 11 luxurious suites with many rooms offering lake views with mountain-lodge touches.

We were pleased with our view of the lake and outdoor balcony with two chairs and a table, ideal for sitting out with a cup of coffee in the morning or glass of wine at sunset. There was a king size bed, glass enclosed walk-in shower, coffee and tea maker, desk and complimentary wi-fi.

The property offers a full-service spa with treatment rooms for massage, manicures and pedicures, facials and fitness classes. Outside is a large pool and hot tub overlooking the pine trees and lake.

After relaxing and unpacking, we walked over to the Lake Arrowhead Village for dinner. It’s the area’s main commercial gathering spot for both visitors and locals. There are a variety of boutiques, discount outlet stores, restaurants, and grocery store.

We dined at the Mexican restaurant, Papagayos Cantina located in the old Dance Pavillion. The food is good and many tables have lake views.

After checking out, we took the one-hour lake tour onboard the Arrowhead Queen. This double-deck, stately 60-seat paddle wheeler runs year- round from the Lake Arrowhead Village dock. Guests onboard learn about the fascinating history of the lake, such as the area was originally called Little Bear Valley until the Arrowhead Lake Company bought the area in 1920 and changed the name to Lake Arrowhead.

Before leaving, we fed the ducks and geese near the dock with food sold at the nearby store, LeRoy’s. A bargain at 50 cents a bag.

Driving down the hill, we all agreed that Lake Arrowhead is an ideal winter weekend getaway with the fresh mountain air and beautiful lake views.

To reserve a room at The Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa – Marriott Autograph Collection, call (909) 336-1511 or log onto

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