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Hiking Mountain Biking Pine Trees Apr 12, 2024
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You are here: Home : Mountain Biking Last Updated on 04/01/2000    
Diff: Rating 6/10
Scenic: Rating 7/10
Tech: Rating 2/10
Lake Arrowhead from Hesperia, CA
         via Highway 173
Location: San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California
Region: Lake Arrowhead Region
Total Distance: 24 Mi
Elevation Gain: 2,000 Ft
Season: Sept-April
Type: Out & Back
Start Elev: 3,110 Ft
Peak Elev: 5,080 Ft
Total Time: 3 hr
Time In: 2 hr
Time Out: 1 hr

Ride added by
on 01/19/1997
Driving Directions
From Hesperia, take Main St. east. Continue on the same road when the name changes to Arrowhead Lake Road. Continue to the end of Arrowhead Lake Road at Highway 173. Make a left here and travel about 1 mile to the end of the paved road. Park here and ride up the dirt road. Note: a National Forest Adventure Pass is required to park here.
Ride up unpaved Highway 173 until it becomes paved at about 7 miles into the ride. Continue on Hwy 173 about 5 miles to the outskirts of Lake Arrowhead / Cedar Glen.
On this day January 19, 1997, at 6.4 miles the snow was about 16in deep and not rideable, so I stopped here and the total ride distance was only 12.8 miles. The 24 miles quoted above is the round trip distance to the earliest Lake Arrowhead overlook. I messed around in the snow for awhile and turned around. I ate a lot of mud on the way down, ruined my chain on this ride. Awesome snow though.
Trail Condition
The condition of the unpaved portion of Highway 173 varies from time to time. If it has rained or snowed recently, it will be pretty muddy. If it has not rained or snowed for a while, wasboards can get pretty large. Sometimes it is fairly sandy in places and other times not too bad. The road is graded occassionally despite the road closed signs at both ends.
Forest Details
The lower portion of unpaved Highway 173 is desert scrub - manzanita, chaparral, etc. At about 5 miles up, the first large pine trees appear, mostly Coulter pine and these continue into Lake Arrowhead. Fires after the Willow Fire have burned some of the lower elevation pine trees.
Added on 04/01/2000 by TractorUp
This was another variation on the ride. We rode from the bottom of dirt Hwy 173 to Jensen's Market in Cedar Glen near Lake Arrowhead. It was 28.5 miles round trip and took a total of 145 minutes to complete. A nice day, a nice breeze, had to search for snow. Made it up the unpaved portion of Hwy 173 in 53 minutes.
Added on 12/27/1997 by TractorUp
This was a slight variation on the above ride. This loop ride was 25 miles round trip. The directions are as follows:
Bottom of dirt Hwy 173 to Grass Valley Rd to Peninsula Dr to W Shore Rd to Voltaire Dr to Geneva Ln to Bern Ln to Lucerne Ln to North Bay Rd to paved Hwy 173 and back down to bottom of dirt 173.
There was awesome snow on this ride, played in it for a while, and there was ice all over the roads, 2in thick, cars were skidding everywhere, I crashed on ice on dirt 173 coming down, stayed on the small roads to avoid getting hit by cars. The temperature didn't get much above 30F the whole ride and the starting temp in the early morning was in the 20s.
Added on 02/21/1997 by TractorUp
The ride I took this day was 23.2 miles and 140 minutes round trip. I stopped at Willow Creek Rd because there's more traffic after North Bay Rd meets 173. Where I stopped is about the soonest that you can get a view of Lake Arrowhead.
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