Strawberry Sunday

Hike to Strawberry Peak Lookout Near Lake Arrowhead

The 2.5-mile (round-trip) lollipop loop climb to the Strawberry Peak Fire Lookout near the town of Lake Arrowhead is deliciously reminiscent of its namesake fruit—short and sweet—but it also provides a juicy workout. The starting point is marked by stone gates and a sign. Head through the gates, ignoring a trail on the left, and continue straight.

Shortly, pass a stone inscribed with the Serrano Native American word for welcome: HAMIINAT.

Here, the trail winds around the mountain under towering Jeffrey pines and sycamores. After about a half-mile, look for a marked spur trail that leads to a vista, if you are so inclined before your true incline begins. The fire lookout, situated at 6,135 feet, is run by volunteers from the Southern California Mountains Foundation.

You get an incredible view over San Bernardino that stretches to Catalina Island on clear days. Survey other peaks as well, like the not-too-distant summits of Baldy and Cucamonga to the west.

Hike to Strawberry Peak Lookout

While the current tower has been operational since its 1934 construction, the original (1922) used to stand atop a giant tree and was made from railings donated by the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway—check out the replica in the lookout before heading back and completing your lollipop loop.

To get to the Strawberry Peak trailhead, take the 210 Freeway to San Bernardino to the CA-18. Head north on the CA-18 for 14 miles into the mountains, turning left onto Lake Gregory Dr., followed by an immediate right onto the CA-189. After 0.7 mile, the trailhead will be on your right. Park on the street across from the trailhead entrance on the CA-189, just north of the intersection with Pine Crest Rd. Strawberry Peak tower is open to visitors Memorial Day to December, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is often open a few weeks earlier, and stays open for the remaining fire season, if volunteers are available. {JUNE 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: The inside of the tower is currently closed to visitors.}

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