Lake Arrowhead and Indian Rock Camp Trail

The Indian Rock Camp sign photographed in December of 2011.
The Indian Rock Camp sign photographed in December of 2011. | Source
Plaque Dedicated to the Indian Rock Camp.  I took this picture in 2002.
Plaque Dedicated to the Indian Rock Camp. I took this picture in 2002.

High 173: Taken Near the Indian Rock Trail in 2002

Picture of Highway 173 near the entrance of the Indian Rock Trail.
Picture of Highway 173 near the entrance of the Indian Rock Trail.

Lake Arrowhead is a community in the San Bernardino Mountains that tourists love to visit. Most people visit Lake Arrowhead Village, but there are other things to see. The lake is beautiful, but I am writing this hub to share some other wonderful sites to see. The Indian Rock Camp is one of those special places that is hidden and not a main tourist attraction, but visiting this spot is fun and educational. The Indian Rock Camp is where the Serrano Indian women used to grind acorns into meal inside the holes they made on large metate rocks. These holes were made by the repetitive grinding of the acorn meal, and over the years some deep indentations were made in the metate rocks. Oak trees grow in abundance in the San Benrardino Mountains, and the acorns from these trees were a main starchy stable for the Serrano Indians.

Oak trees with yellow leaves in late November.  Even today you can harvest and cook acorns from the oak trees, if you so desired.
Oak trees with yellow leaves in late November. Even today you can harvest and cook acorns from the oak trees, if you so desired. | Source

The Indian Rock Trail

 

About three miles north of Lake Arrowhead on state highway 173, you can find the Indian Rock Trail. To get there you will need to park your vehicle across the street from the trail head. Make sure to obtain an adventure pass so you can park your vehicle off road in the San Bernardino Mountains. Adventure passes can be purchased at the main ranger's station in Lake Arrowhead, which can provide even more information on trails and camping.

My favorite trail in the mountains is the Indian Rock Trail, which right off Highway 173. I enjoyed walking on the Indian Rock Trail because it is an easy hike and only takes about a half an hour or so. If you are looking for a moderate hike that is not to strenous, I would recommend this as a place to start. Also, this is an ideal location for a family that wants to go for a hike because this is something the entire family can enjoy.

Picture I took of the metatee rocks in 2002.
Picture I took of the metatee rocks in 2002. | Source

The Serrano Indians

The Serrano Indians, which means mountain dwellers in Spanish, used to gather and grind acorns during the autumn. The Indian Rock Camp was the ideal location since there were so many large rock outcroppings to work with. It is magical to touch the holes ground into these rocks and to realize women made these over two hundred years ago, and that these holes made the acorn meal used to sustain the Serrano people. This acorn meal was made into a tortilla like food bread and mush, which the Serranos also ate along with rabbits, pinon nuts, and other wild game/native plants in the region.

Shadows inside the holes of the metate rocks.  The metatee rocks is where Serrano Indians used to grind acorns into meal to make flat breads and mushes.
Shadows inside the holes of the metate rocks. The metatee rocks is where Serrano Indians used to grind acorns into meal to make flat breads and mushes. | Source
I can imagine several women grinding acorns together here.
I can imagine several women grinding acorns together here. | Source

So the next time you think the lake is the only attraction in the San Bernardino Mountains, please check out some of the trails, natural sites and wild life sounds the mountains have to offer. Luckily, the Indian Rock Camp is one of the areas that was not burned by the fires in 2003 and 2007, so it is still accessible and easy for people to visit. I hope you enjoy your next trip to the Lake Arrowhead vicinity.

This deep hole used to grind acorn meal was most likely used for over a hundred years.
This deep hole used to grind acorn meal was most likely used for over a hundred years. | Source

This is only an educated guess on my part, but I believe the deeper holes like the one picture above were probably used to grind acorns for over a hundred years.

In the picture above you can see how big the holes are in comparison to the size of a person's foot.
In the picture above you can see how big the holes are in comparison to the size of a person's foot. | Source

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Comments 11 comments

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Thanks so much for the virtual tour--the information and the pix were just great!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for the comments Robie! Just wanted to let people know there are other thing to see in Lake Arrowhead beside the lake itself.


Juliette 7 years ago

I am in third grade and I am doing a report on Serrano Indians, and this will really help me! Thanks!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad to hear this page will help you Juliet.


paulie 6 years ago

cant wait to go see this. we found grinding rocks near baldwin lake today. thanks!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Paulie,

That is really nice to know. I did not know about the ones up there, just the ones out on 173.


Laura 6 years ago

How do you get on the trail from HWY 138 in Hesperia?


Laura 6 years ago

Sorry I meant from HWY 173 in Hesperia


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Laura,

You have to drive up the ten miles of the dirt road, which is windy and precipitous, until your reach the paved portion at about 5,000 feet in altitude. You will see signs for the Indian Rock Camp once you reach the paved portion of the road.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

I used to live in Big Bear Lake and can't believe we drove pass seeing places in Lake Arrowhead as we would passed it every time going up and down the hill.

Great hub with good information.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Writer20,

If you still nearby you can always go up to Lake Arrowhead for the day. Thanks for your comments!

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