Lake Arrowhead and Indian Rock Camp Trail
High 173: Taken Near the Indian Rock Trail in 2002
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.
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.
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.
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 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.