Lake Arrowhead is an unincorporated community in the San Bernardino Mountains of San Bernardino County, California, within the San Bernardino National Forest, surrounding the Lake Arrowhead Reservoir. Located about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, the population was 12,424 at the 2010 census, up from 8,934 at the 2000 census. It was formerly called "Little Bear Lake" until around 1920, when a group from Los Angeles, the Arrowhead Lake Company, bought the lake and the land surrounding it, and changed its name to Arrowhead Lake.
Tourism is the primary economic generator as it hosts over 4 million visitors a year. There are 400 guestrooms in hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts as well as 500 cabins and condos, which are rented on a short-term basis. The city is home to the Arrowhead Country Club and Golf Course.
Lake Arrowhead Reservoir
Lake Arrowhead Reservoir is an artificial lake located in the San Bernardino Mountains on Little Bear Creek, a tributary of Deep Creek and the Mojave River. It has a surface area of approximately 780 acres (320 ha) and a capacity of 48,000 acre·ft (59,000 dam3). It is surrounded by the unincorporated community of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County, California.
The lake was originally intended to serve as part of a major waterworks project to provide irrigation water to the San Bernardino Valley, and construction of the Lake Arrowhead Dam began toward that end in 1904. However, the original project was halted due to litigation over water supplies to land owners on the desert side of the mountains. Construction of the dam was completed in 1922 by the Arrowhead Lake Company, a Los Angeles syndicate, as part of a plan to develop the area into a resort.
Use of the lake is currently controlled by the Arrowhead Lake Association, which maintains the lake for the recreational use of its members. The Lake Arrowhead Community Services District withdraws water from the lake for treatment and distribution to local residents for potable use.
2-time Olympic medalist Buster Crabbe in the 1930s and 1940s and the modern-day OakStreakers from Laguna Beach did winter swimming and high-altitude swimming in the Lake Arrowhead Reservoir at 1,577m (5,174 feet) altitude.