Hey Everyone, here is a post from a Family Fun Adventure back in mid June to Lake Gregory, which is located about a 15 minute drive from Lake Arrowhead, CA. We booked the North Shore Campground in advance for two nights online for $22.00 a night plus an online booking fee. We didn’t stay on any special holiday weekend and there was plenty of space available. The campground was basic, the bathrooms were clean and the camp host was friendly. It was so very dusty and HOT at this time of year! Thankfully, there are trees for shade although we didn’t spend much time at the camp during the day. We did not end up doing half the hiking we had planned, as it was WAY too hot and all that prickly dried grass that gets stuck in your socks…No thanks!
The first day we drove up and went to check out Lake Gregory to see if we’d like to come back and spend the next day there. Since it cost $6 for parking, $6 for beach entrance, $7 for the splash island times our large family…we wanted to see if it was worth the money! Thank God for this lake option, the heat was intense for us coastal dwellers. After finding parking roadside, hiking around the lake on a nice tree shaded 2.5 mile loop was very scenic and relaxing. Soon we found some porta pottys and locals to ask directions to the beach. The trail path is nice and wide (in most parts) and well maintained. All ages can easily make it, but probably no jogging stroller unless you are willing to carry it up some steps and a few inclines. For the most part the trail is by the lake, but the places around the beach area takes you up by the road way. Not the nicest, but not too bad either. I still really enjoyed this walking path and would have loved to jog it. You pass by all these little coves and fishing spots, perfect for a private picnic
A few silly characters hanging around
After hiking around the lake we headed to the campground to set up for the evening and ended up with enough time to take a short hike around the campground trails. We found some whooper pine cones that were bigger than pineapples! Azure was very impressed with them and insisted on carrying a couple back to camp in spite of the thorny edges
The next morning we headed into Lake Arrowhead village to feed the ducks. You can buy bags of duck feed for .50 cents from several stores near the waterfront. Sadly, Lake Arrowhead is a private lake, that means no swimming for visitors….so we fed the ducks and grabbed a couple extra bags to feed the ducks and fish at Lake Gregory as we noticed they had some ducks there too. Call me crazy, but feeding ducks are one of the simple happy memories in my childhood. There was always a new duck pond to visit, however where we currently live, not so much! Actually, I haven’t found one closer than an hour drive away. Bananas, I know. I made sure to cash in on the opportunity
Then we were off to Lake Gregory. This seems to be the happening place for the town and its visitors. It certainly had a bunch of people so it didn’t feel very relaxing. But, it was a great place to cool down and keep the kids entertained. There are also a couple giant slides, all manner of water crafts for rent, fishing and a remote control boat area too
One suggestion that I have is to first pay the entrance fee and have the kids test the water. Our kids found it quite cold in spite of the numerous others that didn’t. If your kids are more picky, which our kids REALLY aren’t, you may want to just have them wade instead. We paid the splash island fee for the 4 older ones. However, our six year old who swims very well and loves water was a bit too cold at first and then too nervous to swim all the way out to the floating inflatables. My older kids said it would be too difficult for him to pull himself up on to the play structures and that it was even tough for them. In the end our six year old played on the kiddie inflatables near shore that are FREE instead. Unless an adult is going to accompany a younger child, it might be too much for them. In the above photos you can see the yellow divider that separates the FREE kiddie floaties from the PAID splash park.
There is only a couple FREE floaties for the littles, but our guys were happy to play on them for a few hours. The beach, well it left a lot to be desired 🙂 Bring your own shade, chairs and blankets to sit lakeside. Otherwise, there is plenty of covered picnic tables near the entrance and they allowed picnic lunches inside the beach area. If you head past the swimming area there are a ton of huge gold/black/orange/red fish! They took a few minutes to start eating, but when they did they came right up close to shore and they loved the ducky food we brought
Now lets talk about money value for a minute. Paying for parking, you pretty much gotta do it with kids. Cost:$6.00 all day. Not bad in my book. Lake side entrance x 7 family members = $42.00. This didn’t make me happy, since really nice, non crowded beaches are FREE where we are from. Splash island park x 4 kids = $28.00. Not a bad price. They had plenty of restrooms and lifeguards on duty
Towards the late afternoon the water got quite crowded and the splash island enjoyers had to take 30 minute shifts. Which wasn’t the coolest since you are paying quite a bit in all, but it worked out ok for us since we had already been there for a couple hours in the morning before it got too crowded. This lake went from the maybe list, to being pretty much all of the list because of the weather. Of course, being in the mountains, its a summer only activity. I hope your family is making some wonderful memories this summer