Free weekly trolley ride through Lake Arrowhead history

Jul 20, 2023 | Mountain History

Free trolley

By Rhea-Frances Tetley – Staff Writer

This summer, through Sept. 2, on Saturday mornings, anyone may jump onto the free Lake Arrowhead trolley for trip one, departing at 10:30 a.m. from SkyPark at Santa’s Village for an authentic hour-long, narrated trolley ride through Lake Arrowhead history led by a docent from the Mountain History Museum.

Riders may also jump onto the trolley at any of its stops as it makes a loop.

The trolley stop is in the parking lot on the SkyPark Camp & RV Park side of Highway 18. Turn into the south parking lot at the signal, so there is also plenty of free parking while taking the free tour.

The tour guides will be from the Rim of the World Historical Society and, so far, the tour guides have been ROWHS President Bill Pumford and local historians and authors Rhea-Frances Tetley and Russ Keller. They will repeat narrating the tours and other museum docents will also lead the tours this summer.

These docents will describe local points of interest as the trolley passes them and explain why they are significant. There is some Hollywood history added, as the trolley moves through the Alpine villages of Skyforest, Cedar Glen, Lake Arrowhead, Blue Jay and Twin Peaks, as well as all the spots in between.

All of this was coordinated by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, on Mountain Transit’s free weekend trolley service, paid for by Supervisor Dawn Rowe. They’re using the free trolley ride and added value to it by weaving the history component into it with the cooperation of the volunteers from the historical society.

Each of the mountain villages has its own unique character and history and offers special points of interest for visitors and residents alike. After the tour, several people have gone back to explore parts of the communities as they had previously been unaware of their backgrounds and importance. Some areas have developed as a result of the lumbering industry and tourism and still others from the construction of the lake itself.

The Lake Arrowhead chamber also recommends that everyone should visit the Mountain History Museum to learn more about the area’s unusual history. The free museum is located at 27176 Peninsula Drive at Rhine Road in Lake Arrowhead. It is completely volunteer-run and open Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. and weekends from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., through October. The Rim of the World Historical Society has been recognized as the Best Nonprofit of the Year by the Lake Arrowhead chamber. The museum also has monthly special free events at the museum; see their website,, for dates.

They will be offering a history and celebrity cruise of Lake Arrowhead aboard the Arrowhead Queen for $35 on Aug.19; RSVP on their website.

The museum also sponsors other events and activities at the museum, including Smokey Bear’s free birthday party on Aug. 6 from noon to 2 p.m. Come meet Smokey Bear. take a selfie and have some ice cream.

Free trolley schedule

Free trolley schedule


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