Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness: Quick Guide & 5 Tips

Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness: Quick Guide & 5 Tips

Lake Arrowhead, nestled in the breathtaking San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, is a haven for nature enthusiasts but comes with the challenge of high altitudes. Discover in this guide everything you need to know about Lake Arrowhead altitude and our best tips to avoid Lake Arrowhead altitude sickness.

Lake Arrowhead Altitude

The altitude of Lake Arrowhead sits at 5,174 feet above sea level. Located in San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, Lake Arrowhead is comparable to the elevation of other notable cities like Denver at 5,280 feet high. 

  • Lake Arrowhead altitude - 5,174 ft (1,577 m)

The premier ski resort closest to Lake Arrowhead is Snow Valley Mountain Resort, which climbs to 7,841 feet at the summit.

  • Snow Valley Mountain Resort - 7,841 ft (2,390 m)

With the altitude of Lake Arrowhead and its surrounding areas, it is significantly higher than its nearby cities at sea level such as Los Angeles and San Diego. You'll want to be well prepared for these elevations.

Is Lake Arrowhead Considered High Altitude?

Yes, Lake Arrowhead California is considered high altitude.

Mountain medicine categories high altitude as anything beyond 4,900 feet,² which would include Lake Arrowhead.

Can You Get Altitude Sickness At Lake Arrowhead?

Yes, you can get altitude sickness at Lake Arrowhead.

While some state altitude sickness begins at 6,000-8,000 feet high, Julian Klapowitz MD notes that it can start as low as 4,000 feet.³ We find that statement accurate, as in Denver at 5,280 feet many visitors experience altitude sickness.

Based on barometric pressures, it's estimated that oxygen level in Lake Arrowhead is around 14% lower than found at sea level.⁴

Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness

Lake Arrowhead altitude sickness happens from the decreased oxygen levels found at 5,174 feet high.

Especially when coming from sea level, like Los Angeles and San Diego, your body doesn't have sufficient time to acclimatize. This can leads to altitude sickness with physiological struggles including oxidative stress and dehydration.

Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness Symptoms

It's essential to be aware of the symptoms of Lake Arrowhead altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

With stunning natural beauty and recreational activities, Lake Arrowhead also comes with altitude sickness risk which commonly include headaches and fatigue.

Here's are the key Lake Arrowhead altitude sickness symptoms to watch out for:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing or increased respiration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Generally feeling ill

These symptoms can vary in severity, and often start to occur within the first 12 to 24 hours. Following our high altitude tips below to have a better experience at Lake Arrowhead.

Lake Arrowhead Elevation Vs Big Bear

Two of the most popular mountain lakes in the San Bernardino Mountains California are Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake, which are only about 25 miles apart.

While also a ski resort with higher elevations, Big Bear Lake stands at 6,752 feet high, exceeding the height of Lake Arrowhead. In addition if skiing or hiking, the Big Bear ski resort jumps to 8,805 feet high.

Let's compare their elevations:

  • Lake Arrowhead altitude - 5,174 ft (1,577 m)
  • Big Bear Lake altitude - 6,752 ft (2,058 m)

The intensity and risk of altitude sickness at Big Bear can be slightly higher than Lake Arrowhead.

5 Tips To Avoid Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness

To ensure a memorable trip to Lake Arrowhead without the discomfort, we've outlined the following expert tips below. As a company with over a decade of high-altitude experience, we'll share the best knowledge available.

Here's 5 Tips To Avoid Lake Arrowhead Altitude Sickness:

1. Stay Hydrated

High altitudes like Lake Arrowhead are noted to cause fluid loss twice as fast than sea level.⁶ With the increased respiration and dry air, dehydration can kick in.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during your stay. It's commonly recommended by experts to drink half your weight in ounces of water per day.

TIP: To enhance hydration, add sea salt (containing natural electrolytes) to your food/drink, and use Zaca's hydration chewable supplement which can increase water absorption.

2. Light Physical Activity

While at Lake Arrowhead, consider only easy walks or engaging in light activities that don't exert too much effort. High intense physical activity like hiking or wake boarding can take a toll and only exacerbate stress on your body.

For the first few days until you feel acclimated, only engage in gentle activities while your body adjusts.

3. Get Plenty Of Sleep

Adequate rest and sleep helps your body's ability to acclimatize to higher altitudes. Sleep has been proven to help recovery, and also aid in oxygen and blood flow.⁷

Ensure you get a good night's sleep, 7-9 hours, before and during your Lake Arrowhead trip. Getting natural sunlight during the day is know to also help your melatonin production at nigh, which could help your sleep quality.

4. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol can dehydrate your body, worsen sleep quality, and even lower oxygen saturation.⁸ Also, symptoms of too much alcohol are very similar to altitude sickness, including nausea and headaches.

While some drinks on vacation are going to be tempting, it's best to limit your alcohol or only consume in moderation until you feel acclimated.

5. Replenish Antioxidants

High elevations have been proven to increase oxidative stress on the body.⁹ Research out of India showed glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to deplete by 45%.¹⁰

Antioxidants can be a promising solution. Such as glutathione which not only supports healthy antioxidant levels, it also helps recycle vitamin C in your body.¹¹

During your visit to the beautiful Lake Arrowhead you can have a better experience by avoiding Lake Arrowhead altitude sickness. Follow these tips when you arrive, including staying hydrated, light physical activity only, getting plenty of sleep, limiting alcohol, and replenishing antioxidants.

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1. Lake Arrowhead Elevation,_California
2. Effects of high altitude on humans
3. High Altitude Illness
4. Oxygen Levels at Altitude
5. Snow Valley Mountain Resort Elevation
6. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
7. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
8. Effects of Alcohol
9. High altitude and oxidative stress
10. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
11. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
12. Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa Altitude