Matt H. and I took a day trip up to the Lake Arrowhead Airport to check things out and practice some dirt landings at a mountain airport.  The plane of choice for the day was the Cessna 207.  The Lake Arrowhead airport is privately owned, but open to the public.  If you’d like to visit contact Mark, the owner, to let him know of your plans and he will plan to meet you and show you around.  There is a $20 landing fee and a rental Jeep or pickup is available.  Mark will also drive you into the town of Lake Arrowhead if you’d like. Camping and target or trap shooting is available on site and free of charge. Hikers can either hike to the nearby hot springs or to the river that is just east of the airport.  Mark, the owner is very enthusiastic about having visitors fly in to see his airport.  His ultimate plans involve paving the runway, building a restaurant and an onsite vineyard and winery.  He also hopes to build a bunch of private hangars.

The airport is located in a shallow valley with a hill to the south.  The runways are 9/27 and is 3,650′ x 75′ and consists of decomposed granite and dirt.  For a soft field the runway is in great condition with only minor low spots and bumps but nothing a typical general aviation aircraft can’t handle.  The airport sits at 4,610′ so density altitude can be an issue during the summer.  With a good breeze it certainly seemed the airport could become a bit of a challenge.

Lake Arrowhead airport combined with a trip to Big Bear and possibly a dry lake bed will serve as a good introduction to light mountain airports as well as benign soft field operations.   Any pilots who are interested in this sort of training should contact me and we can discuss training options.