(Image from SoCalHiker.net)
N.B.: If you are joining us on this hike, please read this again as important updates have been added!Cucamonga Peak via the Icehouse Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes on the Angeles National Forest. The hike is 13.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,500 feet. The reward for all your hard work is one of the best views in all of the San Gabriels. This is also one of the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks for those who are completing that challenge this summer. Icehouse Canyon is one of the most beautiful areas on the Angeles National Forest, with a wide diversity of habitat types including a babbling creek, riparian vegetation, and high-elevation conifer forest.
Some excellent detailed descriptions of the trail, including photos, can be found on SoCalHiker.net and ModernHiker.com. (Note that their descriptions list this as an 11-ish mile hike, but our figure of 13.5 miles is GPS-verified.)
Schedule: We’ll meet at the trailhead at 7:00 am, in hopes of there still being some parking available. There is usually plenty of overflow parking available along the sides of Mt. Baldy Road. All parked vehicles must display an Adventure Pass. We will depart at 7:30 am sharp, so latecomers will be on their own at that point. The hike will take between 7-8 hours. We will take one or two short breaks on the way up, a longer lunch break at the summit, and one short break on the way back down.
Trip Leader: Matthew Bokach (firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact Matthew with any questions!
Permits: Once everyone in the group is present, the trip leader will fill out a single free Wilderness permit for the group. Group sizes in the Wilderness cannot exceed 12 people and apparently volunteers check compliance along the trail. If our total group is more than 12 folks we will split into two groups with separate hike leaders. All hikers will also fill out the Great Outdoors roster so the group leader(s) can make sure everyone is accounted for.
What to bring: Especially on a long and remote hike like this one, hikers are strongly encouraged to bring the "ten essentials" listed here: https://www.greatoutdoorsla.org/page-18105. This is a strenuous hike based both on distance and elevation gain. If you aren't sure if you're fit enough for this hike, please contact Matthew Bokach and chat about your experience level. All hikers must have at least 3 liters of water, and adequate snacks/lunch. We will not allow anyone with less than this to join the group, and more is recommended. As a rough guide, when we scouted this route our fitness app said we burned over 2,000 calories. Most of this hike is exposed and nearly the entire descent will be under direct sunlight and hot. That said, mornings in Icehouse Canyon are cool (because the sun hasn't yet risen over the ridge) - so a lightweight warm removable layer of clothes is highly recommended. Appropriate footwear is also a necessity as there's a lot of scrambling over rocks along this route.
Directions: From the 210 freeway, take exit 54 for Mountain Ave. exit and travel north. As you drive up the hill, Mountain Avenue veers to the right and then back to the left. Just past the Lower San Antonio fire station the road bends sharply to the left then dead-ends onto Mount Baldy Road – turn right (north). Go through Mount Baldy Village and take a right at the fork in the road toward Icehouse Canyon. The trailhead parking lot is at the end of the short road. If using navigation software, the trailhead address is: 7698 Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759.