This is hike number 4/52 for the 52 Hike Challenge in 2015, and 45 out of my goal of 1000 miles this year. The trail to Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon is about 12 miles out and back, with nearly 4000 ft of elevation gain and a max elevation of 8,858ft.
After hiking to Timber Mountain two weeks ago via Icehouse Canyon, I was excited to get back to the area for a Cucamonga Peak hike. It’s amazing how much things can change in two weeks. All of the snow and ice has melted at elevations below 7,000ft (Icehouse trailhead is at 5000ft). It made for a much quicker hike to the Icehouse Saddle, but all of the winter magic was gone.
After leaving the Icehouse Saddle the snow and ice was still a few inches deep on any of the northern facing slopes. All of the southern and eastern facing sections of the trail were completely dry. There were a few hikers out in running shoes, but I’d still recommend a good trail shoe and microspikes just to be safe.
The temperature began to drop and the wind picked up as I began my ascent on the north facing switchbacks to Cucamonga Peak. After just under 2.5 hours of hiking, I was standing on the summit alone with gorgeous views of the Inland Empire. To the east I could see a snow capped San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto looks like it’s without snow. There were also very nice views of Santiago Peak with LA to the west still covered in a marine layer.
The summit of Cucamonga Peak is the reason this is my favorite hike in the San Gabriels. Starting off with Icehouse Canyon and ending with a beautiful view of Southern California is really tough to beat. Having spent a few nights up here, it’s always fun to take a look around and see if there are spots that would be ideal for a winter overnighter. I found a few, but I think the cold winds would make for a less than pleasant sleep. Maybe it’s worth a try though.
After a few minutes at the top and a tripod selfie shot, I made my way back down towards Icehouse Canyon to finish my hike.