Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
San Bernardino County Hikes

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

Cucamonga Peak via the Icehouse Canyon Trail is a 12 mile out-and-back hike that gains 4,339ft with a max elevation of 8,858ft. Located in the Cucamonga Wilderness of the San Bernardino National Forest, Cucamonga Peak sits in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains. Although Mt. Baldy is the most well known peak in the San Gabriels, Cucamonga Peak is known for commanding the best views.

Cucamonga Peak via the Icehouse Canyon Trail is a 12 mile out-and-back hike that gains 4,339ft with a max elevation of 8,858ft. Located in the Cucamonga Wilderness of the San Bernardino National Forest, Cucamonga Peak sits in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains. Although Mt. Baldy is the most well known peak in the San Gabriels, Cucamonga Peak is known for commanding the best views. In this guide, I will include directions, maps, a GPS Track, photos, and a detailed hike description.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail


Directions And GPS Tracks:

  • The trailhead to hike Cucamonga Peak via the Icehouse Canyon Trail is located at the Icehouse Canyon parking lot. Click here for directions
  • From the 210 freeway, exit Baseline (eastbound) or Mountain (westbound) and head north towards Mt. Baldy Road and Mt. Baldy Village. Continue past Mt. Baldy Village for around 2 miles until you reach a fork. You’ll see the parking lot for Icehouse Canyon on the right leg of the fork.
  • Download GPX
  • See track on Gaia GPS
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Icehouse Canyon Trailhead Parking Lot

Key Points:

  • Distance: 12 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4339 ft
  • Minimum Elevation: 5105 ft
  • Maximum Elevation: 8858 ft
  • Time: 5-9 hours
  • Difficulty: (3.5/5)
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Permit Required: No, but an Adventure Pass is required to park at Icehouse Canyon Trailhead
  • Parking: There is a small parking lot at the trailhead, but it fills up by 6:30 AM on most weekends. Additional parking is available along the road. Be prepared to walk upwards of 1 additional mile if you arrive later than 8:00 AM.
  • Trail Condition: This is a steep trail of single track that is very rock over the first 3.5 miles. There are a few very small water crossings. The trail runs alongside a creek and is very shaded for the first 3.5 miles. This water can lead to bugs, so come prepared if you’re averse. The final 2.5 miles is exposed, so make sure to have good sun protection. There is dangerous ice and snow on this trail in the winter, with conditions that can be very treacherous without proper gear and training.
  • Cell Phone Reception: Almost none. I will sometimes get service after the Icehouse Saddle and/or at the summit of Cucamonga Peak.

Make sure to hike with the right gear. See my current hiking gear list. 


Hike Map And Elevation Profile:

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail


Hike Description:

0.0 Miles (5105ft)- At the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, you’ll find a restroom with pit toilets and trashcans. Continue up the road and you’ll see the start of the trail.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Trailhead Restroom
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
The Trail Begins Here

The trail starts out pretty level, but be prepared, it will start gaining elevation quickly. The first mile of hiking will take you by a series of occupied cabins, as well as the abandoned foundations of others.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

0.5 Miles (5302ft)- The trail will begin climbing in earnest here, so hopefully your legs are nice and warmed up. This is also where the trail becomes quite rocky, so make sure to wear proper footwear. If you try to hike this trail in standard running shoes, your feet will take a pounding.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

Depending on the year and season, the water can be flowing quite quickly through Icehouse Canyon. Many visit just to picnic alongside these waters. There are numerous use-trails that lead down to the water, and a few sections of trail that will walk you right up to the banks. The are a few parts of the main trail that get intersected by feeder streams. Make sure to be mindful of your footing here, as the stepping stones can be slick.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Down To The Creek
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Water Crossing Ahead

1.0 Miles (5629ft)- After hiking for one mile, you’ll reach a junction for the Chapman Trail. This trail veers off to the left and takes hikers on a more scenic route to the Icehouse Saddle. Stay straight ahead to continue on the main trail.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Chapman Trail Junction
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
One Mile Marker

1.6 Miles (5956ft)- At this point on the trail, you’ll cross over from the left side of the canyon to the right side of the canyon. You’ll notice a change in scenery, too, as the lush green landscape gives way to much more granite.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

1.8 Miles (6078ft)- You’ll pass into the Cucamonga Wilderness. You’ll see a sign on your left with rules and regulations for the wilderness area.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Cucamonga Wilderness Area

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

This next stretch of trail can change from year to year, as it gets reshaped by every passing flash flood. Heavy rain can move these granite slabs around pretty quickly. It’s pretty easy to follow, but make sure to pay attention.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

2.0 Miles (6279ft)- After passing the metal post signifying the two mile mark, you’ll hit a long stretch of uphill hiking. This singletrack is smooth and buffed out, which makes for some really nice hiking.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

2.6 Miles (6645ft)- If you are camping in this area or are hoping to filter water, you’ll find a spring just off of the right hand side of the trail here. This spring is seasonal, so make sure to check ahead and don’t plan on there being water here without confirmation.

After leaving the spring behind, the trail turns into a series of switchbacks. You’ll be treated to some pretty nice views of Mt. Baldy as you gain in elevation.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Spring Water
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Uphill Switchbacks
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Baldy In The Distance

2.9 Miles (7114ft)- Just before reaching the 3-mile mark you’ll see the end of the Chapman Trail at a junction. This is the trail offshoot that started back at the 1-mile mark of this hike. Stay right to continue on the main trail towards Cucamonga Peak.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
3-Mile Marker

3.6 Miles (7566ft)- You’ll reach the Icehouse Saddle after 3.6 miles of hiking. For many hikers, this is the final destination for their outing. For others, higher summits await. From this saddle, hikers can access Ontario Peak, Big Horn Peak, Three T’s Trail, and Cucamonga Peak. Continue heading straight away towards a rectangular placard to reach the Cucamonga Peak Trail.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Approaching The Saddle
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Icehouse Saddle
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Towards Cucamonga Peak

The Cucamonga Peak Trail starts out with a level stretch of hiking before losing a little bit of elevation in a roller coaster fashion. The hike up until this point was covered in copious shade and tree coverage. The remaining miles are quite exposed, so make sure to stay hydrated. To the east, views of the High Desert will come into view.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Cucamonga Peak Awaits
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
High Desert Views
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Exposed

4.7 Miles (7664ft)- At 4.7 miles, you’ll reach the Cucamonga Saddle. From this Saddle, you’ll see a use trail behind you that heads to Bighorn Peak. Continue straight ahead on the main trail towards Cucamonga Peak.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Cucamonga Saddle
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
The Trail Up

The last stretch of trail to Cucamonga Peak is pretty easy to follow, as it’s just a series of switchbacks that head towards the summit. Things start out with a little bit of talus and scree, so again, make sure to have proper footwear.

Looking back from the trail, you’ll have views of Bighorn and Ontario Peak, with Timber Mountain and Telegraph Peak in the background.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Scree
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Back To Bighorn

5.2 Miles (8224ft)- You’ll see a block off use trail here. Make sure to turn left to continue on the main trail. As you continue to gain in elevation, you get glimpses of the Inland Empire to the south.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Blocked Off Use Trail
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Inland Empire Views

5.7 Miles (8639ft)- You’ll see a wooden post that signifies the Etiwanda Peak junction. Head straight to remain on the path towards Cucamonga Peak. The offshoot trail to left leads towards Etiwanda Peak.

This next stretch of trail is pretty steep as there are no switchbacks. It’s just a straight shot from here to the summit.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Etiwanda Peak Junction

6.0 Miles (8858ft)- You’ve reached Cucamonga Peak! Once you see the views of the Inland Empire, head left towards the highest ground to reach the official summit.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
First Views
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Head Uphill To The Left

At the summit, you can look east towards Etiwanda Peak, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto. To the south you can see Santiago Peak. To the west, you can sometimes see out to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Looking South

Head back down to wear you first enjoyed your summit views and you’ll see two large boulders overlooking the Inland Empire below. These are probably the most photographed rocks on Cucamonga Peak. If you’re not afraid of heights and don’t get vertigo, the make for pretty stunning photographs.

Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
Looking Out
Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Trail
It’s Official

Once you’ve enjoyed enough time at the summit, you can head up the same way that you arrived. If you want to add a little distance to you downhill hike, you can try taking the Chapman Trail offshoot.

I’m Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

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