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Cucamonga Peak 8,859' via Icehouse Canyon 12 miles/4,300' gain/loss

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Photo: Cucamonga vineyard early spring of 1940.

Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon

A challenging 12 mile out-and-back hike with 4,300 feet of elevation gain to the 8,859′ summit.

Difficulty: Difficult - Not for beginners - No Dogs.
Length: 12 miles ; Elevation 4,300 feet; Peak 8,859'
Duration: 7-8 hours

ABOUT THE HIKE: The Icehouse Trail goes up constantly at ~ 700’/mi. There are few flats or big climbs until you reach Icehouse Saddle at 3.5-miles. From there, the trail undulates for the next 1.5-miles back to Cucamonga Saddle, at which point it climbs 1,200’ in over the next mile to what I consider prettiest summit in the Angeles National Forest. A head dunk and/or foot soak in creek will occur during the descent.

WHAT TO BRING: 3 liters of water, electrolytes, snacks, lunch, hat, layered clothing, could be cool and breezy at summit. Hiking poles if you use them and 10 essentials. A National Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed in your car.

***Hike at your own personal risk. Plan well and stay safe.


Peak offers amazing views over Southern California’s Inland Empire, east toward Apple Valley and beyond. This hike from Icehouse Canyon is a strenuous 11.6 mile out-and-back route with 4,300 feet of vertical gain and a top elevation of 8,859′. The north-facing slope holds snow much later in the season than other peaks.

From atop Cucamonga Peak you can see most of the better-known peaks in Southern California, including the distinctive saddleback mountains (Santiago and Modjeska peaks) in Orange County; Mt. San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, and Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy).

A National Parks Adventure Pass is required for parking at the trailhead. Parking fills up quickly. Carpool and get there early.

There is water available in Icehouse Canyon, but treat or filter before drinking. The second half of the trail is steep, dry and exposed.

Points of Interest
* Icehouse Canyon Trailhead
The Icehouse Canyon trail parallels Icehouse Creek. There are numerous cabins that dot the landscape along the lower section of Icehouse Creek, and you'll see the remains of still more cabins that were washed away by floods or rock slides years ago.

Icehouse Creek is extremely photogenic, but save the photos for the way back, with the more dramatic afternoon light.

*Crossing a Steep Slope
This section includes several switchbacks as you traverse the steep canyon walls toward the saddle.

*Icehouse Saddle
Five trails converge at this saddle. Rest, regroup, then continue straight ahead on the trail to Cucamonga Peak. As you leave the saddle, the trail closely follows the contours around the side of Bighorn Peak, providing a much-appreciated break after the climb up the canyon.

*Minor Saddle
At this minor saddle you'll have views to the west over the Inland Empire, and to the northeast over the Antelope Valley. On a clear day, you can see the 15 freeway in the distance, making it's way out towards Barstow.

From here on it's a steep climb to the summit with numerous switchbacks.

* Cucamonga Peak Trail
Watch for the sign to Cucamonga Peak, taking the trail leading to the right and up the mountain. You're almost there!

* Cucamonga Peak
The southeast side of Cucamonga Peak is a precipitous drop, with stunning views of the smog-choked Inland Empire. If you are up here on a clear day, you can easily pick out Mt. San Antonio (Baldy), San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto.

Retrace your steps back to the Icehouse Canyon trailhead.
* Trailhead parking for Icehouse Canyon
Icehouse Canyon is a popular trail and this parking fills up early.


Please note that you agree to pay for any medical or legal cost involved in case of an injury to yourself, and request your heirs to respect your agreed waiver in case of a death due to any reason, by signing up for this event.