Hike Organizer: Paul Kemp
Location: Cucamonga Wlderness, San Bernardino National Forest
Hike Difficulty: Strenuous, 8/10 (not for beginners)
Distance: 14 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3800 feet
Time: 7-8 hours
Hike Description: The Cucamonga Wilderness is a high subalpine region of 8000-feet peaks and deep canyons; pine-forested, precipitous, and relatively isolated. This superb, nearly pristine high country extends from upper Icehouse Canyon and Thunder Mountain ridge eastwards some 4 miles to Grizzly Ridge, the upper Middle Fork of Lytle Creek, and rugged Cucamonga Peak. It is the only wilderness in Southern California to encompass parts of two national forests - Angeles and San Bernardino.
At 8859 feet Cucamonga Peak is the eastern citadel of the range, its steep battlements rise abruptly from Cucamonga Saddle on one side and San Sevaine Ridge on the other. From Icehouse Canyon and Saddle the trail contours through open stands of ponderosa pine and white fir around the east slopes of Bighorn Peak and then switchbacks steeply up the north side of Cucamonga Peak. Shortly before reaching Cucamonga Peak there is a turn-off to Etiwanda Peak (8662 feet), approximately 1 mile away. On the return from Etiwanda Peak we shall take in Cucamonga Peak, less than 200 feet higher in elevation. Both peaks offer spectacular panoramic views of the valleys below.
This is a strenuous hike NOT for beginners - 14 miles is a long way if you haven't been hiking for a while, or you have only been hiking short distances from your couch to the refrigerator! Make sure that you wear appropriate footwear, bring at least 3 liters of water, copious amounts of sweet snacks to munch along the way, and lunch to eat at the summits.
Directions: Drive to Icehouse Canyon parking lot, 1.5 miles north of Mount Baldy Village on the right side of San Antonio Canyon Road. There will be a meeting place at Monrovia Park and Ride, on the west side of Myrtle Avenue just south of the 210 Freeway, for those of you wishing to carpool. The carpool meeting time is 7.15 am.
If you have any questions about the hike please contact me by e-mail or in the "comments" section.