In preparation for Mount Whitney this summer, I took on the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge, a series of hikes designed by Jeff Hester of SocalHiker.net featuring a progression of six peaks in Southern California. I also started an adventure club called Shoestring Adventures LA and invited you all to join me. Here are the tales of our journey.
The second summit of the SoCal Six Pack is Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon, a challenging 12-mile out-and-back hike with 4,300 feet of vertical gain to an elevation of 8,859 feet.
I was joined by 6 weekend warriors on this adventure. The “Seven Dwarfs” began to march toward the summit at 8AM. The parking lot was already full, and a few of us had to park down the road. Self-serve permits were available at the trailhead.
The first section of the trail through Icehouse Canyon led us along the sparkling creek and past a number of rustic cabins and ruins.
After a mile, we came to a junction with the Chapman Trail. The Icehouse Canyon Trail continues straight ahead, but we accidentally turned left onto the roundabout Chapman Trail, which added an additional 1.7 miles to our trek. (Total 12 miles does not include this detour.)
We stopped to rest when we reached Icehouse Saddle, where 5 different trails converge. From here, we still had 2.4-miles to reach the summit.
The hike from Icehouse Saddle to Cucamonga Peak was hot, dry and exposed. Some of us began to feel effects of the altitude as we climbed the grueling switchbacks.
At the summit, we were rewarded with an expansive view of the Inland Empire and the surrounding peaks. We found some shade to enjoy our lunch. Before heading down the mountain, we made sure to sign the trail log.
We took Icehouse Canyon Trail from the saddle, instead of the Chapman Trail. The golden hour was upon us when we arrived back to an empty parking lot.
My guy M prepared fresh fruit and homemade mango guacamole for us to enjoy. We spread ourselves out on the asphalt and sipped on a refreshing beverage. I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate our second summit victory. Our next challenge in the Six Pack of Peaks would be Cucamonga’s neighbor, Mount Baldy.
Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon
- About This Hike: 12 mi; 4,300-ft climb; 8,859 elevation
- Trailhead Directions: Exit 210 Freeway at Base Line Road and turn left onto E Base Line Road. Take the 1st right onto Padua Ave and drive 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Mt Baldy Road and follow for 8.9mi. The parking lot fills up quickly, so arrive early. Additional parking is available along the road. You must display an Adventure Pass.
- Trailhead Address: 7698 Ice House Canyon Road, Angeles National Forest, Mount Baldy, CA 91759
- Permits: Self-service permits are available at the trailhead.
- Time: 8 hours
- Fitness Level: Strenuous
- What to Bring: Plenty of food and water (at least 3 Liters) and a filter to treat water from the creek. I went through more than 3 liters. The second half of the trail is dry, so make sure you have enough water before you reach the saddle. Make sure to bring sun protection too.
- Dogs allowed.
Meelad, Jeanifer, Rachel, Mando, Varand and Patrik – Thank you for joining me on this journey. I can’t say enough about each of you as human beings. I think you’re all amazing.