This is a long hike, so take plenty of water, food, the 10 essentials, and an extra layer of clothing in case the wind comes up. Water is available at Columbine Spring and along the lower creek, but otherwise this is a dry hike.
From the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, the hike begins a steady climb up Icehouse Canyon Trail #7W07A
. It's best to start early, before the crowds, and don't forget about the self-issued permit to enter the Cucamonga Wilderness available at the trailhead.
The trail up Icehouse Canyon follows the stream at a steady climb past several private cabins. If you are hiking early, respect the residents and keep your voices down. Also keep a look out for deer and Nelson's Sheep farther up the canyon. At about 2.4 miles, listen for Columbine Spring, which is just below the trail. This spring typically has water year round. From here, the trail continues its climb for approximately 1.0 mile to Icehouse Saddle. Along the way, you'll cross the intersection of the Chapman Trail #7W07
, which you'll use on your return trek. Take a break at Icehouse Saddle and grab a snack, but be aware that this saddle is often windy.
Icehouse saddle is a junction of several trails which can take you to the Three T's Trail #7W06
, Middle Fork Trail #6W01
, Ontario Peak Trail #7W08
, Kelly's Camp and Bighorn Peak Trail #7W08A
. You want to take the Cucamonga Peak Trail #7W04
to the southeast. This trail offers views of the I-15 far below and the Lytle Creek watershed as it slowly traverses the contour lines at the base of Bighorn Peak to the west.
The hike to the Cucamonga Peak Spur
trail is approximately 2.1 miles from the Icehouse Canyon Saddle. It has a few steep, challenging scree and rock areas, but nothing too difficult. Once you reach the spur trail to the peak, stay right and climb to the top. This spur trail is heavily used and easy to follow. Take a break at the top as you are rewarded with great views of the Inland Empire. Make sure you look north for great views of Mt. Baldy!
After enjoying Cucamonga Peak you'll take a use trail off the peak to the northeast. It is hard to get lost here. If you go too far to the right (east/south), the steep drop from the ridge will turn you back. If you go too far left (north) you'll run back into the main Cucamonga Peak Trail #7W04
. Follow the trail just off the ridgeline until you intersect with the Cucamonga Peak Trail #7W04
After intersecting the main trail, continue east. You are now only 1.0 mile from Etiwanda Peak! Near GPS 34.2289, -117.5737 there is an obvious spur trail to the right that will take you to Etiwanda Peak. The spur trail is steep, but it is also short! Once on top enjoy the scenery. Not many people bother hiking up to Etiwanda Peak, but the views are not to be missed! (Dare I say perhaps better views than Cucamonga Peak?)
Once you have enjoyed the view and solitude (no people) at Etiwanda Peak, return via the spur trail and begin hiking west on the Cucamonga Peak Trail #7W04
back to Icehouse Saddle. Along the way you'll pass the Cucamonga Peak Spur
trail. From Icehouse Saddle take the Icehouse Canyon Trail #7W07A
until the intersection with the Chapman Trail #7W07
. Follow the Chapman Trail #7W07
through Cedar Glenn campground until it intersects back with the Icehouse Canyon Trail #7W07A
. You are now about 1.0 mile from the parking lot!
Wild flowers in spring and into early summer, lots of shade along the trail. Oaks, maple, alder and bigcone spruce are found at the lower elevations of the hike while Jeffrey, sugar, lodgepole pines and the occasional Cedar offer shade on the higher slopes and at Cedar Glen. Deer and Nelson's Sheep are in the area, but the sheep are rarely seen.
In the spring of 1858, ice came to Los Angeles. "Mr. Marchessault and Beaudry arrived in town with the first consignment of ice from the mountains of San Antonio," the Southern Vineyard announced on April 17. The two savvy businessmen, discerning a demand for the cooling agent in the days antedating home electricity, had erected an ice plant in upper San Antonio Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. Today, the area is known as Icehouse Canyon.
Find out more about the history of Icehouse Canyon here