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Ice House Canyon Trail to Bighorn Peak, Angeles Nat'l Forest, Oct. 7, 2017

Posted by Adventure 16 | 10.27.2017

By James Almon, A16 Manager of Information Systems

This 14.1 mile (round trip) day hike boasts 4400+ elevation gain, views, views, views, rock cabin ruins, a  babbling creek--and gorgeous fall color if you go in mid-autumn.
 

Ice House Creek

Ice House Creek 

I started out at 7am from San Diego. When I got there at around 9:15am, the parking lot was already packed, so I parked along the road.  If you are an early riser you may want to get there even earlier so you can get some choice parking

Old Cabin remnants near the beginning of Ice House trail
Old Cabin remnants near the beginning of the trail

On the day of my hike it was a perfect day for hiking: Clear, sunny and not too hot. Lots of beautiful scenery! It was fun just being out on a beautiful day hiking and exploring a new trail and getting to bag two new peaks in the process.  
 

Ontario Peak View from the junction between Bighorn & Ontario Peaks

Ontario Peak bagged. Onward to Bighorn!                                         View from the junction between Bighorn & Ontario Peaks


On the way up to Ice house saddle the trail was crowded with hikers.  Once I reached the saddle, however about 90% of the people seemed to either go another way or turn back at the saddle and I got to enjoy having both peaks all to myself!
 

Ontario Peak Summit

Ontario Peak Saddle


TIPS: Get there as early as you can!  Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks as you will be burning a lot of calories doing the 4400+ of elevation gain.
 

FAVORITE PIECES OF GEAR:  CamelBak, Shelta Hat and of course my camera!

HIGHLIGHTS: Getting up on the peaks, the autumn colors as the sun was starting to set on the way back down, listening to the creek and taking a break on the way back down by the creek and the scenery! 

BEST TIME TO GO: Early October for a perfect combination of weather, scenery, and fall colors.  I don't think it could get much better than that!
 

PERMITS:  In addition to an Adventure Pass, a free wilderness permit is also required to enter the Cucamonga Wilderness. The wilderness permit may be picked up at the Mount Baldy Ranger Station the day of your hike, or call ahead if you’re a sunrise hiker and they will leave it out for you.

CAMPING: In addition to the trail camps, backpackers may camp anywhere in the wilderness as long as the spot is 200 feet from creeks and lakes.
 

Another view of Ice House Creek

Another view of Ice House Creek


DIRECTIONS FROM SAN DIEGO:
 I-15 N for 102.3 mi
Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 109 to merge onto I-10 W toward Los Angeles for 9.7 mi
Take exit 48 for Monte Vista Ave for 0.2 mi
Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto Monte Vista Ave for 2.7 mi
Continue onto Padua Ave for 1.8 mi
Turn right onto Mt Baldy Rd for 8.9 mi
Turn right onto Ice House Canyon Rd for 0.2 mi
Watch for sign for Ice Canyon Rd.   Park in the parking lot if possible.


DIRECTIONS FROM L.A.
I-10 E for 11.2 mi
Keep left at the fork to stay on I-10 E, follow signs for Interstate 5 N/Interstate 10 E/Sacramento/San Bernardino for 1.9 mi
Take exit 135C to stay on I-10 E toward San Bernardino for 23.6 mi
Take exit 42A to merge onto CA-57 N/State Hwy 57 N for 4.3 mi
Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 25B to merge onto CA-210 E/Foothill Fwy toward San Bernardino for 7.3 mi
Take exit 52 toward Base Line Rd for 0.3 mi
Turn left onto E Baseline Rd for 0.2 mi
Turn right onto Padua Ave for 1.8 mi
Turn right onto Mt Baldy Rd for 8.9 mi
Turn right onto Ice House Canyon Rd for 0.2 mi
Watch for sign for Ice House Canyon trail.  Park in the parking lot if possible.

 

James Almon on Bighorn Peak

The author, James Almon on Bighorn Peak