A grueling, but spectacular hike up to one of Southern California's highest peaks along with offering views of Mount Baldy and the surrounding San Gabriel Mountain range.
- Unfortunately, there aren't any coffee shops currently in the mountains on the way to Cucamonga Peak. The best options are going to be in Claremont and Augie's Coffee House is a perfect stop on your way to the hike. It's located in a renovated train station full of character and charm. Keep in mind, they currently do not sell any food beside pastries.
- Take the 134 East all the way until you merge with the 210 West. You'll continue on the 210 West passing through Pasadena, Arcadia and Glendora until you reach Claremont. Take exit 52 and take a left on 16th Street followed by a quick right on Padua Avenue (the street changes its name to Monte Vista Avenue going south). Approximately 1.8 miles up Padua Avenue, you'll take a right on Mount Baldy Road and continue through the Mount Baldy Village until you reach the Icehouse Canyon sign directing towards Icehouse Canyon Trailhead parking lot.
- NOTE: You need a Southern California "Adventure Pass" to park as well as a completed "Day Use" permit that is free and can be filled out at the Mount Baldy Visitor Center on your way to the Icehouse Canyon parking lot.
- NOTE: this hike is very popular and can become quite busy on the weekends along with having extreme conditions in both the hot summer and cold winter months. Plan ahead knowing the weather conditions before hiking this trail.
- Begin your hike at the parking lot and the trailhead is located on the east side of the lot. Many sources suggest getting to the trailhead early since this is an extremely popular hike and parking fills up early.
- As you make your way through the entrance, you'll pass a handful of cabins (some are still in use) and a split will occur shortly with two signs. Follow the path to the right, making your way towards the Cucamonga Wilderness. A small creek cuts through this portion and plenty of shade is provided by the towering trees lining the edge of the water.
- Eventually another split will occur denoting the Cucamonga Wilderness and you'll continue following the path to the right.
- Working your way ahead, you'll eventually come to a series of relatively steep switchbacks with gravel drop offs. When traveling north on the switchbacks you'll be welcomed with incredible views of Mount Baldy in the distance.
- After the switchbacks, a split will eventually occur directing towards Icehouse Saddle and Chapman Trail. Take the trail to the right leading to Icehouse Saddle and you'll hit the intersection in roughly 0.6 miles.
- When you approach Icehouse Saddle, there will be an intersection of trails with signs denoting each destination: Ontario Peak Trail, Three Trees Trail and Cucamonga Peak Trail. Follow Cucamonga Peak Trail.
- Following the Cucamonga Peak Trail, a minor split will occur with Middle Fork Trail and you'll want to keep to the right-hand side. Staying on this trail, Cucamonga Peak will be approximately 2.4 miles ahead.
- While following the trail, an abandoned mine shaft will appear and shortly after you'll cross a saddle that offers views of both the east and the west.
- Heading past the saddle, there will be a series of intense switchbacks you'll work your way up until you notice the wooden post with a painted white arrow. Unfortunately, someone has stolen the actual sign so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the post after the switchbacks.
- At the top, you'll be rewarded with some spectacular views and, if you're lucky, some Big Horn Sheep may be visibile as they traverse the surrounding mountain landscape.
- To get back to the trailhead, return the way you came.
- Elevation at the summit: 8,858 feet