Cucamonga Peak Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||12 miles (19.3 km)|
|Hike Time||7 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||4,200 feet (1280m)|
|Highest Elevation||8,862 feet (2701m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Fee & Free Permit|
|Park Website||Angeles National Forest|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
With one of the coolest summits in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Cucamonga Peak hike is a favorite. Cucamonga Peak, at 8,862 feet, has spectacular views of the LA sprawl, the desert, and surrounding peaks. The climb is tough but not brutal, the scenery and views are awesome, and the crowds aren’t as bad as Mount Baldy. You might even see some bighorn sheep!
Getting to Cucamonga Peak
Use this trailhead address: 20 Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA, 91759, USA.
There is a big parking lot, but it fills up early, and you need a parking pass. I use the affordable National Parks Pass, which gets me in every park, monument, and national forest. You can also use an (Southern California only) Adventure Pass, or buy a $5 day permit from the ranger’s office.
You need a permit to hike in the Cucamonga Wilderness, and it’s easy and free. A box at the trailhead has permit forms for you to fill out. Bring a pen. If there are no forms, fill out your info on a piece of paper and leave it. More on the permit below in the directions.
Gear for the Hike
This is a long and challenging hike. Make sure you pack plenty of water, snacks, and layers. In the winter, there can be snow and ice. Check the summit weather and call the ranger office for the latest conditions and don’t take any risks.
The Cucamonga Peak Trail is in an avalanche zone.
This is not one to “just try and see how it goes” if there are snowy winter conditions.
You can also camp on the summit of Cucamonga Peak, there are primitive campsites. Just make sure you fill out your permit appropriately and don’t start any open fires.
I try a lot of hiking boots and shoes, and there are some great options out there, but the La Sportiva Spire is the best combination of comfort, protection, low-weight, and durability. They are waterproof, and the high cuff keeps debris out without the need for a gaiter. Time tested over thousands of miles. Use them with a two-layer sock system to end blisters for good.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
On a medium or longer hike I recommend a pack like the Osprey Talon 33 (men) or Osprey Sirrus 36 (women) which is a little bit larger. These packs are on the upper end of the (35L) daypack range, but they only weigh a small fraction more than a pack with less capacity. Having the extra space gives you more flexibility and means you don’t have to jam things in there. I use the space for things like extra layers in the winter, extra water on desert hikes, and even a tent & sleeping bag on overnights.
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.
I’m a big fan of GPS watches (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar. I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Cucamonga Peak Trail Maps
The hike to Cucamonga Peak starts on Icehouse Canyon Trail, which can get crowded. After Icehouse Saddle, the crowd thins out.
Cucamonga Peak Hike Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Cucamonga Peak Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.