Cucamonga Peak Hike summit

Cucamonga Peak Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Cucamonga Peak Trail Maps
  • The Cucamonga Peak Hike Permit
  • How to Get to the Cucamonga Peak Hike
Distance12 miles (19.3 km)
Hike Time7 Hours (Total)
DifficultyHard
Total Ascent (?)4,200 feet (1280m)
Highest Elevation8,862 feet (2701m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee & Free Permit
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park ContactAngeles National Forest
Park Phone909-982-2829

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.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

Osprey Talon

Osprey Talon 33

My best lightweight pack for hikes between 3-10+ hours. I use mine with the 3L water bladder from Osprey.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

Garmin InReach Mini

You can text, SOS, and get weather in the backcountry where your cell phone doesn’t work. Literally a life-saver.

Lowest Prices

My In-Depth Review

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Modern materials mean you get the protection of a traditional hiking boot (waterproof, etc.) with feel of a sneaker.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

If you’re not using poles yet, you should be. This model takes a beating, is light, and is super comfortable.

See The Reviews

Socks Sock Liners

2-Layer Sock System

I use a light inner toe sock and then a top-quality outer sock to prevent blisters.

Injinji Sock Liners

Darn Tough Socks

Probar

Nutritionally Dense Superfoods

Probars are great: no preservatives, vegan, low-GI, compact, and tasty. Put good fuel in your body.

See the Probar Flavors

If you’re hiking in the backcountry it makes sense to have a decent emergency kit and some basic gear to spend the night in a pinch.Full HikingGuy Gear List

* 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 REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

REI SALE

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.

Click To View Map

Cucamonga Peak Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

Cucamonga Peak Hike 3d map
It’s a long, gradual climb up from Icehouse Canyon. Then a final push to Cucamonga Peak. You can see the peak’s position gives you great 360 views of the surrounding.
Cucamonga Peak Hike elevation
The hike is steadily uphill on the Icehouse Canyon Trail. After Icehouse Saddle the hike is level and you get a breather, and then you go up. And up.

Cucamonga Peak Hike Directions

Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Directions

Cucamonga Peak Hike trailhead
The Cucamonga Peak hike starts at the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, at the far end of the parking lot.
Cucamonga Peak Hike permit box
Hiking permits are in the box in front of the trailhead sign.
Cucamonga Peak Hike permit
Fill the hiking permit out, take the yellow copy with you, and drop the white copy in the slot on the side of the box. If there’s no permits left, fill out your info on a blank piece of paper and leave it in the box.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail
Start hiking up the developed Icehouse Canyon trail, passing some cabins along the way.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail
The trail gets really beautiful as it winds up along Icehouse Creek.
tree stump
Shortly after starting, there’s a tree stump with SCE on it. Hike to the left and continue on the Icehouse Canyon trail.
ruins on Cucamonga Peak Hike
There are cool ruins along this part of the hike.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail junction
After hiking about a mile, there’s a junction, hike straight through.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail sign
You’re next destination is the Icehouse Saddle, 2.6 miles down the trail.
Cucamonga Wilderness sign
After hiking about 1.7 miles, you officially enter the Cucamonga Wilderness area.
rocks on Cucamonga Peak Hike
As the trail gently starts to angle upward, there are a lot of really cool rocks and geological formations.
cairns on Cucamonga Peak Hike
There are some rocky sections of the trail here. Look for the cairns if you get lost.
Cucamonga Peak Hike views
As you climb, the views back into the canyon are beautiful.
Cucamonga Peak Hike switchbacks
The trail steepens and traverses several switchbacks.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail junction
At about 3.2 miles you reach a junction. Hike to the right to continue towards Icehouse Saddle.
Cucamonga Peak Hike approaches icehouse saddle
At around 3.6 miles, you approach Icehouse Saddle.
icehouse saddle
Icehouse Saddle is a great place to stop for a snack. There are five trails that intersect here. You want to hike on the Cucamonga Peak trail, which is straight through the saddle area from where you came.
Cucamonga Peak trail
This is the Cucamonga Peak trail (from Icehouse Saddle).
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail
Shortly after hiking on the Cucamonga Peak trail, another trail splits off left. Keep hiking right on the Cucamonga Peak trail.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail
The trail follows the side of Bighorn Peak. The hike here is level with some downhill sections.
cris hazzard on Cucamonga Peak Hike
There’s lots of great views to the left.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail
The trail skirts the side of the mountain. There are some narrow and washed out areas, but it’s all safe and doable.
mine shaft
At around 4.5 miles, you’ll see an abandoned mine shaft. If you want to see what it’s like inside, check this out.
Cucamonga Peak Hike trail climbs
Shortly after the mine, the trail crosses a small saddle and starts climbing.
Cucamonga Peak Hike views
As you hike up, take time to stop, turn around, and look around. There are great views of the surrounding peaks, Mt Baldy and the Baldy Bowl.
Cucamonga Peak Hike views
LA and the inland empire come into view. Keep your eyes open, there’s a point where you can see the skyscrapers of downtown LA from here.
Cucamonga Peak Hike sign post
At about 6.2 miles, after some serious climbing, the trail to Cucamonga Peak splits off to the right. Someone stole the sign on this day, so keep your eye open for the wooden post.
Cucamonga Peak
You did it! The actual peak is to the left. There’s an American flag to the right.
Cucamonga Peak Hike views
The summit has tons of cool rock formations to take pictures on. The views are incredible.
Cucamonga Peak flag
The area with the flag has views toward the west.
cris hazzard on Cucamonga Peak Hike
From here, you just hike back the way you came up. Happy hiking!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.