- Home - Hiking Trails - LA Mountain Hikes Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak
If you want a great mountain hike without the crowds, hike Ontario Peak (8,696 ft) and Bighorn Peak. You might see more bighorn sheep than people!
14.7 miles (23.7 km)
4170 ft (1271 m)
First half well marked, second half sparsely marked
First half popular, second half not many
Great views, solitude, bighorn sheep
Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Trail Maps
Google Maps trailhead:
20 Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA, 91759, USA Hike Location The trailhead for the Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike is just outside of Mt Baldy Village, about 90 minutes east of downtown LA. 3D Hike Map You hike up to Icehouse Saddle, then up to a higher ridge where you hike Bighorn Peak to the left, then Ontario Peak to the right. Hike Elevation Profile The hike is a steady uphill effort, with a small dip in-between Bighorn Peak and Ontario Peak. Interactive Hike Map Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Map Downloads View a Printable PDF Hike Map Download the Hike GPX File Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Directions What to Expect Many people spot bighorn sheep on this hike (pictures below). Keep your eyes open above and below you on the trail. The Ontario Peak summit is a cool little rock nest with incredible views. The Ontario Peak hike starts on Icehouse Canyon Trail, which can get crowded. After Icehouse Saddle, the crowd thins out. 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. Call the ranger office for the latest conditions and don’t take any risks. 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. There is a big parking lot, but it fills up by 7am, 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. Turn by Turn Directions There is plenty of parking at the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, but it fills up quickly on weekends. There are also primitive bathrooms here, the only ones on the hike. The trailhead is at the far corner of the lot and has notices and updates for the Cucamonga Wilderness. The hiking permit box is to your left by the board. Fill out a hiking permit, save the yellow copy, and put the white copy in the slot on the side of the box. Start hiking on the Icehouse Canyon trail as it gently climbs along Icehouse Creek. You’ll pass some cabins and ruins as you go. The ruin of the big fireplace is the old Icehouse Canyon Resort, a tavern built in 1921 that burned down in 1980. At about 0.5 miles, take the left. After climbing past the cabins, continue straight through the junction. Going left brings you to Icehouse Saddle but adds some miles onto the hike. So yea, just go straight. At about 1.7 miles, you officially enter the Cucamonga Wilderness area. The trail can get tricky as it goes through the stream bed. Look for cairns and footprints if you aren’t sure. After leaving the creek bed, the trail starts to climb up the slopes. At about 3.2 miles, continue to the right towards Icehouse Saddle. As you climb, you’ll get nice views of Mt Baldy appear. At around 3.8 miles you should reach Icehouse Saddle junction. The trail to Ontario Peak is to the right as you enter the saddle area. Icehouse Saddle is a great place to take a break and fuel up for the hike to Ontario Peak. Head on the trail to Kelly Camp and Ontario Peak from Icehouse Saddle. This part of the trail is incredibly beautiful. You’ll have views of Mt Baldy and down into Icehouse Canyon. It’s also pretty remote. It’s not uncommon to be the only hiker here. On this day, I shared the trail with a few bighorn sheep who were meandering ahead of me (look closely at the picture!). If you want to see bighorn sheep, don’t forget to look up on the slopes above the trail. There’s no guarantee you’ll see any, but who knows? In this picture, a bighorn stares down at me as I struggle up the trail. It’s a scenic mile or so from Icehouse Saddle to Kelly Camp. After about 4.8 miles, you’ll reach Kelly Camp, which used to be a resort. These days you can camp here among the old stone ruins. Hike to the left at the fork. The trail heads up through dead trees and manzanita. Keep your eyes peeled, the trail twists and turns here. There are also some logs to hop over in this section of the trail. After you clear the dead forest, you reach the ridge line, the Bighorn Peak trail goes to the left. Head left to hike to Bighorn Peak. From here on out, as the trail winds on the ridge line, the views are spectacular. Here you can see Saddleback Mountain rising above the clouds in Orange County. The trail to Bighorn Peak winds it’s way around the ridge. The trail is small, so keep your eyes open. At the small saddle, start climbing up the final stretch to Bighorn Peak, winding up the small switchbacks. You made it! Welcome to Bighorn Peak. This pile of stones marks the official peak. There’s a trail register hidden around the summit. Add your name and notes to the trail register if it strikes your fancy. Soak in the views of Cucamonga Peak and Mt Baldy, take a picture or two, and head back to the trail intersection on the ridge. Back at the intersection, head straight towards Ontario Peak. The trail continues for a while, going through some sections of manzanita. There are a few peaks that look like the summit as you go. Keep on hiking. At about 7.8 miles, make the right in the little backcountry camping area. As the trail goes along the ridge line, the views are jaw-dropping! This pile of rocks is the Ontario Peak summit. Almost there. Climb to the middle of the rock pile to reach the summit of Ontario Peak. There’s a bigger pile of rocks you can scramble up for even better views. The Ontario Peak trail register is in a pile of rocks. If you brought a bottle of beer, someone has been nice enough to install a bottle opener up here! Grab your pictures, have a bite to eat, and head back the way you came. You can skip the side trip to Bighorn Peak on the way back down unless you’re feeling particularly energetic. The trip back down along the ridge line offers new views from the other direction. It’s an incredible section of trail. I hope you love the hike as much as I do! Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Video Please subscribe to my YouTube channel here! Show your support for my free hiking guides by checking out the deals below.↓↓↓ You can also make a small donation if you'd like, but please don't feel obligated to do so. HikingGuy.com is a labor of love because I want people to get outdoors and enjoy the trails safely. I want people to buy gear that actually works and not waste money on crap. I love helping people enjoy the outdoors, but it takes hundreds of hours of my time and hundreds of dollars of my money to add new content, maintain, and update. A small amount of money from REI affiliate sales and banners help offset my hard costs like website hosting. The content on this site will always be free for everyone to enjoy.
How To Hike in the Mountains
Mountain hiking embodies what hiking is all about: breathtaking views, fresh air, and a good workout. Here’s you’re guide on how to hike the mountains safely.
Cucamonga Peak Hike
With one of the coolest summits in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Cucamonga Peak hike is a favorite. The climb is tough but not brutal, the scenery and views are awesome, and the crowds aren’t as bad as Mount Baldy.
Hike the Three T’s Trail
The Three T’s Trail hike is one of the more peaceful hikes in the Mt Baldy area. This loop hike starts at Icehouse Canyon, climbs to Icehouse Saddle, then hits Timber Mountain, Telegraph Peak, Thunder Mountain, and then descends down to Baldy Notch, Manker Flats, and back to Icehouse Canyon. It’s a long hike, but a favorite for those avoiding crowds.
Mt Baldy Hike
The Mt Baldy hike brings you to the highest point in LA at 10,064 feet. With about 4000 feet of climbing, it’s a tough yet popular hike, and well worth the effort. You can see from the Pacific to the Mojave on a clear day.
My Best Hiking Gear List
I hike a lot, and I go through a lot of gear. Here’s my best hiking gear list. This list features all the hiking gear that is worth your time, skipping the junk that you don’t need. I take a high-tech and low-tech approach, giving you the convenience of hiking with technology while offering low-tech backups in case the fancy gear fails. Everything you see in this hiking gear list is what I use on every hike that I do. I update this page regularly when I test and use new hiking gear.
25 of the Best Hiking Gifts from $9.95 and Up
These hiking gifts are sure to put a smile on he face of anyone who loves hiking, backpacking, camping, or the outdoors. All of these gift suggestions have been used and tested by me – these gifts are the best of the best.
LA Mountain Hikes
LA is not usually thought of as a mountain hiking city, but some of the best LA hikes are in the high mountains, all within an hour or so of downtown. In fact, some of these peaks are only a few thousand feet lower than Mt Whitney. Check out these great LA mountain hikes.
The Best LA Hikes
Hiking isn’t what comes to mind when you think of LA, but there are actually some pretty awesome LA hikes. You have cool trails and parks like Runyon Canyon nestled in the middle of the city. There’s also the iconic hike to the Hollywood Sign. If you’re in the north part of the city, Topanga State Park is a big outdoors playground with lots of good hikes. If you’re on the south side of LA, check out the hikes in Orange County. The great southern California weather means that most can be hiked year round.
Read More A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
Copyright © 2018 HikingGuy · All Rights Reserved
I'm a proud member of the
Sierra Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Adirondack Mountain Club,, the American Alpine Club, the National Audubon Society, and the American Hiking Society.
This information provided by HikingGuy.com is presented as a public service to those wishing to enjoy the outdoors. The recipient may use this information with the understanding that HikingGuy.com makes no warranties, although every attempt will be made to ensure the information is accurate. This website is not intended to replace official sources and information should not be considered error-free or not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. The use of the information provided by this website is strictly voluntary and at the user’s sole risk. HikingGuy.com assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever associated with the use or misuse of this data.
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Regardless,
I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.