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Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak sign

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!

Rating:
5 / 5
Distance:
14.7 miles (23.7 km)
Time:
8 hours
Difficulty:
Hard
Climbing:
4170 ft (1271 m)
Trail Condition:
First half well marked, second half sparsely marked
Challenges:
Climbing, Distance
People:
First half popular, second half not many
Known For:
Great views, solitude, bighorn sheep
Best Time:
Early morning
Dogs:
Leashed
Bathrooms:
Yes
Parking:
Fee
Weather:

Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Trail Maps

Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
20 Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA, 91759, USA

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak 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.

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak 3d 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 Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak elevation

The hike is a steady uphill effort, with a small dip in-between Bighorn Peak and Ontario Peak.

Interactive Map

Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Map Downloads

hiking map on garmin fenix 3

If you have GPS device (I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.

Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up a good topo map too.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Video

Ontario Peak And Bighorn Peak Hike Directions

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak sign

What to Expect

Turn by Turn Directions

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak parking
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.
Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak trailhead
The trailhead is at the far corner of the lot and has notices and updates for the Cucamonga Wilderness.
permit box
The hiking permit box is to your left by the board.
permit box
Fill out a hiking permit, save the yellow copy, and put the white copy in the slot on the side of the box.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail junction
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.
Cucamonga Wilderness sign
At about 1.7 miles, you officially enter the Cucamonga Wilderness area.
stream bed
The trail can get tricky as it goes through the stream bed. Look for cairns and footprints if you aren’t sure.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail climbs
After leaving the creek bed, the trail starts to climb up the slopes.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail right turn
At about 3.2 miles, continue to the right towards Icehouse Saddle.
view of mt baldy
As you climb, you’ll get nice views of Mt Baldy appear.
Icehouse Saddle junction
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.
cris hazzard at Icehouse Saddle
Icehouse Saddle is a great place to take a break and fuel up for the hike to Ontario Peak.
trail to Kelly Camp and Ontario Peak
Head on the trail to Kelly Camp and Ontario Peak from Icehouse Saddle.
bighorn sheep on trail
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!).
bighorn sheep on trail
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
It’s a scenic mile or so from Icehouse Saddle to Kelly Camp.
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
The trail heads up through dead trees and manzanita. Keep your eyes peeled, the trail twists and turns here.
log on trail
There are also some logs to hop over in this section of the trail.
Bighorn Peak 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.
view of Saddleback Mountain
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
The trail to Bighorn Peak winds it’s way around the ridge. The trail is small, so keep your eyes open.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
At the small saddle, start climbing up the final stretch to Bighorn Peak, winding up the small switchbacks.
Bighorn Peak
You made it! Welcome to Bighorn Peak.
stones marking peak
This pile of stones marks the official peak.
trail register
There’s a trail register hidden around the summit.
trail register
Add your name and notes to the trail register if it strikes your fancy.
cris hazzard on bighorn peak
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
Back at the intersection, head straight towards Ontario Peak.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail
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.
backcountry camping area
At about 7.8 miles, make the right in the little backcountry camping area.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike views
As the trail goes along the ridge line, the views are jaw-dropping!
Ontario Peak summit
This pile of rocks is the Ontario Peak summit. Almost there.
summit of Ontario Peak
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.
Ontario Peak trail register
The Ontario Peak trail register is in a pile of rocks.
bottle opener on ontario peak
If you brought a bottle of beer, someone has been nice enough to install a bottle opener up here!
cris hazzard at ontario peak
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.
Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak hike trail views
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!

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.

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