Offering one of the coolest summits in the San Gabriel Mountains, the hike to Cucamonga Peak very popular. Cucamonga Peak, at 8,862 feet, has spectacular views from SoCal's high peaks to the urban development below. The hike up to the peak is tough but not brutal, the scenery and views are spectacular, and the summit area is a lot of fun. You might even see some bighorn sheep along the way.
This is considered a "fee area," and you need a parking pass here. I use the affordable national parks pass, and you can also use an Adventure Pass.
Cucamonga Peak Hike Permit
There's some confusion around permits for Cucamonga Peak, especially after some changes were made in 2020. To do this hike from the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead to Cucamonga Peak, you can fill out a permit at the trailhead, or do it online here before you go. For some other approaches to Cucamonga Peak, you do need to obtain a permit beforehand. But again, that is not required for this hike. The Forest Service website language is confusing, but the information here has been confirmed with the rangers.
Cucamonga Peak Camping Permit
Want to camp on Cucamonga Peak? There are a good amount of flat camping areas at the summit and plenty of people do an overnight there. In addition to the free permit that I just described (book online here), you will need a (free) California campfire permit. Don't start any open campfires, just use your stove. Again, it's not an official camping spot, and you might be asked to leave, but at this point, many folks do an overnight there, and you'll probably be fine as well.
Gear for the Hike
This is a long and challenging hike in the mountains. Prepare accordingly.
Bring 3L of water.
Snacks help to keep your energy up on this long hike.
As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.
In the winter, there can be snow and ice. Check the summit weather, the snow satellite imagery, and call the ranger office for the latest conditions, and don't take any risks. When there is snow and ice on Cucamonga Peak, it is no longer a hike and becomes a mountaineering activity. The final approach to the summit is also an avalanche zone. If you don't have winter mountaineering experience, don't do it. People have fallen to their deaths here in the winter. It's real.
Cucamonga Peak Trail Maps
Overall the trails are well-marked and in good condition. There can be some rockslides on the final approach to the summit, but they're safe to cross if you go slowly.
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).