Hello Fall

Peak Summited2021 Cucamonga Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadIce House Canyon
EncounteredFall foliage
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
  1. I caught that perfect seasonal change where the leaves are turning, weather cooling, and the sky is clear. Starting Ice House before sunrise is becoming my new favorite thing. You completely beat the crowds and let's face it, most of us have been here so many times were mostly looking forward to the views on the upper trails above the saddle.

The fall colors were gorgeous. Weather definitely dropped into the low 40s mid morning and gloves were briefly needed. By the afternoon the sun was hot and wind was cool so only light layering necessary. I was already overly tired when I reached the saddle and probably should have listened to my body, I dont normally feel that fried just climbing Ice house. Once I switched mountains onto the Cucamonga side, my memory of the trail kicked in and I realized I would be circling this mountain for so long on the switchbacks while prematurely sore. I took multiple hydration and energy supplements and stopped often for snacks. My last trip up this rock the wind was far worse than anticipated and I was terrified of flying sugarpine cones and unstable scree walls. Cucamonga is mostly very thin trails with deep drop offs throughout, including two main stretches crossing a long slope of purely loose rock with a deadly drop below. I planned on bringing a helmet the next time I came and completely forgot. Right about the time I rembered that thought just as the winds picked up on that face of the mountain and I approached the scree. All well. I had studied the weather in detail first and that was supposed to be the worst of it so I took a deep breath and just got it done.

I took a moment to relax at the summit, probably spent a little over and hour there eating, exploring and resting. I was able to catch some of the gorgeous sunset on the way back. This is likely my last big Ice House trip before the snow starts to stick and I'm so glad I was able to finally get it in.


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