Ontario Peak, I’d wait for a bit

Peak Summited2022 Ontario Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadIcehouse Canyon Trailhead
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsTrail snow-covered at times - Gear and expertise recommended
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Additional Informationhttps://youtu.be/-0mW9V_ewuM

Complete Video of the hike.  https://youtu.be/-0mW9V_ewuM

So was going to do Cucamonga Peak, but upon reaching Icehouse Canyon Saddle, and seeing very few tracks leading that way (and the ones that were leading that way were way off on where the path should have been), and deep snow. I took the prudent route and detoured to Ontario Peak.  Probably a good idea, as when I was descending Ontario, a rescue helicopter was in the Gulch just past the saddle to Cucamonga.  They were there for a few hours.

Ontario, I would not recommend it at the moment. It's not that it isn't doable.  It's that the snow trail to Ontario peak does not follow the actual trail.  Whoever made the trail decided that going up every single false peak was the best way.  So you will be doing steep climbing and descending a lot till you get to Ontario.  Right now, the snow trail is comparable to if you did Cucamonga in the snow.  Although not as dangerous.

Snow wise, it gets regular around the 2 and a half mile mark. When I hiked this in December, the snow level was to the parking lot. I used microspikes to get to the peak. It's recommended that you use at least microspikes or crampons. From the saddle is where this trek becomes very difficult. The snow trail is hard packed ice. But you have to be extremely careful in where you step as there are potholes of where people broke through the snow when it was snow a few weeks ago. And if you wander too far from the snow trail, you could end up in a snow area and pothole yourself. Snowpack is still about 1-2 feet in some areas.

On the way down, I switched from microspikes to crampons to help in the grip of the downhill sections. The section between Ontario Peak and Icehouse Canyon Saddle remained icy. But the snow from Icehouse Canyon back down was turning slushy by mid afternoon.


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