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Onto Ontario – buggy beauty !

Peak Summited2021 Ontario Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadIcehouse Canyon
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were terrible
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Ontario Peak on a very hot, humid day. We started the hike close to 6:30 am. We lost most of the crowd after Icehouse Saddle to the other more popular peaks.
The original plan was to hike Ontario and Bighorn peaks, but by the time we got to the summit of Ontario Peak where we took a long break for lunch and photos, it was already very hot even at over 8500 ft, so we abandoned the idea of adding more mileage on exposed ridge line. I used my hiking umbrella on the way down, which helped. Yes, it may be a tad annoying to other hikers who need to pass you, but hey – if it's a case of surviving the heat without getting a sunstroke, I think you should try it !
My backpack was the heaviest I’ve ever carried with over 5 liters of water and electrolytes, and slowed me down. The bugs were annoying and left me with huge bug bites on my arms. Aggressive little fiends ! 😡 Please be sure to carry a bug net especially if the weather is expected to be hot and humid, and spray yourself liberally with bug spray. I had sprayed Permethrin, but those nasty buggers were unfazed !
The views on this trail are really spectacular! Alltrails recorded 13 miles and about 3800 ft elevation gain. We finished the hike after almost 9 hours, which wasn't great time, but we did take a long break at the summit, and stopped on the way down, at the creek, a few miles from finishing the hike, to cool off, in addition to a number of mini breaks. Actual moving time recorded was 6 hrs 14 minutes.
Just fyi – The only thing that seemed to stop the itch from the bug bites (and I tried many sprays and ointments including Benadryl anti-itch) was a few drops of tea tree oil in witch hazel. The witch hazel is what did the trick.

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