Trail Magic on Cucamonga Peak!

Peak Summited2019 Cucamonga Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMt Baldy via Ice House Canyon Trail Head Park
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

My morning began with a 4:00am wake up and a 2hr drive in SoCal work traffic. But I just accepted my fate of doing this trek on a Tuesday, maybe the traffic getting there on the highway would be bad, but I knew I would have the mountain practically to myself. I am new to day hiking and I also don't know the Inland Empire, so this Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge is giving me tons of experience as to what SoCal hiking has to offer and it is amazing so far!

When I arrived at the parking lot, with my newly purchased Adventure Pass hanging in my car, I quickly got my pack and gear ready and headed off to the trail head to complete my registration. Silly me, as I am new to this system, also paid the 5.oo fee at the registration booth. Lesson learned! But I really don't mind supporting our nature centers.

So I am off and I am loving the start of a beautiful day! Is a cool morning, but blue skies and beautiful. I can tell from the start that I am going to enjoy this hike. As I start off, I am welcomed be birds chirping and huge Redwood trees guiding be along. The trail isn't really marked well, but up seems to be the only way, with a few small turn offs that are obvious as to which way to go.

When I get to a sign that says Icehouse Canyon TH and Icehouse Canyon with two different arrows, I am a bit confused. I remember reading that the sign for Cucamonga Peak as missing, but I was a tad confused as to which way to go. I started to go toward the Ice House Canyon TH, but as that trail was going down quickly, I decided to go back. And this is where my trail magic kicked in, I see a lady coming up and I am so relieved. I ask her if she is doing the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge and if she is going to Cucamonga Peak and she says “Yes”. So off we both go and start to have a chat. We end up chatting and hiking up the rest of the way together. So my solo day turned into meeting a new friend…as I always say the trail will provide!

When we get to the top we are delighted with the view! Sherrie is from the area and she can see her neighborhood from the top. There are a few other hikers at the top and we all take summit photos and sign the book.

This simple hike really is a gem. It has everything a hike needs. Beautiful trees, flowers, birds chirping, and interesting remnants of people who once lived in these mountains. The stream that flows near the trail is clear are rushing from the winter snow melt.

I had a wonderful day, which ended with dinner at the Mt. Baldy Lodge, kind of expensive, but good food. I hung out there for an hour or so to wait for the SoCal traffic to lighten as I have a two hour drive back to Chula Vista.

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