Cucamonga Peak, sitting at 8,862 ft elevation, is the second mountain in LA’s Six Pack of Peaks Challenge. It’s part of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Bernardino National Forest, and it has one of the most beautiful summit views I have ever been to! This hike has quickly become one of my very favorites in Los Angeles. My friend, Julie, and I decided that we wanted to conquer the LA Six Pack Challenge together as two strong hiking women, and so we’ve given ourselves one year from the day we did our first hike, Mt. Wilson.
There are no crazy parameters for this challenge…it’s solely a personal accomplishment…we don’t worry about how long or short it takes us, and we schedule them when we feel up for them and have the time. The third peak, Baldy, is the next closest day hike, and then I think after that we’re going to have to start camping for a night in order to make the most out of our daylight hours!
This hike was such a beauty! We took the route via Ice House Canyon Trail and it proved to be a really enjoyable route, at 13 miles roundtrip. It’s a steady incline but not as steep as Wilson was, and we were shaded for about 70% of it, I’d say! I recommend getting to the trailhead early. We got there about 6am and the parking lot was already full. Luckily, we snagged one of the last spots on the street.
One of my favorite parts of the hike was reaching “the saddle” — a spot where five different trails merge into one meeting spot. Here, you’ll run into lots of hikers stopping to grab a bite to eat before going off to bag their peak. I can’t wait to come back to this point and try a different route to Big Horn Peak and Ontario Peak instead! The last mile of the hike is definitely the steepest, but once you catch a glimpse of the view, you’ll forget all about how heavy you were breathing. I let out a literal gasp when I reached the top. There’s one point near the top where you can stand and see incredible views both towards the east and the west…I didn’t know where to look, it was all so beautiful! We ended up staying up on the peak for about half an hour, snapping photos, refueling with Cliff bars, and just enjoying the views. It was really something.
I will always treasure these early mornings spent hiking with one of my best gals … I was thinking back the other day to the first time I ever met Julie … I had just recently moved to LA, and she didn’t even know me yet, but she showed up with a birthday cake for me! Since then we’ve shared lots of bottles of wine together, many home cooked meals, time spent at the gym preparing for spartan races … we’ve been to weddings together, and have gone on vacations together … we’ve celebrated lives and we’ve mourned deaths … we’ve watched new relationships grow and old relationships end … we’ve raised our puppies together! She’s been family to both Al and myself … I treasure her friendship so much. There aren’t many people out there who will wake up at 4:30 in the morning to go climb a mountain with you … I’m so glad I found my person.
Do you have some sort of Peak-Bagging Challenge in your area? If not, why not make one!? Happy hiking friends … get out there and explore before winter comes!!
thanks for stopping by!