• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4300 Feet

Forest
Scenic

Cucamonga Peak sits at an elevation of 8,859 feet. From the summit, you'll get uncrowded views of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Keep in mind that a permit is required. 

Start hiking early, before the sun rises so you can maximize the day out of the heat and to give yourself plenty of time for the hike. As you get to higher elevations, it will be a little cooler and there might be snow on the ground, so be sure to pack layers.

This hike requires a permit. If you want to hit the trail early, be sure to call in advance to get your permit pinned outside the ranger station. If you don't, you'll have to wait until they open.

To get to Cucamonga Peak you start at the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, near Mt. Baldy. Make sure to have a Adventure Pass displayed.

The trail is well marked, but it gets confusing at the Icehouse Saddle, where 5 separate trails merge together. Look for the Cucamonga Peak trail sign, although it's a little hard to find or ask a ranger if one happens to be strolling by.

It's only 2.5 miles to the top after the saddle, but the last mile and a half is very steep and exposed to the sun. Make sure to wear ample sunscreen and bring sunglasses for the higher elevation. We weren't in peak physical condition, so the last stretch felt like it took forever and we silently considered turning around. Determination goes a long way so keep pushing and eventually you'll reach the top!

The top is interesting. It has a sand dune feel to it and has many rock outcrops, which make for interesting photo spots. The views should be incredible; however, when we were there, there was a blanket of clouds that obscured anything at the lower elevations. At the summit, take your time, eat your lunch and explore a bit. Once you have your energy back up, head back back the way you came.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • 3 liters of water
  • Lunch/snacks
  • Trekking poles/walking stick
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses/hat
  • Adventure pass
  • Permit
  • Crampons if going in winter
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Reviews

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So I get to the first Saddle, easy peasy 😎 But then the trail is completely gone and I've never been to Cucamonga Peak. So I think @mtnking and I always say when in doubt "Go up"! So I do, I just go straight up and it's rough, but I'm making great time. So I reach the summit and a fellow hiker is just about to summit when I catch him. I ask are we on Cucamonga? He says "No" then points across the valley to the neighboring peak and says that's Cucamonga, this is Bighorn Peak. So I look and see the ridge line down and I see a ridge line up. Off I go! The other hiker asks if I'm going to Cucamonga, I reply "that's what I got all dressed up for " he just shook his head. Going up Cucamonga straight up in snow was rough!!!! So the first pics are on top of Bighorn peak looking across to Cucamonga. The last pics are summit of Cucamonga Peak looking back at Bighorn Peak. No gloves, crampons, hiking sticks, just me and my Merrells. I already am feeling it!

12 months ago
12 months ago

Camping at the top of cucamonga peak is a must! I've done it as a day hike, but nothing compares to waking up and catching the sunrise from up there! This hike can be a little challenging, but nothing good comes easy.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Start early, its a long trek. I recommend camping on the summit and waking up early for the sunrise. Its one of the most majestical spots that I've ever seen. Definitely in my top 5 favorite hikes.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Great view at the top! I went on Monday and there was lots of ice and snow on the last few switchbacks. Many people turned back because of it but I had brought my micro spikes so I was ok. My boyfriend made his own way up and a couple behind us followed him. The four of us made it to the top safely! Beautiful view!

about 3 years ago
about 3 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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