Icehouse Canyon Trail
7 1/4 miles round trip from Icehouse Canyon to Icehouse Saddle.
Elevation gain: 2,600 feet
Topo Map: Mt. Baldy, Cucamonga Peak
Follow Mt. Baldy Road up from Claremont (Mills Ave. in Claremont) through Baldy Village to the site of Icehouse Canyon Resort, one and one-half miles past the village (the resort burned in early 1988). The trail starts to the right of the resort ruins. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area.
The first part of the canyon is a rocky wash with no water evident, but soon you will come to a clear, cold stream. There is a fine forest all the way of oak, Bigcone Spruce, pine, fir and cedar. Part way up the canyon, the trail splits. The newer portion, called the Chapman Trail, is to the left and has an easier grade, although it is a bit longer. To the right is the old trail which follows the canyon bottom more closely. A Wilderness Permit is required to enter the Cucamonga Wilderness beyond Telegraph wash (approximately 1-1/2 miles beyond this point). About 3 miles up, you will pass Columbine Spring, a small cold stream coming out of the rocky hillside. Three and 5/8 miles up the trail is Icehouse Saddle, a forested park-like area with good views both east and west. The Saddle makes a good destination for those who want an eight mile round trip. If a longer trip is desired, there are three ways to go from the Saddle. Sharp right (southwest) leads to Kelly's Camp and Ontario Peak. Kelly's Camp used to be a resort, but now is a trail camp. A less sharp right turn from the Saddle (southeast) leads to Cucamonga Peak and various trails and trail camps of the San Bernardino National Forest, with the trail exiting in the Middle Fork of Lytle Creek. The trail left from the Saddle leads to three peaks: Timber Mountain, Telegraph Peak, and Thunder Mountain. You can continue on from Thunder Mountain down a fire road to Baldy Notch or ride the ski lift down to the highway on weekends, or hike 3-1/2 miles on down the fire road. For this option, you would need another car at the bottom of the ski lift to take you back to Icehouse Resort.
This is all beautifully forested country, with fine views from all the peaks.
Tom Chester & Jane Strong -- http://tchester.org/