Summary: This is a good hike. It is perfect for a quick half day, or just a short little outing. Even during the winter, if the snow is light, and you are itching for the high country, you can trek up to the saddle if you are careful on the ice.
The trail itself follows a lovely stream for more than 2 miles, and by the tme the creek views end, you are already gaining high country vistas, pine forest and upward glances at Baldy, Bighorn and Ontario Peak. I am particularly jealous of the cabin owners along the first mile of the path.
This is a good training hike for more strenuous outdoor activity. You can bring along young people and see how well they respond. It's perfect if you're building strength for longer journeys. Or, if you just want a nice place to hang out, pick a spot. You can also just turn around when you tire.
The only problem with this trail is the overuse, I saw 58 people on my winter outing, and for some reason, that doesn't seem like wilderness to me.
Trailhead: Take the 60,10, or 210 to Mountain Avenue in Upland/Ontario, exit and travel north (head toward the mountains, you can't miss them.) Follow Mountain as it turns from a monster business avenue into a residental road. It will veer to the left and join Euclid, follow the curve. Stay on this road until you come to Mt. Baldy Road, here you will need to make a right. Follow it past the Trout Pond, and look for the sign for Icehouse Canyon. Continue straight to the parking lot. From the main road you actually make a right turn, but you head straight in.
Park in the huge lot - this trail gets LOTS of usage - too much in my opinion. (Lat:34.23899 Lon:-117.59435)
Trail Guides for Icehouse Canyon to Icehouse Saddle:
Trails of the Angeles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest (909) 982-2829
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 14 Submit your own review
Reviewed by S.R. on 4/5/2013
My husband and I hiked up to Icehouse Saddle via the canyon yesterday. It was our first time all the way to the saddle. The trail is in great condition and we saw all together around 35-40 people on the entire trip, not a few of them seniors who had obviously gone at least to the saddle. They inspired us to keep moving. It was strenuous, but the views are breathtaking. There are still patches of snow on the north faces and the saddle was cold, probably about 40 or 50. Up there the wind stirs in the trees and sounds like ocean waves. Very dramatic. Once you get to the Saddle, you'll see trail markers for points beyond. More to explore for next time!
Reviewed by Dennis on 2/14/2013
02/13/13 Good local hike. Started the hike at 7 am and enjoyed the solitude that I was looking for. Currently, lots of snow on north facing side of mountains. The trail is well maintained. Be advised, the center of the trail during am hrs has lots of blue ice. Recommend some yak type of attachment to prevent some slips or falls. I fell three times but no injuries, but multiple slips. The last half mile before the summit or junction with the 3 t's trail, approx. 6" of snow on trail...a good waterproof hiking boot will do, no need for crampons. I only saw one hiker while ascending. He was doing some earthquake monitoring and spent one night at the summit...10 deg and high winds at night. Prayer & snack at summit. Bk at car 11:30
Reviewed by Rachel on 9/5/2012
We did this hike on Sunday - there were still parking spaces available just before 8am. The trail was fairly crowded going up to the saddle but much less so on our way down when we decided to take the Chapman trail back instead of the Icehouse trail. It's about a mile longer and a bit rocky and thin in places but the views are much better and loops are always more interesting than out and back hikes. I may consider going up on the Chapman trail next time. This is one of my go-to training hikes when I'm about to do a Sierras trip :)
Reviewed by Gnos on 5/28/2012
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Reviewed by B.R. on 5/19/2012
Got to the parking lot at 7:30am and there were plenty of spaces (we bought our adventure pass at the visitor center 2 miles before getting to the lot). Lots of people on the trail both going up and coming down so it made it tricky to get past one another on narrow paths without room to step aside. Some muddy parts on the trail near the creek where the water comes through it but all in all a very good, well-maintained trail. We got to the saddle at 9:30 and were back in our car at 11:35. For our first time up I think it went very well.
Reviewed by J.P. on 3/5/2012
We had no problem parking at 9 AM on Sunday 3/4/12, and found very few fellow hikers on the trail up to the Saddle. This was an unseasonably hot weekend at the end of a very dry winter. We didn't encounter much ice, but there were some slushy areas which presumably will be icy again in colder weather. We took the Chapman Trail down, but were a little sorry, because parts of it are narrow and cliff-hugging, and there was enough snow to make us nervous. (Most of our experience has been on the hotter, drier coastal trails.) Our little group of fifty year olds didn't find this trail as strenuous as other posters have suggested, and all in all we had a great day.
Reviewed by AdiosJerrySchad on 9/23/2011
A decade before LocalHikes, I got a hiking book by Jerry Schad, and this was the first trail I had gone solo, yet I felt prepared because of Jerry Schad's book. Today I read that he passed on. RIP, and gratitude. To Allen Riedel - I also have tons of your books, keep up the great work, thank you also for giving me confidence on the trail and wish you the best.
Reviewed by Breabonnie on 8/12/2011
Friday no problem parking. (Don't forget your parking pass) Still lots of water flowing into the cascades and pools you enjoy near the beginning. Pretty orange and yellow flowers grow in the along the trail shade here. Yes, some shade on this hike, but right now you will need a hat and/or sunscreen too. Bring small lunch or trail bars and 4 standard size water bottles at a minimum(16.9 ounce bottles) in a carry pack if you are a walking hiker. The trail is rocky and can cause a slip-hiking shoes recommended with good tread. A walking stick is also nice for balance on the way back down or lean on when going up if needed. Trees still a lovely green. Great cardio training hike before doing Devil's backbone. No cel phone signal here.
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