Summary: This hike takes you through beautiful Icehouse Canyon, into the Cucamonga Wilderness up to Icehouse Saddle and beyond Kelly's Camp to Ontario Peak.
The views are spectacular, it was so clear in November that I was able to see the Pacific and all of Catalina Island - I'd never seen the ocean from the Angeles before. You can make out all of Southern California with a 360' view that rivals any peak in the forest.
The Icehouse Canyon trail is no joke, either take extra time, lots of breaks, or be in fantastic shape - I made the 3.6 miles in 1 hr and 25 minutes, but I would suggest taking your time. It is steep and strenuous the whole way.
The only problem with this hike is that the wilderness is far from wild - I passed 58 people on my winter hike, and many of them were talking loudly, once you pass the saddle, though, solitude presents itself.
Bring sturdy boots, lots of water, and an extra energy bar.
Trailhead: Take the 60, 10 or 210 to Mountain Avenue in Upland/Ontario. Exit and travel North (towards the mountains - you can't miss them.) Follow Mountain as it turns from a major thouroughfare into a residental street. It will veer left as it merges with Euclid. Follow this until you come to Mt. Baldy road. You need to turn right and follow this road past the Baldy Trout Ponds, until you see a sign for Icehouse Canyon Road, you continue straight, even though it is a right turn off the main road.
Park in the large parking area - this trail gets heavy usage. (Lat:34.2275 Lon:-117.62419)
Trail Guides for Ontario Peak:
Best Hikes With Dogs - Southern California
by Allen Riedel (Mountaineers books)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Trails of the Angeles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness 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 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Matt C. on 6/10/2013
I was aiming to hike Mt. Baldy, but I turned off the road too early and hiked Ice House Canyon to the Saddle. Once I was up there I decided to go for Ontario peak. Beautiful hike in trees most of the day. Once past the old Kelly Camp the trail is pretty exposed, but it's still great! Didn't see anyone for almost 3 hours, great solitude up there.
Reviewed by Pablo on 6/30/2012
June 29, 2012 Great training hike. Solid uphill, lush vegetation, few hikers beyond the saddle, and panoramic views. Interesting historic cabins on the first mile. Bugs in shaded area were a problem. Water still running in the stream the first 1.5 miles (filter it of course).
Reviewed by Brian on 5/30/2011
I was able to summit Ontario and Bighorn on May 20th, 2011. No crampons are necessary. Only a few snow drifts around Kelly Camp.
Reviewed by Sean on 5/28/2011
Anyone make it up yet this year without crampons? How is the trail beyond Icehouse Saddle? Thanks!
Reviewed by Adam on 7/2/2010
First time in Icehouse Canyon and really enjoyed the scenery. Hiked up to the saddle, which was quite windy, and then on to Ontario Peak. I decided to try the Chapman Trail on the way back, which stays above the canyon until the end where it meets the trailhead. All toll, it was around 14 miles, but it went quickly with all the scenery to look at.
Reviewed by Diane on 6/26/2010
June 25, 2010 Went to Ontario Peak via the Ice house. Last time I hiked that trail was in 2007. What a big shock to see so many trees laying on the forest ground. The hike still offers amazing views on a clear day. The bugs were not bad although I do recommend some kind of bug spray this time of year. Weather was fantastic no wind at the summit however, lots of wind at the saddle. Returned down through the Chapman trail beautiful and quiet not one person did we see. Nice!
Reviewed by ErikS on 6/12/2010
Fantastic hike. Much easier than expected, and would recommend to anyone in moderate shape looking for a great view for a medium amount of work. Saw deer and six bighorn on the trail between Mt. Ontario and Bighorn Peak, which I also hit while I was up there. Snow is all but gone, the little that is left is no problem to go through or get around.
Reviewed by JeffH on 6/1/2010
Summitted Ontario Peak on Monday morning, after spending the night at the tiny saddle just before reaching Kelly's Camp. Still quite a bit of snow on the slopes, some route-finding was necessary just leaving Kelly's. Even then I still lost the trail a couple of times....I haven't been up there for a few years, but since most of the downed trees have been cleared away it's much more pleasant to walk up. The views of a hazy, hot SoCal morning were still pretty good, as I could easily pick out San Jacinto and San Gorgonio off in the distance to the East. The marker pointing the way to Ontario and Bighorn is a little off, showing 1 mile to Ontario. I think it's more like 1.5, as it took me a full hour from that spot.
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