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girlhiker70

CUCAMONGA PEAK ON 4TH OF JULY

I've been wanting to bag this peak for some time, and we decided that 4th of July would be perfect but not from the usual route that most hikers take. I wanted to put in some extra miles, so we decided on bagging this baby from the Middle Fork Trail~Ice House Saddle~Cucamonga Pk.  We started our long trek at 6:37am, after a bumpy ride on the road up to the trailhead.

Passing the official Cucamonga Wilderness sign.


It started out to be a chilly morning but soon warmed up. The canyon trees provided shade with annoying mosquitoes along the way.  


There was a good amount of water flowing in the canyon.


Found this little guy sleeping on the trail by the stream.


As we continued on the Middle Fork, hiking the remainder of the 5.4 miles towards Ice House Saddle, the trail became steep and exposed with lots of loose rock scree to walk over.  I couldn't wait to get to the top, so we could just relax and eat under some shady trees!




Looking up towards Ice House Saddle.




Finally we reached the top of the saddle! We enjoyed our lunch under the trees before the final 2.4 mile trek to the summit of Cucamonga.


The final climb gets steeper and steeper with more switchbacks, but the views are gorgeous. I tried to ignore my tired calves and continued at a slower pace.


I finally reached the split connector trail between Etiwanda and Cucamonga peaks. My original plan was to bag both but I decided to come back another day to bag Etiwanda


Views at the top of the summit.











Happy 4th of July!


Summit pose.


Took a long nap under a tree.



Lots of chipmunks hanging out at the summit.


After an hour break, we headed back down the trail enjoying the now very shaded trail.


Total stats: 15.6 miles, over 4500ft elevation gain.
RichardK

Cucamonga Peak

That is a worthy hike and a tough day. Some people stay overnight on the 4th to watch the fireworks down below.
JeffH

Definitely a long day but your route allowed for quite a bit of shade. I know it's a popular spot for overnights on July 4 but you don't have pics of the usual crowds up there.
Sean

There were lots of people on the summit, including a few people with tents. One guy was running his drone the whole time.
Uncle Rico

Quote:
...after a bumpy ride on the road up to the trailhead.


4-wheel or high-clearance required?
Sean

Uncle Rico wrote:
Quote:
...after a bumpy ride on the road up to the trailhead.


4-wheel or high-clearance required?


I've seen a Prius get through worse. But there are a few rough parts for which high-clearance is recommended.
girlhiker70

JeffH wrote:
Definitely a long day but your route allowed for quite a bit of shade. I know it's a popular spot for overnights on July 4 but you don't have pics of the usual crowds up there.



There were two tents with a few people hanging out. There was an annoying drone being controlled by some kid when we were trying to take a nap.  Otherwise, a very cool  peak to bag.
AW

Did you visit Third Stream Falls?
Sean

AW wrote:
Did you visit Third Stream Falls?


Not this time. We visited Third Stream Falls last year.

Do you know anything about the falls further up-canyon from Third Stream Falls? They can be seen partially from the trail.
HikeUp

drones

aren't these covered by some wilderness laws where motorized things are prohibited?

i'd have been tempted to grab the controller and smash it - fucking things are a menace to society.
Sean

HikeUp wrote:
drones

aren't these covered by some wilderness laws where motorized things are prohibited?


Yeah, it's against federal regulations to launch or land a drone in a designated Wilderness area. They are legal in the rest of the Forest, but must comply with FAA regulations.

I'm not anti-drone or pro-regulation. I simply wish drone operators would be more mindful of others and limit their hobby to more isolated areas of the mountains. Perhaps Cucamonga Peak on a holiday is not the best time to fly your machine.
AW

Sean wrote:

Do you know anything about the falls further up-canyon from Third Stream Falls? They can be seen partially from the trail.


Yup...you are referring to falls#2?
http://www.duffyknox.com/Personal...yoneering-Middle-Fork/i-wpx9vzx/A
EnriqueFreeque

Great trip report.  Brought back some great hiking memories.  I was able to access the trailhead w/a Corolla, but that was back in Oct. '92, though sounds like the road in is still in semi-good shape.  That's the way to do Cucamonga Peak.  No crowds.  The day I did it was a week day and I didn't see another soul.  Used the hike as a conditioner for a one-day assault on Whitney I'd attempt (unsuccessfully) three days later.  You really captured how increasingly steep a trail that is up to the saddle over that abominable scree, with almost 5,000 ft. total elevation gain.  Is there a better view in the San Gabriels than the view from the summit of Cucamonga Peak?
girlhiker70

EnriqueFreeque wrote:
Great trip report.  Brought back some great hiking memories.  I was able to access the trailhead w/a Corolla, but that was back in Oct. '92, though sounds like the road in is still in semi-good shape.  That's the way to do Cucamonga Peak.  No crowds.  The day I did it was a week day and I didn't see another soul.  Used the hike as a conditioner for a one-day assault on Whitney I'd attempt (unsuccessfully) three days later.  You really captured how increasingly steep a trail that is up to the saddle over that abominable scree, with almost 5,000 ft. total elevation gain.  Is there a better view in the San Gabriels than the view from the summit of Cucamonga Peak?


This is definitely the way to go without a crowd, but a longer trek of course! We were the only ones on the trail. I don't think there is a better view unless you are in the Sierras!
hiiker

Thanks for sharing your trip rpt.  It brought back lots of good memories of being on the peak.  I've never seen a single sole while being there but do remember the curious chipmunks.

That drone would have been a real annoyance.  Unfortunately we are probably going to see more and more of these in the wilderness.
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