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Bighorn Peak and Ontario Peak is a 14.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Baldy, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 14.5 mi Elevation gain 4,530 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Running

Forest

Views

Wildlife

Blowdown

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (17)
Contact
Tips

An intense dayhike or moderate backpack in the Cucamonga Wilderness. This hike hits two of the tallest, most prominent peaks in the Angeles National Forest. Beginning with the historic, alpine brook that runs through Icehouse Canyon, this trail climbs through picturesque pine and cedar to Icehouse Saddle before visiting the site of an old trail resort and ascending a long ridge between the two peaks. A truly magnificent and rewarding hike, with great views of the Baldy Bowl for almost the entire route. Highly, highly recommended.

You will need a National Forest Adventure Pass to park at the Trailhead, and you will also need a Wilderness Permit to continue into the Cucamonga Wilderness. Depending on your plans, you may also wish to pick up a stove permit as well. The Parking Passes are $5 for a day or $30 for a year, and the wilderness and stove permits are free. All can be picked up at the Mount Baldy Visitor Center: Mt. Baldy Road Mt. Baldy, CA 91759 (909) 982-2829 Daily 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (307)
Photos (3190)
Recordings (232)
Completed (2911)
Jenny H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

06.28.2020 Started later than usual at 11am and had to jog down on the return before sundown. It was a very windy day, especially up and beyond the Saddle. Trail to Big Horn was scattered with many fallen trees and the view is anticlimactic. Perfect trail if you like solitude, no shades, baldy hills, and shrubs. Trail to Ontario Peak was well worn out, undulating, shades, and beautiful. The view at the top is gorgeous! I found no one up there since I started so late but that’s the beauty of it, you get to have the spot all to yourself.

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Matthew Salkovitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Hiked this 6/19/20. Got to the parking lot by 630am and up to the saddle by 830. Perfect weather although very buggy. No one invited me to the lady bug mating festival. There are a several water sources on the way to the saddle if you needed to refill or practice using a water filter like this hiking newbie. About a mile and a half from the saddle to Ontario peak, you reach a fork to go left to big horn or right to Ontario. I did big horn first then Ontario. About a quarter mile from the summit of big horn, the trail starts to disappear which was a little frustrating but doable. Great views and photo ops of mount baldy and telegraph peak. On the way to Ontario, I encountered my first rattlesnake which was a new experience for this east coast city boy. Once at Ontario, I had lunch and chatted with a great group of hikers. Be sure to take the infamous “standing on the tree with the summit sign” photo I keep seeing everywhere. Headed back to the saddle around 1130am and bagged timber with the extra juice I had left. Finished the day around 3pm and 17 miles overall. Didn’t see any big horn sheep sadly. A fantastic hike to do by yourself or with a group.

M Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 19 2020
Hiking

My first time to hike this trail and I love it because it’s not boring. The view of the cloud was amazing. Brings lots of water, sunblock, and bug spray.

becky galiskis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
BackpackingSnow

Great trail! It was 100% under snow from the saddle up. There is a bit of patchy snow in the last 1-1.5 miles approaching the saddle. Microspikes or some sort of traction is a must at this point and I would guess for the next few weeks. Some postholing up to knee high, but not too bad until around Kelly Camp, pants or snow gaiters recommended. Kelly Camp is completely under snow. I did hear there is a beautiful campsite on the Chapman trail if you're looking to avoid snow camping. Last water source at this point is Columbine Spring, the source near camp is under snow. Enjoy!

Kayla B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 08 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Attempted on February 8, 2020. After the Ice House Canyon Saddle, the trail was very hard to follow. Hardly any people had been on the trail this snow season, I could only lightly see the microspike tracks on the frozen snow in some places. The trail was very slanted and my legs were uneven almost the entire time after splitting off onto Ontario Peak Trail. I had to keep readjusting my microspikes because of the slant. I only saw one other hiker on this trail and he was headed back after reaching the ridgeline. I followed his trail to the ridgeline and climbed up the first false summit of Ontario Peak. After that there was no trail in the snow. I wanted to avoid staying on the ridgeline for fear of an avalanche, so I went down a bit and tried to continue on, but I was post-holing badly. I turned around after that and headed back to the not-so-fun uneven trail. It was a relief to get back to the Ice House Canyon Trail and to see other hikers again. Lesson learned that I will not attempt this peak again until the snow melts. Still got 11 miles in and climbed almost 4,000 feet.

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Savannah Woods
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 18 2019
Hiking

This is my new favorite hike! I agree that it is difficult but definitely not “undoable” i’m 19 and I strongly recommend hiking poles. I was able to go to Ontario Peak and down back at the trail head in 7 hours I started at 6:30 AM and got back at the trail head at 2:30 PM. I think this is because I used hiking poles and I brought a lot of water. Definitely push yourself at points but make sure to take a lot of breaks because you’ll need to conserve energy to make it all the way to Ontario Peak. The total mileage for me was 17 miles there and back! But if you just go to the Saddleback it’ll only be 11miles round trip so you should be fine!! The views are absolutely stunning and definitely worth the hike! People are extremely friendly and I went by myself and felt very safe! Make sure to start early on weekends parking fills up really quick!

Ryan Longworth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

Good hike. Started at 7, got the last “spot” in the parking lot. Wish we would have started earlier. Made a new sign for Ontario and Bighorn peak. The path to Bighorn was a little overgrown but we made it work. Not a lot of shade once to start getting to the top. This path can have a lot of people on it but traffic was fairly light today. Went through 3 liters of water.

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Juri Tweed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

Nice strenuous hike with good views once you get past the saddle. Ontario peak is great and much less crowded than Cucamonga; add the tree and its quite photogenic. Adding Bighorn to this hike is great for conditioning and anguish but doesn’t do much for scenery. Peak sign on Bighorn is missing.

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Rady Sor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 07 2019
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grownRocky
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Flying Mantis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grownRocky

Did Ontario peak first and big horn next. Very beautiful trail and smooth hike from the Icehouse Saddle to Ontario peak. The views are amazing!!!Last stretch to bighorn peak was a bit tiresome.

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Lucas Valleau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 11 2019
Hiking

An awesome hike!!!

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Trevor Dixon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 10 2019
Hiking

I went here months ago just forgot to review it, very unique hike after Kelly’s camp you find yourself walking through a patch or forest with all trees completely decimated by past wildfires with shrubbery being the only thing still existent, I thought it was definitely worth it to get to Ontario I would personally skip big horn although I might only feel that way about it due to me having the flu at the time.

Brian N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 19 2019
Hiking

Weekday hike bagged both Bighorn and Ontario Peak. Weather was perfect.

Josh McClintock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 08 2019
Hiking

I challenged myself on 7/8/19 and bagged both Cucamonga and Ontario Peaks on the same hike starting and finishing in the parking lot of Ice House Canyon. All trails had it 18.6 miles and took me about 10 hours at an average pace. Weather was great..although pretty hazy view of the lowlands. Low 70's. I did this hike on a Tuesday to beat the crowds and crossed paths with under 30 people and 2 dogs total which was perfect. The hike up to the saddle is a leg buster...and down, an ankle and knee shredder. The big difference of this part of the hike from when I did it last summer is the amount of water in the stream at the beginning portion. Wow! What a difference. So nice finishing up the hike listening to the rushing water. I knew going in that Cucamonga would be harder (I did each hike separately last year) and it definitely was. It's much more vertical and strenuous. So I did that first. The peak was beautiful but the view was hazy. Ran into a couple of hikers that made my day as I was able to get a cool picture of myself on the overhanging rock. I'd forgotten that there is actually an uphill portion of trail on the way back to the saddle. Ouch! After having some lunch back at the saddle I continued on to Ontario Peak. Pretty mellow until just passed Kelly's Camp you start to climb up to the ridge. I might also add that at points the trail is very thin with bushes on each side that you have to walk through. You might want to consider pants for this hike. I did it in shorts and it wasn't that bad. Once you get to the top of the ridge their is a junction. Left is Bighorn. Right is Ontario. The view here is pretty awesome. As the trail continues you keep thinking it's gonna start to go vert...but it never really does. Much more gradual and easy going than Cucamonga. And then the views kick in!! The mountain ranges come into view. And they just look spectacular. It does go a little vert just before the peak but then....your there!!! And guess what..some kind soul has brought brand new peak signs. Thank you!! So that was my day. I'll leave my review here because... if I have to make a decision of which peak I prefer...I choose Ontario. I believe it really is more beautiful and scenic. In my humble opinion.

Ricardo R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 07 2019
Hiking

Awesome hike!

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Tom Kolesar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 05 2019
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

I will admit I enjoy Big Horn and Ontario Peaks. The trail to Cucamonga Peak by comparison can feel like the 405 Fwy during rush hour. Cucamonga is one of the Six Pack of Peaks and it does offer outstanding views. However, its neighbors Big Horn and Ontario provide a mellow experience and enables you to get away from the masses of people. Beautiful day to bag a peak on 5 July. I focused on Big Horn having been out to Ontario earlier in the year. From the Ice House parking lot my Garmin measured 12.95 miles and 4,041 ft of elevation gain. Total moving time was approximately 6 hours. No getting around it. The 3.62 miles up to Ice House Saddle can be a slog. It's a good, but rocky trail. Given it is a gateway for a number of peaks its just gets old going up it. The one mile spur to Kelley Camp is shaded and a very pleasant experience. From Kelley you climb up to the ridge via switchbacks where you can decide if you want to conquer Big Horn or Ontario. The sign is gone. Left/East is Big Horn. Right/West is Ontario. From the ridge you have OUTSTANDING views of Baldy Bowl. From that point it is a 0.7 mile ascent to Big Horn Peak. The first 0.3 miles or so is on a nice trail. The last 0.4 mile is a steep, rocky, fallen tree, shrub scramble to the top. I will admit the views at Ontario and Cucamonga are more panoramic than Big Horn. But, Big Horn has a special charm and a very low traffic level. It is also a good workout. Well worth the effort to explore. The path is very narrow in places and there are a lot of bees and other flying insects. They really didn't bother me, but I suggest a hat (there is very little shade past Kelley Camp) and long pants and a long shirt. Well worth the time.

Hike On
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 01 2019
Hiking

Terrific!

Brett Sanner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 12 2019
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

Beautiful hike. Ice House Canyon trail to Ice House saddle is perfect (I'd guess 5 different ecological zones). The trail from the saddle to Ontario Peak is far less crowded - and gives the opportunity to see more wildlife (ran across a bobcat, a rattle snake, and plenty of lizards and squirrels). Great hike - wonderful views from Ontario Peak. Bighorn Peak is a bit of a letdown (by comparison) - much of the view of the valley is obscured by Cucamonga Peak, peak sign has been stolen.

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