Ice House Canyon Trail

HARD 432 reviews
#2 of 16 trails in

Ice House Canyon Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mt Baldy, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,637 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Ice House Canyon is just under 8 miles long and located near Mt Baldy. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a full day. The Ice House Canyon is a popular day hike with a trail head just north of Mount Baldy Village. The trail is not to strenuous, but if you are hiking in the winter, snow and Ice is a factor. The saddle is the destination for most hikers and views of Mount Baldy and Ontario Peak can be seen. You will follow a stream for almost the first two miles of the hike. There are great little cabins along the way as well. The trail also leads to several other trail, good backpacking and even to Mount Baldy. Wonderful creek trail ascending to great canyon views and pristine high country. This is one of the finest hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. You climb the heart of scenic Icehouse Canyon into the Cucamonga Wilderness to Icehouse Saddle, then to the top of the 8303-foot Timber Mountain. From the trailhead follow the path east, under a canopy of oak, alder, spruce, cedar, fir, and pine. After 1.8 miles you reach the entrance to the Cucamonga Wilderness. The trail gets steeper as you travel up the canyon. In 3.5 miles from the start, you reach Icehouse Saddle, a nice destination if you'd like to turn back at this point. If you're heading on to Timber Mountain, take the trail to the left (north). Follow the trail as it switchbacks up the southwest-facing slope of Timber. At the west ridge before the trail heads down to the saddle between Timber Mountain and Telegraph Peak, turn right (east) on the marked spur trail, following it .25 mile to the summit. After soaking in the beauty of this splendid high country, return the way you came.

hiking
rocky
14 hours ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout, parking lot to the saddle is 3.9 miles. The Saddle is the gateway to many other peaks in the area, and also a nice place just to hang out a while! Highly recommended trail. The way the trail map is shown here, it is not exactly the Ice House Canyon Trail—it is partly that but also loops through the Chapman trail which adds around 2 additional miles, lots of sun, some additional stress and increases the travel time a bunch! I’m not a fan of Chapman Trail. Nonetheless, I wanted to do the loop as shown so on the way down I took Chapman. Total round trip of 10.1 miles. Parts of Chapman are quite narrow, hiking on very loose gravel, and the fall down the canyon could be quite dangerous, hence requiring care in where to step so it gets slow going. And there is no shade at all. My recommendation is to just go up and back the Ice House Canyon Trail (just below 8 miles), unless you have a good reason to loop through Chapman (what would that be, though?!). Stats: 3.9 miles and 2400 ft elevation gain parking lot to Saddle, another 150 ft gain on Chapman, 10.1 miles round trip.

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

lots of black flies , would wear a hat and some covering next time also bug repellent. also bring enough water and snacks you gonna need the fuel to get up to the top. definitely a steep incline ,wouldn't recommend it for a first time hiker

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Update: SCE is doing electrical work out here during the week, replacing the large wooden power poles that provide electricity to the cabins in the canyon. Loud helicopters in and out, hovering over the trail to get the old poles out and the new ones in. Crew are on the trail doing pretty dangerous work with heavy lifting and power tools, so just make sure you ask them if it's safe to pass before you just walk by. Also, the bugs are getting really bad. I swallowed at least 5 small flies today and got a couple mosquito bites. Bring bug spray and a head net.

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

We got to the trail head at around 9 am and were able to get a day pass from the park ranger. Take cash since they don’t have a card reader. Pass is 5 bucks and they have stickers, patches, etc. if you want to add to your hiking collection. Get there early to get parking, had to park about .4 miles from the TH because of our arrival time. The first 3 or so miles are wonderful and not too bad on the knees. The stream is peaceful and at a good flow. The switchbacks can be a killer if you’re a little out of shape. The summit is nice break and you can break off onto other trails if you’d like. There is a lot of people so be friendly and patient when hiking. A great hike!!

trail running
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Solid hike. We followed this exact loop and made it to the saddle and back in about 4.5 hours. We did spend about 45 minutes at the saddle just to unwind, eat lunch, and soak it all in. No ice or snow along the trail this time of the year so you shouldn't need crampons. We started at 6:30am so it was definitely on the chilly side and warmed up throughout the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of water this year! Beautiful trail above the clouds of the city. Lots of blooms including rather rare Snow Plants. Trail is well maintained aside from a couple washed out areas. Just look for the stacked rocks to find the train connections. Plus a few fallen trees, which were easy to walk around. No major stream crossings, but a couple muddy spots. All and all a very nice day hike!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

We did the hike to the saddle and came back down via chapman trail. Total according to my legs and strava was 11.1 miles and 2928ft gain. took us roughly 6 hours total. This was the first time taking chapman trail. I strongly recommend it if you have done this hike before and need something to spruce it up. It's a little longer but we took it coming down so the less incline was nice on the knees. Plenty of water flowing if you choose to pack lite and filter your water. https://www.relive.cc/view/2363019031?hl=en

hiking
2 months ago

Love this hike. Beautiful when the stream is full. The switchbacks become difficult. But a great sense of accomplishment at the top. Pack your lunch and plenty of water! #socaldirtpathchallenge

2 months ago

I loved this trail immensely but it was definitely one of the hardest I have ever done. The whole trail is uphill to start off and as you make your way up, there is alot of rocky area you will have to walk through where you can lose your way of you don't know what your looking for. There is very small snowy patches which are kind of fun to make your way through as well. It is one of the most beautiful places I've experienced though! I definitely recommend this though to everyone.

hiking
2 months ago

We had the best time ever. I love to see how beautiful looks with the snow. I always do it during other seasons.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a pretty nice hike. Kind of steep and rocky but not to bad. I did the hike on 4/20 and there were some patches of snow towards the top. It was pretty nice weather on the trail but was pretty cold and windy at the top of the saddle. I didn’t take the Chapman trail on the way down. Used this as a practice hike for trans Catalina trail this week.

backpacking
3 months ago

My wife and I made this an overnight 2 day trip. Our original goal was to make it to Kelly Camp, however by the end of day one we were exhausted when we reached the saddle. We found an awesome spot just before the saddle and made camp. In the morning we hiked around the area using our microspikes to get a feel for them. On the way back we decided to take the chapman trail and it was an amazing experience. We only saw one or two other parties hiking the entire way. The views along the exposed trail portion were spectacular. This area is one of the most challenging and beautiful areas we have hiked locally. The creek was flowing big time in the canyon so bring water filter just below the camp at Cedar Glen there was a small stream to filter water also (it may dry up soon I am not familiar with the availability). We will take this trip again as we hope to hit Ontario and Cucamunga Peaks and probably more.

hiking
3 months ago

Was originally planning on hiking to Etiwanda Peak, but conditions from the saddle onward were not good. There was an ongoing search for 2 hikers who'd gone missing on their way to Cucamonga Peak three days earlier. Since my plans for Etiwanda were foiled by too much snow, I returned on the Chapman Trail. Most of the snow was gone and trail conditions were good pretty much the whole way. Beautiful day all around and the first time I've done the Chapman Trail. Had one of the helicopters hovering over me using their thermal/infrared heat sensing equipment. Good time.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

This is my #1 training hike they I’ve done probably 60-80 times (if not more). I got a late start and it was very windy at the saddle. There were a few icy snow patches that made the trail a little sketchy. I decided to come back via the Chapman Trail and found it to be kind dangerous due to icy snow areas. Bring crampons or an ice axe or at least hiking poles in case you slip in these areas. I don’t recommend the Chapman Trail at this time.

hiking
off trail
snow
3 months ago

As usual this trail delivers a great workout. Tried both Cucamonga and Ontario peak with no success. Packed with snow, some sketchy spots and no trail. I didn’t bring my ice axe or crampons, just micro spikes and those weren’t going to help in any sort of ascent up the peaks. The micro spikes and trekking poles did work for the saddle but that’s it. Started at 7am, took me 1:30 hr to get to saddle. Trail is clear of snow up to the middle of the switchbacks. Then you play the create your own trail game up to ice house saddle. Enjoy.

snow
3 months ago

Started a little later than I planned, but an outstanding sub 65* day with temps at The Saddle hovering around 40*. I hiked the Icehouse Canyon trail on 3/24. About the 2 mile mark, snow patches started to cover portions of the trail, then fully covered soon after. The chute to The Saddle was covered in hard-pack and probably would've been smarter to strap on the micro-spikes, but I opted to keep em in the pack and use my trekking poles. Most who ventured - or tried to - to Cucamonga Peak reported difficult conditions and needed trail-finding experience. I chose to stay at The Saddle for a snack and headed back to the trail head. Ratings are subjective, but to give you an idea, I'm 50+ years old and enjoyed every step of the way. I do consider myself an avid 3 season hiker/backpacker with more than beginner experience. Push yourself, this is a gem! Crowds were light, even with the outstanding weather.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked to he saddle on 3/16. First mile is fine, just a few low water crossings. Beyond that, ice and packed snow on the trail most of the way to the saddle.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Beautiful right now. First mile, patches of ice, then continuous snow tromping all the way to saddle. Agree with the recommendations for poles and micro-spikes (though we made it without the spikes). It was a nice day, and the ascent got us sweaty. Wish we'd thought to put on our dry shells BEFORE cresting the saddle...man, that wind hit the moisture and chilled us fast. By the time I suited up, I was ready to call it a day! But still, beautiful!

hiking
off trail
snow
4 months ago

I did this hike this last Tuesday. Attempting to summit Cucamonga peak. It took us longer than we thought due to the snow and no trail about half way up. A few people wanted to summit the peak but turned back due to no trail and going the wrong direction. We had trekking poles and micro spikes. It is a nice time to practice self arresting with an ice axe which we didn't bring and using crampons, again, we didn't bring. The spikes only take you so far. On the south side of the creek there was a small avalanche, the foot trail made by people was gone. Spikes would not dig in enough to hold me up on a 45 degree slope. It was beautiful and as always, windy at the saddle. I had done this hike in the summer a couple of years ago. Always windy. Completely different in the snow.

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