Icehouse Canyon

Icehouse Canyon is both an enormously popular hiking destination, as well as a portal to the Cucamonga Wilderness in the extreme east end of the San Gabriel Mountain Range. Its lower extremities, which are explored here, feature lush, riparian woodland and old cabins from a bygone age.

Distance: 1.5 Miles
Elevation Gained: Around 400-500′
Difficulty: Easy, save for the icy trail
Critters: None

I made a brief stop at Icehouse Canyon before meeting with my friend Kyle for a snow-shoeing expedition up the slopes of Mt. Baldy. This canyon is famous for its lovely riparian woodland, which transitions into mixed conifer forest on the way to Icehouse Saddle; old cabins built around the turn of the 20th century; and frigid temperatures which partially explain the canyons name. This will be a really short write-up, since it was a very short hike. I wrote about it here.

The last time I visited, this canyon was alive with Spring. The creek rumbled over stones, bright new alder leaves fluttered in the breeze, and excitement awaited as I went to summit Cucamonga Peak. Today, the canyon was cold and silent, save for a gently trickling stream and my own somewhat labored breath. It’s kind of sad how out of shape I’ve become after taking so much time off of hiking. From 1/1/12 to 9/15/12, I hiked 1,000 miles. Since then, I’ve hiked 100, and I’m feeling the effects.

At any rate, this hike was a cold, silent warm-up for what would prove to be a spectacular excursion up to the south edge of Baldy Bowl. Icehouse Canyon yields numerous pleasures, even if this trip was superficial and only a prelude. I hope to come back here before the snow melts off for the Spring so that I can snow shoe my way over the Three T’s.

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