icehouse canyon-ontario peak-bighorn peak

Got out to Icehouse Canyon with Victor and Judy.   The goal was lofty – Ontario, Bighorn, Cucamonga, and 3 T’s all in one day.   However, Ontario and Bighorn pooped us all out so we stuck with those two peaks and ended up with a 15.5 mile hike.   Still, it was beautiful.   The Autumn colors are in full bloom and the winds on the top were next to calm (surprisingly).   Temps were in the 50-60’s the whole time.  We parked at Icehouse and began hiking around 9am or so, give or take.   Trail was crowded with the usual hiking clubs that frequent I.C.   Nonetheless, it was perfect hiking weather.   We reached Icehouse Saddle within about 1:45 or so… took a brief break… and began our ascent up Ontario Peak’s trail.   Didn’t see anyone else past Icehouse Canyon Saddle on the trail at all.   Made Kelly camp in 30 minutes or so, enjoyed a brief break, and began that final 1.8 miles to Ontario Peak.   I began to get pooped with the final half mile to Ontario.    I could feel my breathing struggling, mysteriously, and my old IT band syndrome kicking in hardcore.  Sucked.  But alas, we’re all human.

We summitted Ontario (about 8670′ or so) and enjoyed the view from the top.  If you haven’t been up to Ontario’s summit, you’re missing out.  We had a clear view of the Pacific Ocean, LBH, and Catalina, amongst everything else.   It was just beautiful.   Anywho, we descended 1 mile or so to a T junction in the trail and ascended up .75 miles to Bighorn Peak.   Bighorn was steep, mostly screen, and kind of a let down.   Nonetheless, the view up there was beautiful, as well, and gave me a teasing view of Cucamonga Peak.   MMM.   By then, I felt my IT band(s) losing it quickly and, well, if you’ve felt that, you know it suuuuucks.   I persuaded Victor and Judy to head back down to the bottom of the trail head parking lot.   I’d hoped to go the full 15+ miles, but maybe another day…

I didn’t bring enough food and that hurt my hike: I used 5 hammer gels, a pack of crackers/cheese, and 2 gu chomps packages, along with about 2.5L of water and another 1.5L of Hammer Heed/Perpetuem mix.   I wore a lightweight REI base layer, a Marmot Zeus vest that I sweated through, and a North Face Tika stretch layer, along with the typical runner pants, smartwool PhD socks, and Solomon XA Pro Ultras (GTX).   Twas a good Autumn day and can’t wait to do this hike again!

garmin 310xt readout:

Posted on November 6, 2010, in hiking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Matt. You may remember us from our frequent trips to your place of work. The last time we talked you suggested a camping spot in Gorgonio Wilderness near where we had hiked the week before at aspen grove and gave us one of your blog cards.

    I just love Ontario peak. There are so many great peaks you can see from atop its summit. My G/F and I also really enjoy the first mile or so of Icehouse Canyon. It’s always so lush and green and the sounds of the creek running on the side are so inviting.

    I have a famous photo she took of me at the peak at sunset. I only say famous because everyone I show it too likes it.

    I also wanted to add that Mt Islip was a very easy hike. The trail is very gradual and the elevation gain is spread out very well over the course of the hike. We ascended up from the PCT junction at the 2 right at the blocked off 39 hwy that leads to crystal lake. Here’s a link to the everytrail trip:

    Although with the recent weather it will be covered in snow.

    Anyways, nice blog really enjoyed reading through your trips. Not sure how your schedule is but the g/f and I always hike on saturdays. Have been hiking every saturday since February. If you have a free saturday it would be cool to plan a trip and hang out.

  2. Hey Jason-
    Really good stuff in your reports! And, you’re right – that sunset pic is really cool. Keep posting, you have some good info going there!

    I’d love to get out with you and Erica. I work a lot of Saturdays and have a couple more weeks left of graduate school, but once school is done, I’m all in! If you have an email or facebook or whatever and would like to be included in hike invites with my friends and I, let me know. My email is

    thanks for checking in. peace.

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