5/6/18 A return trip up the Middle Fork trail to Icehouse Saddle, except this time continuing on to both Cucamonga and Ontario peaks. Great views, great weather, 21.5 miles, and 6,800' of gain.
1 First creek crossing. Good to see some water flowing after such a dry winter.
2 Second crossing.
3 Into the wilderness...
4 A whole family of oak trees.
5 A little bit of spring color.
6 Third, and last, crossing of the middle fork of Lytle Creek.
7 Great canyon views as the trail climbs.
8 The waterfall. I don't remember seeing it last time I was here. You can't quite see the bottom, and it's a little ways away, so it's probably a decent sized falls.
9 The trail is almost indiscernible in places, which was a lot of fun on the way up. But a little tougher on the way down, especially in the dim light. I lost the trail pretty badly once on the way back.
10 A great area of foliage before making the last big climb up to the saddle.
11 The saddle. After seeing only one pair of people the whole way up, the saddle is a zoo. Remind me to never head up here on a weekend again! Now it's on to Cucamonga Peak.
12 This is the spot where my Dad and I had to turn around last time after running out of time. No rain or thunderstorms this time, and no ruined cameras.
13 Some nice views on the way up.
14 Last scramble to the peak.
15 Made it. Cucamonga Peak at 8,859'. The last mile up to the peak is a solid climb.
16 The views from up here are pretty jaw dropping. If you like urban sprawl views, this is probably the best spot in SoCal. With a nice view of Santiago as well.
17 Gorgonio and San Jacinto views. Although the views are amazing, so are the crowds. There were at least 10 people up here, loud, smoking pot. I didn't stay long.
18 Baldy in the distance with the ridge headed to Ontario Peak in the foreground. I will be on that shortly.
19 Back down to the saddle. It would be sooo easy to just head the 5.5 miles back down to the car from here. But no, I just have to add on another 5.6 round trip up to Ontario Peak.
20 A look at what you would think would be Ontario Peak.
21 There's a little offshoot to Big Horn Peak, 1.4 miles round trip. I've never been there. It is so tempting, but I am already pushing my time and energy limits today. I will have to save it for another time.
22 A nice view of of the 3 T's, Timber, Telegraph and Thunder. That's a lot of negative gain going up and down those peaks.
23 Great views the other direction as well.
24 Almost to the top!
25 Or not. There are a couple brutal false summits on the way. That is the real summit.
26 Great view of Baldy and the bowl.
27 Made it. Ontario Peak at 8,693'. The views may not be quite as epic as from Cucamonga, but they're close, and it's a lot less crowded. I had the peak to myself the entire time. That made the views seem that much better!
28 A look back to Cucamonga Peak. Hard to believe I was just there not long ago.
29 View of Baldy and Iron Mountain to the left with Baden Powell behind it.
30 The view all the way out to the ocean with Catalina on the horizon.
31 Santiago and the urban sprawl.
32 Love this view. Turn your head away from the urban sprawl and it can be easy to forget you're in Southern CA.
33 Starting to get dim as I head down. I didn't see a single human the whole way down. I made it to the car with the last rays of light just on the verge of needing the headlamp. A tough but awesome day on the trail!