Hiking Ontario Peak After the Recent Snowfall

At 8,694', Ontario Peak is one of the taller peaks in the Cucamonga Wilderness. Its north slope is prone to heavy snow in the winter making it a challenging and beautiful hike.

I‘d hiked Cucamonga, Baldy, and Timber Peak, but Ontario loomed tall and un-hiked. It was time to give it a try. It had snowed the week before and I wondered what the conditions might be, so I brought some snow spikes. Later on in the hike, I ended up really needing them.

Ontario Peak via Icehouse Canyon Quick Facts

  • A free self-serve permit is required

  • National Forest Adventure Pass required for parking

  • Dogs on leash are allowed

  • Snow and ice in winter

  • Allow 8 hours

  • Strenuous

  • 4,170′ of elevation gain

  • 14.5 miles out and back

  • Trail tops out at 8,694′

The trail up to Icehouse Saddle was pretty easy, but after taking the junction to Ontario Peak, the snow pack got deeper and deeper. The north side of the mountain always holds the snow far longer than the other faces. From the 210 freeway, there was no visible snow at all, but on the other side it was a completely different story.

As I hiked out of the canyon to the upper ridge of the mountain I was in snow up to my knees. At that point I was not on a steep slope or I might have turned back since I was alone.

The snow was beautiful and the crisp cool air was the perfect temperature for a hike. At the summit, there was very little snow and great views of the Inland Empire. It was a clear day. I grabbed a snack and headed down. I’ll definitely come back here. I really love the trail and the scenery of Icehouse Canyon from this perspective.

Trail Map

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Elevation Profile

Icehouse Canyon Trailhead

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