Timber Mountain, one of the Three T’s (Timber, Telegraph Peak, & Thunder Mountain) near Mt Baldy, can be approached from the south via Icehouse Canyon or the north from Telegraph Peak. We reached the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead before 7:30 AM and the parking lot was already full as well as the overflow parking area. After finding a spot on Mt Baldy Road, we walked up to the trailhead.
Icehouse Canyon Trailhead leads to many great hikes in the Cucamonga Wilderness so the trail is moderately trafficked. It was not surprising to find the parking lot full that morning. After two weeks of a miserable heat wave, it was finally cool enough to hike and backpack. We ran into a bunch of backpackers coming back from an overnight trip.
Xena and I were delighted by the cool 48 °F degrees. It was going to get warmer later in the morning but for now, we were happy with the jacket temperature.
The first mile of the Icehouse Canyon Trail is a single track next to a creek and it is mostly shaded under the canopy. The terrain alternates between dirt and rocks.
Some parts of the rocky terrain are slippery at times from the creek water so be careful in those sections. In winter, it’s more dangerous as those sections become icy.
At 1.1-mile mark, when you come to this sign, go toward Icehouse Saddle. From here on, you will gain some serious elevation and your thighs will burn. The Icehouse Canyon Trail is 3.5 miles of uphill to Icehouse Saddle with an elevation gain of 2,517 ft. Take your time and enjoy the views ahead brought to you by the hard work of your leg muscles and please respect the switchback signs and do not create shortcuts.
As always, for us anyway, it was super windy as we got close to the saddle. I stopped us before the wind really picked up and had a little snack break then continued on to the Three T’s Trails at the saddle without stopping. Well, at least that was the plan. I forgot to secure my floppy hat and it flew off. Luckily a nice fellow hiker Tedd, whom we met that day on the trail, was able to retrieve it for me before the wind scooped it up again. I’ve had my floppy hat for 11 years. As you know, I wear it all year round. It would’ve been a very sad day if I lost it. Thanks, Tedd!!
By now, I was feeling the burn in my thighs and glutes. No pain, no booty. 🙂 That view though.
And this happy face makes it totally worth it.
The peak used to be called Chapman Mountain until it was renamed Timber Mountain in the mid-20s century. At the peak, you can still see the remnant of the past.
I took Tedd’s advise and went downhill a bit and found a place away from everyone and the wind. It was perfect. We had a nice long lunch break all by ourselves.
She eats her portion and always manages to make me share my portion. Who says dogs are not smart. Pssshh!
Whenever you are ready, go back down the way you came up as this is an out and back trail.
I love the soothing sound of the flowing stream and the little waterfalls in the first mile. I call that a mountain therapy! It’s especially great to have the creek on the way down when it’s warm. We make a detour down to the water and cool off. It’s a rare treat when you hike in SoCal.
This is a beautiful hike and we enjoyed it very much. I am looking forward to adding Telegraph Peak to this route next time and hit two peaks at once. I will need to wait for the cooler weather for that though.
Good to Know:
- Hike date: 6.17.18
- Length: 9 miles RT
- Elevation gain: 3,215 ft; Timber Mountain at 8,307 ft (2,532 m)
- Difficulty rating: Difficult – Very Difficult
- Parking: Icehouse Canyon Trailhead
- Trailhead coordinates: 34.250184, -117.635973
- Permit/Fee: Adventure Pass required for parking
- Vault toilet at the parking lot
- Xena’s gear: Hurtta Active Harness & Ruffwear Climate Changer