|Where:||San Gabriel Mountains|
|Elevation gain:||3400 feet|
|Recommended:||Depending on weather, warm clothes towards summit|
To get to the trailhead: On the 210 Freeway, driving east, Exit on Baseline Road and turn left. After one block turn right on Padua Avenue. Continue 1.7 miles and turn right onto Mt. Baldy Road. After 7.2 miles you will hit Angeles National Forest Mt. Baldy Visitor Center. If you do not have a permit stop here for the Forest Adventure Pass. Continue another 1.5 miles to the Icehouse Canyon entrance. Make a right and park in the large parking area. Come early as this parking lot gets full.
I left home a little later than expected and only hit the trailhead at 1000. By this time the parking lot was full and lucky me entered the parking lot exactly when someone was leaving. From what I read before this is one of the best hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. But what does “best hike” mean? It’s different for everyone. I most definitely thought this was one of the more scenic hikes I’ve done in the Southern California region.
From the beginning of the trail there are many different kinds of trees and plants including oak, fir, spruce, alder and even pine. The first mile or so was spent passing by old cabins and cabin ruins while listening to the creek (yes, it had water). 1 mile in I hit the Chapman Trail crossing and continued on straight on the Icehouse Canyon Trail. Once you enter the Cucamonga Wilderness the forest opens up a little more. The further you go on the trail and climb elevation, you’ll begin to enjoy views, so make sure you make the time to turn around and take a breather to check out that view.
At this point when you hit Columbine Spring again, the trail will get… STEEPER. Yes, STEEPER meant switchback after switchback until reaching Icehouse Saddle. It was only 1130 when I reached the top and I decided to take the extra mile up to Timber Mountain. I only stopped for a moment as there was a rather large crowd at this Junction disrupting the enjoyable “silence” of the outdoors.
I took the trail left and reached the top of Timber Mountain only to find a larger group gathered around the sign showing the elevation, made it quite difficult to get a lone picture of the sign and myself. Timber Mountain sits at 8,303 feet. I spent a good 15 minutes at the top enjoying the silence by taking the trail a little further and finding a standalone rock. After refreshment and a little food, I decided to jog the 4.5 miles down. I was in my car by 1400.
Note to self: Spend a little more time at the top soaking up the sun.