Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hiking Cucamonga Peak, San Bernardino County, California

Trail Description

Length:  11.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 4300 ft
Difficulty Assessment: Difficult
Trail Type: Out and Back

For more information see:

1) SoCal Hiker
2) Modern Hiker
3) Hiking Guy

The Hike

Today I hiked Cucamonga Peak located just east of LA near Mt. Baldy. To compensate for the drive, we left San Diego at 6 in the morning so that we could start hiking as early as possible. We started the hike around 9am and finished, I think, around 3pm. By far, this was probably one of the toughest one day hikes I've ever done as well as one of the most satisfying and beautiful. The only other hike comparable to this one that I can think of is Half Dome in Yosemite. In fact, both are actually around the same elvation of 8800 ft for comparison.

About the hike itself; the hike begins for the first hour on this really beautiful dirt path with rivers, cascades, and tons of trees along it. Then the path transforms into an endless bed of rocks cleaned smooth by rivers. Then finally, after hitting the saddle, it becomes this constant uphill trek along questionable paths covered at times with thick snow.

At the end of the hike, when we finally returned to the trail head, we were greeted by a pleasant surprise. It turned out that Mt. Baldy was one of the stages for the "Amgen Tour of California Bike Marathon." So they closed off the road that we originally drove up on and made us wait until the last rider rode past us.

Initially I was annoyed by this because I was tired. But after awhile, the event turned out pretty fun to watch.

Amgen Bike Tour
All in all, we came to the consensus that the drive was DEFINITELY worth it. If you are a fan of hikes, adventure, or are always looking to challenge yourself, this is a hike for you. The view was amazing and the hiking experience was unlike any typical San Diego hike. However the hike to the peak is, without a doubt, not for everyone. I would definitely suggest this hike only to people with a lot of endurance, and are in decent shape. If anything, there are also other paths you can take once you hit the saddle if you feel at that point, pretty worn out.

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