I've mentioned it before, but a big goal for the summer is to hike what is called the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks. We tried for Mt. Wilson once (on a day we did not have enough time) but there are major trail closures. We waited and checked and waited and checked and finally decided to skip Wilson and head onto Cucamonga Peak.
This was really meaningful and exciting to me because I have spent my entire life staring at three peaks. I live at the base of Mt. Ontario, Mt. Cucamonga, and Mt. Baldy (San Antonio). I always have in some way lived at the base of these mountains. I was a senior in high school when the Grand Prix fires roared through them. And I hike because I want to explore them. Two of these peaks are a part of the Six Pack and to finally summit one of them was really amazing.
I did not take nearly enough pictures. You take the Icehouse Canyon trail to the saddle and follow the signs from there to Cucamonga Peak (here's a great review of the trail.) It sounds really straight forward but be warned. This trail beat us up. The elevation gain is intense and once you hit the saddle 2.4 miles may seem like a small hike but trust me, it is much more challenging than expected.
You pass a set of old mines at one point and follow a North ridge around, at about a mile past the saddle you get to a point where you can see both the high desert and the valley ranging from Fontana to Los Angeles. You can probably see further South and West than that but we hiked on a very hazy day.
Even though the trail was brutal, it was incredible. I did not take enough photos of how the terrain changed, the amazing views of the peaks surrounding Cucamonga, or the views of the valley and the desert. While you can still see burned out trees from the Grand Prix fire, they are surrounded by new growth and it creates some incredible moments on the trail. From the top, we could find where our homes were, where our friends live, and places we love to go. A huge grid of where we live was before us and it was amazing.