Participants: Craig Cheetham and Tom Chester
Date: 23 October 1999 (Written up 24-26 October 1999)
Description: For general information about this hike, see trail information.
Nearly all available parking areas were crammed with cars at each trailhead at 10 a.m. on this Saturday, but we were able to locate a parking space at each location. We saw quite a few people taking the Ski Lift to Baldy Notch as well.
It was cool enough at Manker Flat that if we had been descending I would have put on a sweatshirt, which of course wasn't needed for the ascent. San Antonio Falls still had enough water to put on a good show, and the ascent to Baldy Notch was pleasant.
The rest of the trip was at a nearly constant temperature of 57° (see below), which was perfect for going uphill. I had to put on my sweatshirt for nearly all of the downhill.
The views from the trail, and especially from Telegraph Mountain were great, even though it was not particularly clear that day. Nonetheless, we could clearly see the Granite Mountains and the two peaks in the Ord Mountains beyond Cajon Pass, and the ridgeline of Palomar Mountain to the south. The view of the southern part of Cajon Pass, the San Gorgonios and San Jacintos was superb. I also enjoyed the views of Cucamonga and Ontario Peaks, as well as the usual panorama of the Mt. Wilson area.
As we were traveling down Icehouse Canyon, we met a number of people coming up who were planning to hike out by flashlight and full moon later. We ran out of daylight one mile from the end and used flashlights ourselves then.
We took the Chapman Trail, and were amazed at the quantity of water coming down Cedar Canyon and the lush growth around it. The water was doing its usual roaring at the bottom of Icehouse Canyon, but it was too dark to see it.
Trail condition: The trail was in excellent condition except for two quite minor items. First, there were two large trees down on the trail that necessitated either climbing over or under them or taking a short steep trail diversion around them. One was 1.4 miles from Telegraph Mountain toward Timber Mountain, and another was someplace north of that tree. Second, beginning at about 0.2 miles south of the first tree, the trail needs a bit of brushing as the chaparral is closing in on the trail in a few spots until ~1 mile from Icehouse Saddle.
Plants in bloom: A few specimens of penstemon were still blooming, as were a small percentage of rabbitbrush. However, the occasional fields of rabbitbrush in full seed were still quite stunning to see, including at Baldy Notch and several spots along the trail to Icehouse Saddle. A single blazing star was blooming at 11:22, just below Baldy Notch. Near the streambed at Telegraph Wash, Virgin's Bower was pretty with seed and a few wallflowers were still blooming with their last flowers.
Weather and water consumption: The weather was quite cool. The temperature varied from 57 - 62° F except for a much-appreciated 68° on top of Telegraph Mountain, which must have been a wind-sheltered, very favored location, since it was 56° just before the peak and 57° just after the peak! It is very unusual in my experience to find warmer, less windy conditions on top of a peak.
It was interesting that in several locations where the wind wasn't blowing, the temperature was 62°. But in very nearby areas where the wind was blowing it was a full 5° cooler.
I consumed only 0.9 liter getting to Telegraph Mountain, and 1.7 liters overall on the entire hike, and remained fully hydrated throughout the hike.
Bugs: There were a few gnats at ~6200' at Manker Flat that disappeared past the Falls, and no gnats reappeared until ~6600' in Icehouse Canyon. Campers at Cedar Glen Campground in Icehouse Canyon reported being bothered by a nest of bees in a bush just south of their tents, but they admitted it was due to the children dragging something through the bush which irritated them.
Number of ticks: Zero.
Number of rattlesnakes: Zero.
Other pests: None.
Explanation of columns for all trip logs
# Mileage Time arrived Time left Altitude Comments 0 0.00 9:52 6000 Manker Flat 1 0.55 10:08 6250 San Antonio Falls 2 0.88 10:21 6400 Ski Hut Trail to left. 3 2.05 10:55 7000 Constricted pipe on left making weird noises like someone scrambling down the scree slope 4 2.32 11:07 7200 Water pump for pipe 5 2.75 11:24 7400 Road forks. Left. 6 3.00 11:35 11:44 7600 Top of Ski Lift at Baldy Notch. 63° just above notch, 58° in breeze. 7 4.00 12:17 8050 A few rabbitbrush still in bloom among field of rabbitbrush in seed. 8 4.45 12:35 12:45 8350 Thunder Mountain via bulldozed road. 0.6 liter. 9 4.57 12:50 8250 Jct. "easy" trail to left. Signs: "Telegraph peak 1, Timber Mountain 2.5, Ice House Saddle 3.25" and "Easiest Way". 10 5.00 1:01 8000 Thunder - Telegraph Saddle. Jct. steep trail down from ridge. 11 5.28 1:18 1:23 8250 Rest at first switchback. 62° - may be high due to rock nearby in sun. 12 5.40 1:29 8350 Second switchback. 56° in shade. 13 5.50 1:35 8450 Third switchback. 14 5.57 1:41 8500 Fourth switchback 15 5.70 1:48 8625 Jct. trail to Telegraph Mountain peak. Sign without words. Left. 16 5.98 2:05 8800 Telegraph Mountain summit. 68°!! Higher because it was blocked from the breeze? 0.9 liters. 17 6.01 2:52 8750 Left summit. 1.25 liters. 57° on immediate south side of summit in shade. 18 6.36 3:05 8650 =15. Left. 19 7.68 3:46 7800 Telegraph - 8023 Saddle. 20 8.00 3:58 7600 8023 - Timber Saddle 21 8.12 4:07 7650 First switchback. 59° 22 8.15 4:11 7700 Jct. ridge trail. Right. 23 8.47 4:27 7900 Jct. other end of Ridge Trail. Right. High point of trail rounding Timber. 24 9.03 4:43 7400 Icehouse Saddle. 25 9.70 5:00 7050 Jct. Chapman Trail. Right. 57° 26 10.25 5:14 6800 Sign: "4". 1.6 liters. 27 11.25 5:46 6500 Sign: "3". One gnat is back. 28 11.95 6:04 6200 West end of Cedar Glen campground, with sign for it. Jct. trail to south. 29 12.15 6:10 6200 Cedar Canyon Stream. Lush, green, tall plants. 30 12.23 6:13 6150 Sign: "2" at end of lush area. 56° at 6:28. 31 13.25 6:37 6:47 5650 Sign: "1". Flashlight time now. 32 13.50 6:54 5500 Jct. main trail. Right. Sign: "Cedar Glen Campground 1.5, Cucamonga Wilderness 1.6, Icehouse Canyon Saddle 4.3". 33 14.70 7:37 4900 Freshly paved and striped Icehouse Canyon parking lot.
Copyright © 1999 by Tom Chester.
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Updated 25 October 1999.