Icehouse Saddle

Southeast from Mt. Baldy in Baldy village is a great day hike Icehouse Saddle. Apparently Icehouse Saddle used to be an old ice factory that supplied….thats right ICE! 🙂 in the 1860’s. Alas no more but its the history of this 7+ mile hike that makes it just that much more interesting. For the first 2 miles you hike parallel to a lovely but freezing creek. The water is abundant and at times crosses its arms over the trail in a watery embrace. This is my favorite part of the hike. (I adore hikes with creeks and rivers or better yet waterfalls!) This section is great for a little meander with the kids or perhaps with the old timers in the family as it is the gentlest part of the trail.

As you split away from the creek you get into the meat (and potatoes!) of the hike. Incline, rocks, incline rock….look up….trees! Oh the majesty!! Then you keep going up up up climbing a bunch of seemingly endless switchbacks until you cease to look down at the ground because you can’t help to see the unbelievable views of the San Gabriels, and the valley of the Los Angeles National Forest. Sigh!

This hike is worth it and excellent for all levels. Whether you just meander by the creek in the first few miles or have the iron will (and body) to get to the top, you won’t be disappointed. Especially since the forest is so utterly different from anything in L.A.

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