Icehouse Canyon Swimming Hole

Icehouse Canyon Swimming Hole


From the issue Dippity-do!

The Big Chill

With a name like Icehouse Canyon, one might expect something cool, and this would be accurate. The Icehouse Canyon Trail near Mount Baldy delivers a quick way to chill out without breaking much of a sweat. To hike the entire trail one-way, it’s 3.6 miles and 2,600 feet up a mountain canyon to Icehouse Saddle (yes, sweat is likely for this one!). But you won’t need to hike more than 0.7 mile (one-way) to reach several alluring pools worth a dip. The trail starts just outside of Mount Baldy Village. If at first you don’t see any water, fret not: it comes tumbling toward you about a quarter mile in, spilling over boulders in a creek bed shaded by oaks, maples, and pines. The creek flows in short cascades over three Jacuzzi-sized pools. But keep going further up the trail to the stone ruins of an old cabin and a green cabin that’s still occupied. Here you’ll hit the H20 sweet spot. The pool below the cabins has a 7-foot cascade for those who prefer the shower to the tub, and just above the cabins sits a wider, deeper pool rimmed by Western columbine blooms—a real mountain charmer. Sink in, chill out. Icehouse has the cool factor.

Take I-210 toward Claremont to the Baseline Rd. exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left and make an immediate right on Padua Ave. Drive 1.8 miles north to Mount Baldy Rd. Turn right and drive 7 miles into the mountains to Mount Baldy Village where a $5 National Forest Adventure Pass can be purchased from the Mount Baldy Visitor Center. Proceed another 1.7 miles up Mount Baldy Rd. and turn right on Icehouse Canyon Rd. Pull into the trailhead parking on the left. Hike up Icehouse Canyon Trail for 0.7-mile to the best pools. After 1 mile, the trail passes through a junction with Chapman Trail, crosses the creek once more after 0.4 mile and leaves the water behind. It is 3.6 miles to the top of the trail at Icehouse Saddle. A wilderness permit is required to enter the Cucamonga Wilderness and hike all the way to the saddle. No permit is required to enjoy the first 1.8 miles of the trail. Bring bug spray. Note: be mindful of water levels before swimming, as they can change. Dog-friendly!

Other Activities You Might Enjoy

  • 12.26.13

    Mt Baldy Hike
    Best of 2013

    Peak Show: Topping out at 10,064 feet, the journey up Mount San Antonio—better known ...
    Read Story
  • 04.10.14

    San Vicente Mountain Park Bike Ride
    Sky Scanner
    A Cold War base once used for sighting enemy aircraft is bound to have panoramic views ...
    Read Story
  • 04.3.14

    Atwater Village Farmers Market
    Sunday Best
    Some farmers’ markets have serious substance (read, good fresh food). Others are known more for style ...
    Read Story
  • 04.10.14

    Elephant Hill Hike LA
    Elephant Views
    We all have to kick the bucket at some point, but luckily it’s not a ...
    Read Story