Complete Guide To Backpacking Cedar Glen Camp, CA


Cedar Glen Camp is a backpacking campground accessed via a 2.4-mile one-way hike beginning at the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead near Mt Baldy, CA 91759. The roundtrip distance from the trailhead to Cedar Glen Camp and back is approximately 4.8-miles. Cedar Glen Camp is located in the Angeles National Forest. Cedar Glen Camp requires a free wilderness permit that may be obtained at the trailhead or at the Mt Baldy Visitor’s Center. Parking at the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead also requires a Forest Adventure Pass or a similar recreational pass.

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Cedar Glen Camp Trail Details:

  • One way distance: Approximately 2.4-miles
  • Roundtrip distance: Approximately 4.8 miles
  • Elevation: Approximately 6,400 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: Approximately 1,400 feet
  • Time Required: Approximately 3 hours roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Trail Type: Out and Back
  • Best Time To Go: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Great For: Beginner Backpackers, Quick Overnighters
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Trailhead Address: Icehouse Canyon Trailhead – Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Getting There

GPS directions work fine for locating this trailhead. The Icehouse Canyon Trailhead can be reached via the address: Ice House Canyon Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

If you are arriving via the CA-210 freeway:

Westbound

Take exit 54 for Mountain Ave. Follow Mountain Ave for 4 miles until you come around a large turn to Shinn road. It is a really weird right “turn” onto Mt. Baldy Rd, but it should feel like a natural continuation If you stay right after coming off of Mountain Ave. Follow Mt Baldy Road for 6.4 miles and then at the fork veer right onto Icehouse Canyon Rd. Follow it until it becomes a dead end with a parking lot. This is the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead.

Eastbound

Take exit 52 for E Baseline Rd. Turn left onto Baseline Rd and then take an immediate right onto Padua Ave. After 1.8-miles, turn right onto Mt Baldy Rd. Follow Mt Baldy Road for 8.9 miles and then at the fork veer right onto Icehouse Canyon Rd. Follow it until it becomes a dead end with a parking lot. This is the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead.

Things To Keep In Mind

Crowds

This trailhead is the start of numerous hikes and because of this, it is extremely popular and extremely crowded during the weekends and holidays. However, if you can manage to go on a weekday, then you shouldn’t have any issues. The parking lot fills up extremely fast, often before 7:00 am on weekends and holidays so get there early if you are coming during the peak times.

Wilderness Permit

You will need to either obtain a wilderness permit obtained from the Mt Baldy Visitor’s Center or just fill one out at the trailhead prior to hiking. Bring your own pen because sometimes there isn’t one in the permit box. It technically isn’t required for this campground but is highly recommended.

Parking

You will also need a forest adventure pass or another recreation pass such as the “America The Beautiful” pass in order to park your car in the parking lot or nearby. If you cannot park in the parking lot, then it is not uncommon to see parking on the side of the road near the trail, but do so at your own risk. Do not leave valuables in your car since this is a highly trafficked area.

Campfires

No campfires are allowed in the Cucamonga wilderness or at Cedar Glen Campground. There is a sign stating this as you first approach the campground. Backpacking stoves may be used, but you still need a free California Campfire Permit. These permits can be obtained with some online training here.

Pets

Leashed pets are allowed in the Angeles National Forest and on the trail. Dogs are never allowed to freely wander around and must be under control at all times.

Icehouse Canyon Trail

After parking your car, you will approach the trailhead and see this sign. If you are headed to Cedar Glen Camp then you will be traveling on the Icehouse Canyon Trail for approximately 1 mile until you reach the Chapman Trail

Don’t forget to fill out a Cucamonga Wilderness Visitors Permit. Although it may not technically be required since you aren’t crossing the boundary into the Cucamonga Wilderness, it is a good safety precaution to take since it is free and easily accessible. Get the permit from the top of the box, fill it out, and then place it into the righthand side of the box.

Fill out your permit here,

Along the Icehouse Canyon Trail, you will see a lot of rustic cabins and other structures that are past their prime. Some of the cabins are still occupied as you can see light on. You also hike alongside a nice creek on which the cabins are strategically built around.

You will be on the Icehouse Canyon trail for one mile until you come to the intersection where you branch off onto the Chapman Trail, This is where the elevation gain starts to happen.

Chapman Trail

Once you reach the Chapman Trail you have 1.5 more miles until Cedar Glen Camp. This section of the hike is where most of the elevation gain is, but it’s not unreasonable. It is a steady uphill battle with several switchbacks. The Chapman Trail is a dead zone compared to the Icehouse Canyon Trail. Even on a weekend, you will find significantly fewer people on this trail compared to the Icehouse Canyon Trail.

Cedar Glen Camp

After hiking approximately 2.5 miles, you will reach Cedar Glan Camp. It appears so suddenly but is hard to miss since it is a spread out flat area with clear signs of human activity. The lower area is large enough for groups, but the upper area is secluded enough for solo backpackers or two people. Keep in mind that the campground is very close to the Chapman Hiking trail, but it doesn’t get that much foot traffic.

Here are some photos of the campground area:

This is the view from the camp facing the trail.
This is the view from the trail facing the rear of the camp.
This view is from the trail looking at the upper part of the camp.

Here is the upper area of Cedar Glen Camp where I stayed overnight solo:

My Cozy Sleeping Place In Cedar Glen

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Zachary Smith

Zach is an avid outdoorsman that loves going camping with his Prius every chance he gets. He also regularly enjoys hiking and fishing. When he's not outside you can probably find him writing about it on this website. See his full bio here

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