Spring at Kelly Camp may dry up later in the year. Be sure to check if planning to backpack.
This is a great alpine trail, but getting to start at Icehouse Saddle can be the tricky part. Visitors will have to take either the Icehouse Canyon Trail #7W07A
, Three T's Trail #7W06
, Middle Fork Trail #6W01
or Cucamonga Peak Trail #7W04
just to get to the beginning of this trail. The extra effort will be more that worthwhile, as the views from the summit of Ontario Peak are breathtaking.
From Icehouse Saddle, the trail contours around the west side of Bighorn Peak in a forest of Jeffrey pines, lodgepole pines and white fir passing through dense area of chinquapin. In one mile it reaches Kelly Camp, a former backcountry lodge that is now a popular trail camp. Only the foundations remain but the large flat area and nearby spring make it an ideal location for scout groups and other smaller groups.
From the camp, the trail climbs up towards the ridge passing through an area slowly recovering from a fire in 1980 that burned down a large forest of lodgepole pines. It meets a junction with the Bighorn Peak Trail #7W08A
on the left then ascends to the ridge top. From there, it heads southwest to the summit.
You immediately enter what truly feels like a wilderness area. Runners will bump into few people and the journey becomes a more solitary activity than a group one. Be sure to slow down and soak up the views, though challenging steep portions of the trail will check your speed either way.
For the return trip, turn back around and enjoy a well-earned descent.
Open forest of Jeffrey pine, sugar pines, lodgepole pines, white fir. Chinquapin and buckthorn are the primary ground cover. Deer and bighorn sheep are sometimes seen when there are few people around.