Estimated mileage: 9.6
Estimated elevation gain: 3400
Time: Just under 7 hours
Trail Conditions: Trailhead to Icehouse Canyon Saddle is generally very well maintained and fairly wide in portions, you can lose the trail in some of the rocky areas but the general direction is clear. From the saddle to Timber Mountain is much skinnier to very skinny, but all of it was passable.
Trail Goodies: Beef jerky, trail mix (cranberries, cashews,and almonds ), some other sort of trail mix (vanilla pomegranate cashews? and something else, it was kind of odd) smokehouse almonds, Granola Bread
Other Notes: No snakes! No injured hikers (although I did see a dog that got a rock in the paw)! Less bugs!
BIA(Breads in Attendance): Raisin Bread, Ciabatta, Banana Nut, and Straun
Raisin Bread’s Hike Summary
After a couple of weeks of thinking about it, we actually managed to make it to Icehouse Canyon. We had a late start because of a test Ciabatta needed to take, but that ended up being a whole big ball of sadness, too tragic to mention here. Anyway, we picked up our wilderness permit at the visitor’s center, parked further up the mountain using our brand new adventure pass.
The day started with Straun and Ciabatta in the lead, with Banana Nut and Raisin bringing up the rear. The trailhead featured an amusing poster griping about wasteful government spending on the property of someone living on the side of a mountain. A river kept pace with the trail for a fair bit, and at least three cabins were occupied. The peacefulness of living next to a spot where curious hikers stare at your house all day is questionable, but it takes all kinds, right?
Ciabatta found great big rock to climb, and Raisin, Ciabatta and Banana Nut all took turns climbing the rock, resulting in pine sap adhering to our crusts. :( The trail was alternately gravelly and dusty, sunny and shaded. The elevation and occasional wind helped keep temperatures up, and the trail was wide and well-maintained for the most part. That probably explains the trail’s popularity.
On the way to the saddle, we all consumed one of the bricks loaves of oatmeal bread Straun had baked in preparation for the trip. Be forewarned, the fiber content is extreme. A couple of boy scouts from San Diego passed us, and we passed their fathers in turn after chatting awhile. The scouts were apparently not aware of the “don’t throw rocks down below you” rule.
Once at the saddle, Banana Nut and Ciabatta headed down on account of Ciabatta’s bum knee, while Straun and Raisin went up towards Timber Peak. Getting there involved paths that were barely still paths, clouds of aggressive flies, and dizzying heights. Unfortunately, the trees did not let up even at the peak, so sweeping vistas weren’t on the menu, but we thought we saw the top of Mt. Wilson in the distance.
Overall, the trail was splendid, although the elevation kicked our collective loaf-ends. We even saw chipmunks this time, and there was a blessed lack of rattlesnakes. We’ll be back, Icehouse Canyon!
Straun’s Bread Recipe
I’m trying a new method of posting recipes here, vs what I’ve been using on my bread blog. We’ll see how it works? It has been a while since I’ve made a YeastSpotting submission, been trying to refine some already posted recipes, and, well, busy hiking! This is also cross posted back on my bread blog. This bread is really good, if a bit heavy, and I did unfortunately screw up with the way I set the timer and so I underbaked it a bit. Alas, I’ll fix that next time.