The low down- Cucamonga peak : 11.6 miles of beautiful vistas and excellent muscle burning hiking. The trail gains 4300 feet of elevation depositing you on a bald peak with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountain range. From the rocky summit you can also view the San Bernardino Mountain range and San Jacinto. From this high you can forget your in Southern California, in case you require a reminder just look down. The whole of the majestic Inland Empire valley stretches before you in all its smoggy haze covered glory.
Southern California can be a dry, seemingly barren place. We are in a drought, the hills have no snow and little flowing water. Plants and animals have to be hardy, standing fast the best way they can. It is a harsh but beautiful. In place of a lush forest we have jagged steep ridge lines and valleys. The colors of the rocks themselves putting to shame any mountain flower or tree. Reds, browns, and grays leaping out with such dimension against a robins egg blue sky. The earth shone bare as the unrelenting sun and wind beat the peaks down to dust.
Despite the hardness of this country there are many critters that survive. Unlike us they do not require trails, trekking poles, or hydration packs. I envy the sage brush lizard, the mountain columbine so perfectly adapted to live in this environment. As much as I love it here I will never belong, no one on this trail will. We can only take it in, appreciate it and strive to leave it better than we found it.