Hike to Ice Saddle via Ice House Canyon, return via Chapman Trail and Cedar Glen

People from left to right:  Beatriz, Beverly, Shelly, Angela
Dogs from left to right: Nanook, Jake Queenie, Patches

Today we hiked with our dogs to Ice House Saddle via Ice House Canyon.  The hike is considered strenuous.  There were only 4 of us that attempted this hike today.  It was a 3 day weekend, so I didn't really expect a lot of people to be in town.

My friend Beatriz does not have a dog.  And having a dog is not mandatory for hiking with our pack.  Luckily I had a dog to spare.  She walked Jake, who is FABULOUS.  In this picture, Jake is saying HI to Patches, Angela's pup.  They have been hiking together for a year now. The could be "kissing cousins" because their coloring is the same, but Patches is only 35 pounds, compared to Jake's 75. But she has just as much energy!

The trail through Ice House Canyon is pretty rugged. You can't do it without a really good pair of hiking boots.  The gravel and granite will just kill your feet!

So we hiked up Ice House Canyon. And when I say up, I mean UP.  As I said before, this is a strenuous trail. And THIS time, I thought it was even HARDER than last time.  But as with any trail, your body reacts differently every time. You just have to go with the journey and do your best.

So, we made it up to the saddle. We had broken into two groups, since Beatriz and I took our time going up.

On the way back, at the junction, just below the saddle, we decided to take the trail less traveled and followed the Chapman trail down the mountain.  What I've read is that the Chapman Trail may be 2 miles longer than the direct ascent up Ice House Canyon but that added mileage makes the ascent (or descent in our case) less strenuous.

There were obstacles.  I am guessing that since this is the trail less traveled, the forest service does not maintain it as much as the Ice House Canyon. We had to traverse a rocky area where you could barely make out the trail on the other side.  A rock cairn would have been helpful at this point.

What I have learned is to trust my dogs. Jake and Nanook do a great job sniffing out the trail and pointing us in the right direction.  Ah, the power of the canine schnoz!

Anyway, the 2nd obstacle were the rock piles we had to climb over.

The 3rd obstacle, and just before we reached the Cedar Glen Campground, was a tree that completely blocked the trail.

Each obstacle was an adventure in itself. Had we decided not to do this trail, we would have missed these little accomplishments and the accompanying world-class views.

 See the route below via Everytrail. It's not our track, but it is the track that we followed.

Ice House Saddle - Ice House Canyon Trail and Chapman Trail Loop at EveryTrail