Deer Canyon

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike with some scrambling
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 1-2

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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75.78% Score
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Deer Canyon
Created On: Dec 7, 2003
Last Edited On: Jan 27, 2005


First, you must understand this is not a traditional route. I know of no other person who has ascended Cucamonga Peak using this route. That having been said, you may get there by taking the Haven Ave exit north from Highway 60 or from I-10 or from the 210. That’s right! All three of these freeways have a Haven Ave exit North. While driving up Haven, you will be looking straight up Deer Canyon on Cucamonga Peaks south face. Take Haven north all the way to the end. Here you will see a sign “ No Access, Private Property” and so on. You may park here as long as you will be back before 5PM. That’s when your unattended car must be off the street. I would recommend parking on the power line service road instead. It’s up just a tiny bit farther. Find a place where your vehicle can be well off the gravel road to leave room for others to pass by.

Route Description

From Haven, hike up the steep paved service road past the large water tank and approaching the second tank about ¼ mile farther. Stay to the left of the second tank and ascend to the left of the Deer Canyon debris basin. Keep following the service road (gated) past two more smaller tanks. You will be following the steep rocky service road, (presumably used by the Cucamonga Water District), all the way up to the Cucamonga Truck Road, which is also referred to as San Sevaine Road. Once you attain this dirt and rock road, hike due east for about ¼ mile. Here the road takes a sharp, left, nearly 180 degree turn as it passes over a ridge. THIS IS THE RIDGE YOU MUST TAKE TO THE SUMMIT. Stay on it! Before the “Grand Prix” fire, this route was not possible. The brush was impenetrable.
You will be fighting some nasty scree slopes here and there but the views are amazing. There is no trail here just a well defined ridge route. I repeat, follow this ridge line and it will take you to the top. This route has an elevation gain of about 6300 ft. if started from the power line service road. So if you’re into big, single day elevation gains, you’ll love this one.

Essential Gear

This is a south side route in southern California so Ice and crampons will rarely be needed. But it is a ridge route so expect wind. That means wind-proof jacket, pants, gloves, hat.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-5 of 5

getting_up_there - Jan 13, 2004 2:05 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I too thought I was the only one who had done this hike. I was surprised to find this hike described. I originally tried it a few years ago before the fires had cleared the slopes of brush. I had to turn back due to the heavy brush.

Another good reason for doing this hike is to avoid or boycott the controversial Adventure Pass. Because the parking is outside of National Forest, the NFS meter maids will be denied.

getting_up_there - Jan 13, 2004 4:02 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Instead of going east (right) when reaching San Sevaine Road, go west to the first ridge line west of Deer Canyon. Just past the top of the ridge take an old road to the north (right). This will lead around a knoll and back to the ridge line. Follow this to the top of Cucamonga Peak. Like the ridge to the east of Deer Canyon, this ridge is not for the faint of heart. It is steep and has plenty of scree.

I have not done this route since the rains so I am not sure how bad the wash outs are on San Sevaine Road from Deer Canyon to the ridge. Looking at the road from the east ridge it looks like the road is completely gone in Calamity Canyon.

getting_up_there - Jan 13, 2004 10:20 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The first storm after the Grand Prix fire has washed out almost all traces of the service road in Deer Canyon. The route can still be traversed, but you will be boulder hopping and scrambling up the canyon to San Sevaine Road. San Sevaine Road is completely washed out in three places prior to making the 180 degree turn. These wash outs are chutes that can be traversed with caution, but are not for the faint of heart. Welcome to the next level!

This rain damage will get much worst as more storms occur. However, the Cucamonga Water District will need to rebuild the service road at some point in order to repair their pipeline damaged by the flooding. There is already some damage to the pipeline in Deer Canyon. The repair will probably be done at the end of the rainy season. San Sevaine Road is another story. It may take additional time for this road to be cleaned up.

Matthew Holliman

Matthew Holliman - Nov 21, 2004 9:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The directions given in the route description are correct, and I followed these up to the summit with no problems. But the rating of the route as class 3 and the enticing suggestion that "a roped two man team may be needed for the faint of heart" are a stretch, to say the least. This is a pleasant enough hike and a reasonable means of getting a bit of exercise with some nice views, but the ridge is no more than class 1-2 at most! Anyone coming out here expecting an interesting scramble will be disappointed.

BTW, as of Nov 2004, the road up Deer Canyon was in good shape. Three or four small washouts still exist on San Sevaine Road, but these are trivially negotiated with no exposure.


notinkansas - Jan 27, 2005 2:06 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

OK Matt, I tend to agree. I've made the appropriate edit to the route discription. Thanks for your observation.

Viewing: 1-5 of 5