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