After the heat wave of last week, I didn’t think I was going to be able to hike any of the remaining peaks. It has just been too hot for that. Luckily I kept checking the weather and it looked like Labor Day was a definite change with lower temps. I made plans to hike Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon to keeping plugging along towards finishing the 6 pack of peaks. I live in San Diego County so the drive to get there is 2 hours. I ended up leaving at 4am so that I could get an early start. I arrived before 6am and it was still dark. I had stopped at the visitor center to pick up a permit in case they had all been taken at the trailhead. I got ready and hit the trail in the perfect early morning temperature, cool and comfortable. The initial part of the trail is spectacular with the forest and creek running through it. There were lots of small waterfalls! I hiked at a steady pace and almost headed in the wrong direction at one point, as I was lost in my own thoughts. I was quickly back on track and decided to head straight to the summit before taking a lunch break. Another solo hiker and I ended up hiking at a similar pace so we ended up hiking the remainder of the trail to the summit together. It was very windy at the summit, unlike the rest of the trail. You could hear it even before getting to the top. It was fairly cold too so I took a few photos and had a small snack before heading back down. My new hiking companion had enough of the wind as well so we headed back down at the same time. We descended at a steady pace and stopped briefly towards the end to admire clusters of ladybugs that must have numbered in the thousands. Pretty cool sight! We made it back to our cars, verifying our good decisions to start early as it was fairly hot by that time. We were on the road to head home by 1pm.