I've done this hike during summer and winter, both with my dog. Summer provides a nice hiking option away from the heat, and once you get past Ice House Saddle, the crowds dissappear, as most hikers in search of a peak to bag head up the much lower and easier Timber Mountain. The hike to Cucamonga is not as spectacular as the trip up nearby Mt. Baldy, but it provides more solitude. In the winter, crampons and/or snowshoes are necessary. Also, be sure to pick up a wilderness permit at the Mt. Baldy Ranger Station - depending on the ranger on duty on the trail, you may be sent back if you don't have one. Be sure to arrive early on the weekends, as the parking lot fills up in a hurry. If you live in the LA area, and you haven't yet done this hike, and you're taking the time to read this review, then, by all means, get off your computer and get on this trail.