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The Cucamonga Wilderness

The United States Congress designated the Cucamonga Wilderness in 1964 and it now has a total of 12,781 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Forest Service.

The name "Cucamonga" was derived from an old Spanish rancheria nearby. The meaning has been variously interpreted as "sandy place" or "place of many springs." That may describe the rancheria, but not the Cucamonga Wilderness, located at the east end of Southern California's San Gabriel range. The steep, rugged terrain rises abruptly from the urban San Bernardino Valley, ranging from approximately 5,000 feet to almost 9,000 feet. Most of the streams are intermittent and water is scarce, but the Wilderness offers a handy retreat to a beautiful sub-alpine setting on 18 miles of trails for the nearby suburban population. Numerous wildlife species do well in the area, including deer, bear, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. The Cucamonga Wilderness is managed jointly by the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests.

Location: The trailhead is located at the end of Middle Fork Road in Lytle Creek off the 15 Fwy/Sierra exit.  Head North off the freeway and the road turns into Lytle Creek Road. Middle fork road is a short distance past the Lytle Creek Ranger Station Located at:

1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Creek, CA 92358 (909) 382-2851

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Area Management

The Cucamonga Wilderness is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In the wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Cucamonga Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area. (Leave No Trace:

General Wilderness Prohibitions

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed below for more specific information. These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are dominant.