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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.35 mi (11.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

The Mount Islip Loop Trail makes for a perfect day hike in solitude close to Los Angeles. The trail starts and finishes in the Crystal Lake Recreation Area of the Angeles National Forest. The loop trail is a combination of three trails, the Windy Gap Trail, the Islip Ridge Trail, and the Big Cienega Trail. It starts and ends at the Windy Gap Trailhead. The Windy Gap Trail takes you up 1,740 feet over 2.5 miles to Windy Gap, a pass along the San Gabriel crest. During the ascent through the Crystal Lake Basin you will see remnants of the 2002 Curve Fire that devastated the area. The Forest Service has since built nice new facilities, campgrounds, and restrooms. Though volunteers keep the trails maintained and well groomed, this part of the Angeles National Forest still remains heavily scarred.

At the gap you'll find a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. From here you ascend the Islip Ridge Trail west to the summit of Mount Islip. On the summit there are ruins of an old stone cabin that was built to house the fire lookout that was stationed on the summit in the past. From the summit there are panoramic views of Azusa Canyon to the south and the distant Mojave Desert to the north. After descending down the Islip Ridge Trail you will join up with the Big Cienega Trail, which will lead you back to the Windy Gap Trail for your exit. Here you will again notice the scars left from the 2002 Curve Fire, a reminder that this landscape is ever-changing.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Southern California USFS Adventure Pass

Pros

Great views. Solitude. Wildflowers. Groomed trails.

Cons

Wildfire burn zones. Little to no shade.

Trailhead Elevation

5,827.00 ft (1,776.07 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,516.00 ft (766.88 m)

Address

N Crystal Lake Rd
Azusa, CA 91702
United States

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Lodging
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains
Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

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