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Mt. Islip Loop, Take 2

  • Nov 24, 2012 · 8:00 AM

Everyone deserves a second chance. Especially if you opted for too many seconds on Thursday.

Let’s give Mt. Islip (8,250 ft.) another try Saturday. . . the weather forecast looks good so far. Details from last week’s post are below:

A decade after the Curve Fire destroyed more than 20,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest, the damage to the areas surrounding Crystal Lake basin are still very apparent. Through the dedicated work of the San Gabriel Valley Trailbuilder volunteers, a passable trail has been cleared to the top. Photographers will love the beauty of the charred subjects and new growth along the way, as well as the views at the top of Mt. Baldy, Old Saddleback, the San Gabriel Valley, the Mojave Desert, and of course, Crystal Lake.

We’ll start at a slow pace up Windy Gap to acclimate to the elevation (our starting point is at about 5,600 ft.) to a carved log bench at the junction of Windy Gap and the Pacific Crest Trail. From there we’ll detour to visit the lovely Little Jimmy Campground, see if the spring is running and take a break before heading up to the summit. We’ll pose for some shots around the ruins of a stone cabin before heading down via Islip Ridge to Big Cienega, for a gradual descent back to the Mt. Hawkins Fire Road. There we’ll retrace part of our way on the Windy Gap trail to our starting point. Here’s a map of our planned route (which may need to be adjusted, pending conditions on Saturday), posted in the Files section, under “More” above.

Antonio and I are grateful for your camraderie on the trails. . . Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

STATS
Level: Moderate
Gain: ~ 2,600 ft.
Distance: ~ 10+ miles
Time: ~5+ hours
Type: Dirt single track trail, loop. Pending weather, trail may have some snow/ice.
Dogs: Permitted on leash, but not advised.
Water: Available at trailhead
Restrooms: Available at trailhead and at Little Jimmy Campground
Parking: Carpool drivers: park in the day use parking lot, just past the Crystal Lake Visitor Center, near the restrooms. National Forest Adventure Pass required ($5/day; $30 annual pass - available at REI, Sports Chalet, Big 5 or at the Forest Gateway Ranger Station at 1960 N. San Gabriel Road, which open @ 7 am Saturday). Carpool riders, see directions below.
Bring: Three liters of water, lunch/snacks to share/gobble (extra points for yummy Thanksgiving leftovers) and cold weather clothing: layers, windproof jacket, gloves, hat, sunscreen, lugsoles. Poles will be helpful as the route may be slick.

DIRECTIONS
From the I-210 in Azusa, take the Highway 39 (Azusa Ave.) exit and head north; Azusa turns into San Gabriel Canyon Road.

Carpool riders, meet between 7 am – 7:10 am at the Azusa Bike Trail parking lot, which is north of Sierra Madre about 1-1/2 miles on the left side (opens at 7 am). There is no sign for the lot. Check the link below in satellite mode and you’ll see the lot across the street and to the left of the Rainbow Canyon Ranch.

If you get to the Forest Gateway Ranger Station) on the right (1960 San Gabriel Road, Azusa), you’ve gone too far, so do a U-turn, and head back about 50 yards to the lot. We’ll divide into cars there and depart promptly at 7:15 am to drive the remaining ~ 20 curvy miles. Email Shawn if you plan to carpool so we know who to expect.

Carpool drivers or those who wish to meet at the trailhead:
Follow the directions above and from the Forest Gateway Ranger Station, continue north on Highway 39/San Gabriel Canyon Road to Crystal Lake Road (use caution, there are a few sections of hairpin turns). Turn right and drive two miles to the parking area just beyond the Visitor Center.

Here’s a map to the carpool location in Azusa across the street from the Visitors’ Center.

Here’s a map to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area. (The Visitors’ Center is across the street from the Crystal Lake Café, at 9877 Crystal Lake Road in Azusa. You can see a photo of it on the Café site.

Shawn’s mobile: 213/[masked] (reception is spotty at Crystal Lake, so if you have any questions
about the directions, contact me in advance.)
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The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/meetup/ or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts of this Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

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  • John C

    George, you shouldn't "have" to do anything. Only do them for pleasure, such as offending me. But oh no, I won't hold that against you. Although I suspect your dramas, real or otherwised, may come under greater scutiny, a LOT greater...

    1 · November 26, 2012

  • George M

    Jen, I have to admit, you are a great photographer, very interesting pictures, thank you so much. John I hope you don't get offended, yours are not bad either, LOL.

    November 26, 2012

    • Jen

      Well Thank You sir!! I have to say that there are a lot of really great photos!!! Fun!! Everyone took great pics!

      November 26, 2012

  • John C

    Only 330 photos? That's less than 20 per person!

    November 26, 2012

  • Sookhee C.

    Awesome pictures, thank you !!!

    November 25, 2012

  • Jen

    I saw that there was already 199 photos up!!! WOW! So I had to add 160 more :) xoxo Jen

    November 25, 2012

  • Jen

    Great Hike! and Great company!!! We had fantastic weather and what great views I will post pics soon!

    November 25, 2012

  • Sookhee C.

    So glad we took "Take 2" chance to hike this place yesterday, a perfect weather for it!! And It was a worth it to spend a day out there with these warm and friendly members!! I enjoyed the views and trails very much!! Again, thank you so much for your leadership,Shawn!

    November 25, 2012

  • George M

    Thank you Shawn, we could not have had a better outing, beautiful scenery, fantastic weather and of course the most important ingredient of the Saturday Morning Hikers namely, great people to hike with.

    November 25, 2012

  • Laurie L.

    Another A+ outing with great company. Thanks yet again!

    November 24, 2012

  • Jen

    hey i woulc like to get in on carpool if possible

    November 20, 2012

  • Yolie

    About how long will this hike take?

    November 19, 2012

    • Shawn

      Depends on how long we linger at Little Jimmy and the top, but probably plan on 5-to-5-1/2 hours.

      November 19, 2012

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