Sunday, August 23, 2009

[Hike] - Mt. Islip - Angeles Natl. Forest - CA

Mt. Islip is an easy to moderate hike with some pretty rewarding views. We hiked it on Aug 8th, 2009 and the weather was great.

There are two main ways to hike to the top of Mt. Islip. The more scenic (I believe) route is to head up from Crystal Lake campground. Unfortunately, that area had been closed off when we were up there, so we took the other approach from the Islip Saddle, which was pretty nice too. It is about 5.5mi round trip with an elevation gain of about 1100ft

Getting to the trail head is fairly straightforward. Take Hwy 138 from the I-15 and then turn left on to Hwy 2 (this one comes up rather abruptly, so watch out!). Drive about 6-7 miles (past the town of Wrightwood) to reach Big Pines. You come up to a fork in the road, hwy 2 continues on the left and the right is Big Pines Hwy. There is a visitors center at this fork, where you can buy a adventure pass (needed to park at the trailhead). Continue about 5 more miles on hwy 2 (left fork). The trailhead is pretty clearly marked (as "Islip Saddle") with a fairly huge parking lot.
Finding the trail is a little tricky, we initially thought the gates accross from the parking lot were the trailhead entrance, but, the actual trailhead starts rather obsurely a little south of the parking lot on Hwy 2 (see the hikers exiting the trail in the pic below, for reference)


Hats off to Mt. Islip?...