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Windy Gap Trail #9W06

Intermediate

Trail

2.5 mile 4.1 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,721' 525 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 7,556' 2,303 m
Low: 5,834' 1,778 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Taylor Reilly

Enjoy peace and solitude in the San Gabriel Mountains, only 1.5 hours from Los Angeles.

Taylor Reilly

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

California State Route 39 no longer connects with Highway 2, as 39 has not been maintained for several years after numerous landslides. Winter conditions can cause road closures on 39, so be sure to check before traveling to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area.

Description

The Windy Gap Trail first takes you up 1,740 feet over 2.5 miles to Windy Gap, a pass along the Islip Ridge. During the ascent through the Crystal Lake Basin, you'll see remnants of the 2002 Curve Fire that devastated the area. Some of the trail's terrain is loose, although volunteers have done a good job containing major washouts and clearing the trail of loose rocks.

When you reach Windy Gap on the Islip Ridge there is a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. If you want to reach the Mount Islip summit, ascend west (left at the junction) onto the Mount Islip Trail. Or, if you want to descend back to the Windy Gap Trailhead, hike back down the trail from the direction you came.

When you reach the junction with South Hawkins Road, continue straight on the Windy Gap Trail downhill to the trailhead. Use this last section of flatter terrain for your cool-down, before making it down to the car. After making it to the trailhead parking lot, reward yourself with some food, beverages, and ice cream at the Crystal Lake Basin Snack Bar and Trading Post.

Flora & Fauna

The Crystal Lake Basin provides beautiful 360-degree scenery of alpine flowers and various types of coniferous trees. Wildfire scars can be seen across the basin - leftover from the 2002 Curve Fire, a reminder that the San Gabriel Mountains landscape is ever-changing.

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Check-Ins

Jul 14, 2019
Leo Young
6mi — 3h 00m
Sep 29, 2018
Brandon Hanna
Aug 11, 2018
Roberto Guzman
May 20, 2017
charle qian

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#16047

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,753

in California

#16,047

Overall
20 Views Last Month
909 Since Jul 22, 2015
Intermediate

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