Big Cienega Trail #9W07
ElevationAscent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -970' -296 m
High: 7,558' 2,304 m
Low: 6,588' 2,008 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)
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“A nice descent (or ascent) through the burn scars below Mt. Islip.”— Taylor Reilly
When you reach Windy Gap, you need to continue northwest (left) on the connector trail until you reach the junction with the Mount Islip Trail. From this junction, you'll ascend west (left) on the Islip Ridge Trail to the summit of Mount Islip. After enjoying the summit and catching your breath, begin your short descent south where you'll join up with the Islip Ridge Trail. From here, head west (right) down the Islip Ridge Trail.
After descending down the Islip Ridge Trail, you'll finally come to the junction with the Big Cienega Trail, which will lead you back to the Windy Gap Trail. Along the way, you'll have a clear view back east across the Crystal Lake Basin to Windy Gap along the Islip Ridge. This section of trail has very evident fire scars from the 2002 Curve Fire although there are nice patches of Jeffrey and sugar pine and white fir. A seasonal spring with nice wildflowers in summer is crossed about midway. When you reach the junction with the Windy Gap Trail, turn west (right) and continue on the homestretch downhill to the trailhead.
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