Islip Ridge Trail #9W08
ElevationAscent: 2,529' 771 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 8,104' 2,470 m
Low: 5,576' 1,699 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)
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“Solitude and scenery on a long climb up from Crystal Lake.”— Alan Coles
The trail starts from the southwest corner of the lot. It drops slightly then begins a steady climb up around a rock field before reaching a saddle between Crystal Lake and the dry lake to the south. From there, it climbs to the south through shadeless chaparral of ceanothus and oaks then makes a large bend heading northwest to meet the main ridge. At 1.5 miles, the trail passes through some welcome shade from pine trees. The section of trail from the parking lot to the main ridge is sometimes referred to as the "Wawona Cutoff". The area was burned in the Curve Fire (2002) and the trail passes in and out of the fire footprint.
The trail continues to climb north up the ridge as the vegetation changes to an open forest of Jeffrey and sugar pines with manzanita carpeting the ground. At 3.9 miles, the junction with the Big Cienega Trail #9W07 is reached. Those not looking to reach the summit and wishing to do a loop could return back to Crystal Lake at this point by taking the Big Cienega Trail #9W07, Windy Gap Trail #9W06, South Hawkins Road #3N07 and Lost Ridge Trail #9W25 back to the lake.
The Islip Ridge Trail, however, continues up the ridge for another 0.8 miles passing some rare limber pines and ending at the junction with the Mt. Islip Trail #9W05. The summit is reached by turning left going another 0.2 miles to the top.
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Local Club: San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTB)
Land Manager: USFS - Angeles National Forest Office