Hiking Project Logo

greenBlue Islip Ridge Trail #9W08

Trail

4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 2,529' 771 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 8,104' 2,470 m
Low: 5,576' 1,699 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Alan Coles

Solitude and scenery on a long climb up from Crystal Lake.

Alan Coles

Features Lake · Views · Wildlife

No campfires outside of campgrounds.

Need to Know

Adventure Pass required to park at the trailhead.

Description

To reach the trailhead, take Hwy. 39 from Azusa 22 miles and turn right into the Crystal Lake Recreation Area. Proceed another mile and turn left onto the one-way road to the lake. After 0.1 miles, turn left into the Lower Crystal Lake Parking Lot.

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.

Flora & Fauna

A good place to see Nelson bighorn sheep. Jeffrey, sugar, limber pines, and white fir offer shade at higher elevation. Bigcone spruce and oaks offer spotty shade on lower trail. Lots of ceanothus with some manzanita and chinquapin higher up.

Hiked this trail?

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#9975

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1,135

in California

#9,975

Overall
17 Views Last Month
341 Since Jan 1, 2018
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

0%
100%
0%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking