“Good views and interesting biology.”
— Alan Coles
Birding · Views · Wildflowers
Easy loop hike with good views of Crystal Lake basin.
Need to Know
Adventure Pass required to park at trailheads and day use areas.
This trail shares the same starting location as the Soldier Creek Trail #9W30
near the restrooms by the amphitheater. A short distance down the trail, it turns left and crosses a small bridge and shortly comes to a junction of the trail loop. Take the right fork and you enter a plant community that is common on the high desert slopes but rarely seen on the coastal side of the San Gabriel Mountains. A large California juniper is passed and the trail gently climbs to a point with a bench offering a great view out to the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. On a clear day, the ocean and Channel Islands can be seen.
The trail then turns north and encounters several single-leaf pinyon trees which have a much paler green color compared to other pines in the area. This is also a great location to look out over the Crystal Lake Basin to see how it was formed from massive slides around Mt. Islip to the northwest.
The trail passes a seasonal spring and a beautiful field of deer grass before descending back down to complete the loop.
Flora & Fauna
Juniper, pinyon, bigcone spruce, Jeffrey pine. Wildflowers in spring.