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The height and sharpness of Mt. Islip allow for spectacular views on clear days. The Crystal Lake Area can be seen from the summit.

Mt. Islip (pronounced eye-slip) affords spectacular views over the San Gabriel Valley to the south and clear to the ocean, if the air is clear. For a good view of the valley areas, one of the increasingly rare smog-free days is best. The reason for the good view in all directions is that the summit is not only high (8,250 feet elevation), but is a fairly sharp peak. There used to be a Forest Service fire lookout tower on the top. Remains of a small cabin used by the lookout for living quarters may be seen just below the top. One of the earliest two-way radios used by the Forest Service was located at this lookout for fire reporting during the 1930s. Forty years ago, there were many more lookouts on various peaks of the Angeles National Forest, but the increase in smog decreased visibility so much that their effectiveness was greatly reduced, and they were closed.

To continue on to Mt. Islip, follow the trail at the southwest edge of the camp area another 1.25 miles through more forest, and with fine views of the Crystal Lake Area, to the summit.

Directions: From La Canada, CA, Follow Angeles Crest Highway to Islip Saddle (about 1 mile east of the tunnels). Park there and follow the Pacific Crest Trail up an easy grade 2.1 miles to Little Jimmy Campground, a favorite overnight stop for backpackers. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area.

Elevation Gain: 1,250 feet

Distance: 6.1 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

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Angeles National Forest, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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