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Crystal Lake to Mt. Islip Trail is a moderately strenuous trip through beautiful forested areas, with several little springs. Watch for deer, squirrels and birds along the way, and enjoy the tremendous view from the top.

Begin your hike at the Windy Gap Trail sign at the north edge of the paved road above the parking lot. In less than a mile, you will come to another paved road leading to Deer Flats Group Campground. Continue across the road, and in 0.75 mile you will come to a dirt road. The trail continues across the road, slanting to the right. At this road crossing, a left turn down the road about 100 yards will bring you to Big Cienaga and a small clear, cold spring. (Water from the spring should be treated before using.) Look for flowers in the small hillside meadow above the spring.

Continuing up the trail, you will reach Windy Gap (a low spot on the ridge between Mt. Islip and Mt. Hawkins), 2.5 miles from the trailhead.

At this point you have several options. You can take the trail on the extreme left for 1 mile to the top of 8,250 foot Mt. Islip (pronounced eye-slip). If you choose the middle trail heading northwest from Windy Gap, you will pass just above Little Jimmy Spring, then Little Jimmy Campground (half a mile from the gap) a short distance beyond. Little Jimmy is a good place for overnight camping if you are a backpacker. Another trail to Mt. Islip begins at the upper western edge of Little Jimmy Campground.

Directions: From Azusa, CA, Follow Highway 39 for 25 miles to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area. You may leave your vehicle in the dirt parking lot in the upper part of the campground. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area unless you have paid to enter the Crystal Lake Recreation Area.

Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet

Distance: 7.25 miles

Difficulty: 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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