Mount Islip Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The south approach of Mount Islip, one of the significant high points in the San Gabriel Mountains, feels a bit like real mountain climbing, despite its rather straightforward ascent by way of marked trails. You begin amid spreading oaks and tall conifers in Crystal Lake basin, rise through progressively smaller and sparser timber, and finally reach the nearly bald and often windblown summit. On clear days it offers a comprehensive view, both north over the Mojave Desert and south over the metropolis."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"Mount Islip, pronounced “I-slip” is a wonderful destination for people who want to get to the top of a major peak but don’t want to spend an entire day of hiking to get there. Islip sits above 8000 feet and is the stout eastern stalwart in the back range of the Angeles National Forest. The mountain gets its name from George Islip, an early homesteader who made his way in the San Gabriels. He cleared earlier Indian paths into trails and also prospected and explored the area of San Gabriel Canyon. It is believed that he spent a good amount of time around and atop the summit that shares his name."
--Allen Riedel, Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
"The south approach of Mount Islip feels a bit like real mountain climbing, despite the rather straightforward ascent by way of marked trails. You begin amid spreading oaks and tall conifers in Crystal Lake basin, rise through progressively smaller and sparser timber, and finally reach the nearly bald and often windblown summit."
--Jerry Schad , Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County (Wilderness Press).
"This popular hike along a stretch of the Paciﬁc Crest and Silver Moccasin trails takes you through a picturesque campground and up to the ruins of a historic ﬁre lookout. Although damage from the 2002 Curve Fire is still visible, there is still plenty of shade along the route, making this a good option on a warm summer day."
-- Casey Schreiner , Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books).
"The ascent of Mount Islip from Crystal Lake to the south was described in Chapter 23. The north approach described here—via an easier and shortest-possible route—takes you through aromatic pine- and fir-forest most of the way."
This trail is remarkably well cut and keeps it fairly easy on your legs despite going up a near vertical face. The views into the central valley and out to Catalina from the top ridge are great and it was not very crowded on the Sunday I was there. It probably would have been 5 stars if not for the fact that as you get near the top ridge you can hear all the traffic from Route 2, which is just north of the peak. A good distance hike and a fun trail run.
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