LA - Hike: Windy Gap, Crystal Lake Recreation Area

  • Sun, November 07, 2021
  • 9:30 AM
  • Windy Gap trailhead


Registration is closed

Short notice but join us if free! Please read all details. Trip leaders Bryan Matsumoto and Albert Sotelo will be camping here for the weekend already, so will not be reachable by phone/email. Just register here, and see you at the trailhead on Sunday Nov. 7.

Moderately strenuous 6-7 mile hike with 1756' of elevation gain. Uphill, but worth it, with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains. We'll hike to the Windy Gap, a saddle between Mount Islip and South Mount Hawkins above the Crystal Lake Recreation Area in the San Gabriel Mountains. Estimate 5 hours. Note: We are starting at 5832' elevation, and ending up at 7588'. We may go higher to find a lunch spot. We may have time to explore Deer Flat campground and Sunset Ridge as well. 

From trailhead to Windy Gap:

Mileage (r.t.) 5.0
Trailhead 5832'
Windy Gap 7588'
Total gain/loss 1756'
Gain/loss per mi. 703'

The Crystal Lake basin is flanked on three sides by towering mountains forming a giant horseshoe—Islip Ridge to the west, Hawkins Ridge to the east, and to the north, the divide that separates the watersheds flowing into the Mojave Desert to the north and the Los Angeles basin to the south. Source

Meet at: Windy Gap trailhead parking lot at Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument/Angeles National Forest. (the uppermost parking lot)

Directions: Study this map pin and directions. In Google maps, download an offline map so you still have the location once you lose reception in the mountains. Carpool if possible, parking lot fills up.

1 hour mountain drive, 25 miles above Azusa on Highway 39.

Follow signs north to the Crystal Lake Cafe. Eventually as you get near, turn RIGHT at the sign for Crystal Lake Cafe and keep going til you reach the campground area. At the visitor center building (may be under construction), take the LEFT road, past campgrounds to reach the TRAILHEAD PARKING. (End of road). Meet near restroom building.

Bring: your own lunch and snacks to enjoy up top. Jacket, may be windy. Sun protection (full sun), water. Celebration drink? Good shoes.

Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency.  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.

Since this is a strenuous, uphill hike - not recommended if you have health concerns.

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