Islip Ridge, Little Jimmy, and Windy Gap

I decided yesterday was a good day to traverse some trails I hadn’t done before, so I grabbed my Angeles High Country map and drove up Highway 39. I sought out a trail the map labeled as the “Islip-Wiwona Trail”. There were no signs where the trailhead should be. The area was overgrown with a lot of downed trees. I had a lot of false starts and almost gave up.

I eventually found it (though it took about a mile to be certain I wasn’t on an animal trail). The lower sections in a recent burn area were overgrown and made me nervous about rattlesnakes. I ran a short runnable section and stepped within striking distance of one hiding in a log that rattled its pleasure about the situation. I ventured on. Once I reached a flat about 1.5 miles in I left the burn area and it took on the character of the San Gabriel high country, including a herd of about 20 Bighorn Sheep. I really wished I had my good camera.

The trail was in good condition over-all and didn’t have any remotely “sketchy” spots. The high point, figuratively, was Islip Ridge (which may be the actual name of the trail according to signs at later trail junctions) with its views. The high point, literally, was the summit of Mt. Islip which my altimeter said was about 8,500 feet, but maps say is 8,250. Whatever. I was up there. It was awesome.

I descended to Little Jimmy Spring for the best water on the planet, then took the Windy Gap trail, also awesome, back down. It was a fantastic day.

The route totaled 11.93 miles with 3,725 feet of elevation gain. The Garmin Connect page for it is here:

Bighorn Sheep on Islip Ridge.

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