Windy Gap Trail

MODERATE 26 reviews
#18 of 124 trails in

Windy Gap Trail is a 6.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Azusa, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles 2362 feet Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The higher you get the more you are exposed to the sun. Some tree cover in the beginning and at the top. Mostly rocky terrain. A little windy on top.

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Adventure pass is needed for parking. There's a good amount of shade throughout the hike trail. A must need is bug repellent spray. Thankfully I always carry some because we definitely needed it. There are a lot of mosquitos and gnats, especially in the beginning. Bring more than enough water just in case! The scenery is definitely worth the hike. The trail is somewhat marked and signs are far and few. This is also a very lightly trafficked and narrow trail. Definitely will be coming back.

4 months ago

Great trail! All the way up to Windy Gap and along the Islip ridge until we could come down Big Cienaga for a total of 9 miles. Great views all the way around. A good amount of tree coverage throughout. We will definitely be back to check out other trails in the area.

backpacking
5 months ago

Hiked portions of this trail for a backpacking trip to Little Jimmy with a Boy Scout troop. Trail was mostly shaded in the morning, and the views from the peak were amazing. Definitely stop by and get some spring water from the Little Jimmy spring, it's delicious!

The trail was a bit tough with a full pack, but a great time was had all around.

1 year ago

Very nice views when going to the top. Still lots of burned areas from the fire in 2002. Really nice and only saw 4 people the entire hike.

hiking
1 year ago

This is a moderate hike. Only passed one person on the whole trail. So beautiful and no trash! No shade and saw a snake and deer. Would do it again. When you try to find the trail, take the road to the lake and follow it to the first parking lot. Park there and the trail is south/west of the parking lot.

1 year ago

Steady and easy hike...but definitely worth it. Went in early April did the windy gap trail from west side up and looped back to east side down..most people do the other way around. I loved the scenery it is truly one of the nicest hikes in the San Gabriel mountains. This is a great intermediate to beginner (at least with some conditioning) hike that will surely please! Awesome!

1 year ago

Great day hike. Beautiful views of the San Gabriel valley.

1 year ago

Really surprised there are not many comments about this trail...ran into several hikers who stated this is their favorite hike. This is a moderate hike with awesome views...it is my favorite will keep doing this hike!

hiking
1 year ago

Hiked early March 2015. This trail is awesome! saw deer and bighorn sheep. Will do again.

hiking
1 year ago

Luckily the noise from the campsites where you start will be gone after the first 10 minutes of hiking. This is a fun hike with nothing but up. The trails are well maintained and easy to follow. Saw a lot of lizards and one deer while making my way up the trail. Windy Gap is named that for a reason and once you're to the top you'll realize why. There are a few challenging spots that look like they've been washed away but as I hiked I saw Forestry staff repairing some of it. Enjoyable hike for a nice day.

hiking
1 year ago

The trail begins by some campsites and soon rises high above the Crystal Lake Basin. Once you reach the ridge at Windy Gap, you can see a rapid current of air pushing the fog over the pass. In February, the wind is strong and frigid and possibly accompanied by hail that hits your face. After trudging through some snow-covered patches, there’s a brief respite on the south side of the ridge, where you can warm up your reddened knuckles and cheeks. After the final turn, you see the summit hut remnants. The plants are dusted with frost and the underside of the tree branches sag a bit with the accumulated snow. On the way back, I see a tiny twig with a bit of bright green moss, which was one of my landmarks on the way up among all that monochromatic snow.

hiking
2 years ago

A beautiful secluded hike starting off from Crystal lake. There are 3 options to Get to Mount Islip and Crystal lake to Windy Gap is a must for all Southern California hikers. This is great elevation training and the views from Windy Gap and the Peak are some of the best. Video of my adventure is posted below.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecfnpRmrhwc

hiking
2 years ago

I did this trail as a continuation of the Crystal Lake to Mount Islip trail. Good hike going down and looks like it would be a slight work out going up. Easy grade down makes a little tough going up. In all great views. The bad part is the trail needs work you, you approach stream beds and the trail disappears so you have to look ahead to make sure where you want to go. Also there are some big trees on the trail where you have to climb around and others go under. In all it is a trail and it was a fun hike. Enjoy the wilderness!

hiking
2 years ago

Total hike is 8 Miles and about 7.5 hours to complete including lunch and time for pictures. Ya gotta take pictures. Did this trail 3/22/14. Good hike but the trail is in need of help.In a few spots you have to go over or under fallen trees and in a few spots you have do maneuver the trail gap to get to the other side. In all a good hike. I did the loop to Windy Gap and returned through Big Cienega Trail. The chili at the end of the hike was great.. More pictures of the hike and a GPS/Topo of the hike can be found at.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/unclerickyspix/sets/72157642790812703/

hiking
2 years ago

I have to concur with all the other reviews of this trail. This is one of the best hikes in the San Gabriels. The trail is well built and easy to follow. It climbs continuously, but the grade is not too steep. The effects of the fire are all around in dead and fallen trails, but they have a ghostly beauty all their own. And the chaparral that is reclaiming the mountainsides have their own appeal.
It is a harder hike than the stats would suggest. Maybe that's the altitude or just me, but I thought it was more than moderate but not difficult.
You won't run into hordes of people on this trail and that is to be appreciated as well. I highly recommend it.

hiking
2 years ago

This trail is rated as moderate and I suppose on the face of it it is. The grade is not too steep, although the ascent is constant. It is a pleasant walk when it is cool, but may not be so nice in the heat of the summer with the sun beating down on you. There is not much shade, the effects of the fire are still all around and the chaparral that has grown up doesn't provide much shade. The burnt and fallen trees have a tragic beauty of their own,
though.
It's only 1.1 miles from the trailhead near the Crystal Lake Cafe to the South Mt. Hawkins Lookout Rd. and then 1.8 miles to the Islip Ridge trail junction it seemed much further and daunting on the way up. Maybe it was the altitude, or maybe it's because i'm fat and old, but it was a good trudge up. Once at the junction it's another .9 miles to the top of Mt. Islip and well worth it. The views of high desert on one side and the expanse of the coastal plain and the ocean and Catalina on the other are well worth the trek.
This is an enjoyable hike, not too far, not too hard, but not easy either. Well worth the drive up the 39 and worth doing.

hiking
3 years ago

Awesome hike! Went around 10am on the Wednesday and there was no one else on the trail. The drive up the mountain is pretty tedious but the hike is well worth it! We went a little unprepared as it was extremely cold towards the top as we got into the clouds. Elevation is pretty high so I experienced a little difficulty breathing (should've brought my inhaler!). The fire damage was pretty obvious but the views were still amazing! Can't wait to go back and check out the lake

hiking
3 years ago

It was a long drive up a windy road to Cystal Lake Campground, the location of the trailhead. The weather was fantastic and the skies were clear. About 20 of us headed up to the peak via Windy gap trail and looped down via Big Cienega trail with views of Hawkins and Wilson. The trail was not rocky at all and the climbs were gradual with not many steps up. However, there were some switchbacks to add to the activity. The forest was pretty. Too bad about all the fires!!

hiking
3 years ago

9-1-13 Beautiful hike, beautiful day.
About a dozen people on the summit. Most came up from Highway 2.
About six bikers on the trail.
Great view of the valleys on both sides.
Excellent trail easy to follow, up Windy Gap Trail then on to summit then down ridge trail and Big Cienega.