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not really a good trail for taking a photo..

Love this trail so much. Unfortunate there's so much graffiti. Looking to start a cleanup group to get rid of the graffiti/trash if anyone's interested...

If you’re not a resident it can get pricey here but I seem to keep coming back. It’s my perfect morning cardio. Nothing too crazy, but just enough to get you’re heart going. The people are extremely friendly. It’s a great over all trail for running and beautiful scenery.

AWESOME Hike - Trail Info Incorrect

This hike is mislabeled - this isn't Windy Gap to Big Cienega. Technically, it's Crystal Lake Campground to Big Cienega Trail to Mt. Islip Trail to Windy Gap Trail (and back to Crystal Lake Campground).

You start at the parking lot at Crystal Lake Campground, hike up to Windy Gap (a small break in the mountains where the wind howls through before you choose another of several trails to branch off onto). Someone has also uploaded photos of the old stone hut, but this circuit doesn't take you to it - you have to take a side hike to Mount Islip to see that (.4 miles one way, according to the AllTrails map).

We did this hike the second weekend in December, starting around 11:30 am, after a few days of snow in the higher elevations. It was incredible. On the way up, it was snow covered chaparral that someone had already broken trail on, with the sun shining down on us the entire way up to Windy Gap. The trail was pretty mushy in the exposed areas with patches of ice and powder where the trees and ridges blocked the sun. Good amounts of tree cover, alternating with lots of open sun. Nothing in the beginning of the hike is too steep - moderate is a pretty accurate description for the grade most of the way up.

We took the side hike to Mt. Islip, where there's a cool old stone hut and an amazing 360º view. We could see all the way to Catalina, which was amazing, despite the smog. The snowy mountains on two sides made a pretty amazing backdrop for lunch at the summit (though there are 4 ugly stone foundation blocks that the forest service should get rid of).

The leg up to Mt. Islip is on the shadow side of the mountain - darker, cooler, with deeper, densely packed snow. No dramatic drop-offs or anything too scary, even with all the snow.

Because of the recent snowfall, the trail was like something out of a movie: dead quiet, sunny, pure blue skies, breeze blowing through the pines, succulents and cacti poking up through the snow, and almost no other hikers in sight (we only passed one person heading in our direction and maybe 3, total, heading down). We're in our 30s/40s and in decent shape, but not champion mountaineers by any stretch, and from the parking lot to the stone hut it tooks us between 3.5 and 4 hours (4.2 miles according to AllTrails) at an easy pace with plenty of stops (plus the snow slowed us down considerably).

If you follow our map it takes you from the parking lot to the stone hut. 8.4 miles with 2,418 ft. of elevation gain.

One of my new favorite hikes in Southern California because of how incredible it looked in the snow. And quiet enough to hear a pin drop!

PS - you can't access the lot from the 2 freeway in winter, the gate is closed, so the only access is to come up from Azusa, so be aware of that.

Ew.

You’ll enjoy this hike if you like hikes that are completely overcrowded, not in nature, behind peoples houses, stepping over hundreds of dog shits that didnt get picked up, annoying / crying kids, no elevation gain, people playing music from their phones and mini speakers, watching people slowly struggle over a creek 2 inches deep holding their babies or small dogs lol, etc.

Avoid at all costs

Solid workout! I was trying to find out if the trail was okay (not too soggy) after the rains and I can report they are in great shape. There are some loose pebbles, stones, rocks as you come down the trail if you start on trail going clockwise at starting point. All and all? Great workout and nice views. Had a tour of at least 40 people to pass. That was an all time first! Haha! All good tho!

Creds. AllTrails Pro - amazed people hike with out Pro version. Pro version bulletproof for not getting lost. Extremely easy to get lost on this trail without Pro version. Only $30 annually and no internet required. There is no internet service when you enter the Angeles National Forest. Yes trying to make a point.

10.4 mi, 1,699’ El Gain, 4:45 minutes travel time.

Adventure Pass required. $5 one time or $29 annually (the one I have)

Parked 8:am Saturday 8 Dec 2018. Gorgeous day with significant flowing river %85 of trail from rain 2 days ago. Expect to cross river 3 to 4 times getting wet up to knees (I’m 5’8).

Definitely doing this hike again!

Phone read 4.00 miles in 1:00:40 with 596 ft elevation gain, and I hung out at the falls for 10-15 minutes. Extremely mild hike other than a couple water crossings and a “steep” section near the falls. Falls were great a couple days after a hard rain.

hiking
5 days ago

Great day hike with my young Cub Scout

good trail. Took my dog and all went well. Hiked up to where you start climbing over some rocks to get the waterfall, but decided to turn back after a family said there wasn't any water. hopefully that changes soon, definitely want to come back when there is water

Really fun hike! Has lots of great scenery and it's definitely a place I am going to go back to since we never got to finish it. I recommend for anyone to keep on checking your app/map to make sure you are going on the right path, it can get very confusing at times since a lot of the recent rain has washed away quiet a bit of the trail and the main big trail is blocked off from rock slides.

It was a very fun hike with beautiful views of the river and surrounding mountains. You do have to cross the river a couple of time which might result in you getting wet. The bridge is really nice and you’re allowed to walk on it and underneath, they also offer bungee jumping for $120 if you’re feeling spontaneous

We had two hours spare before brunch so quickly shot up here for a hike. You cannot bring your dog unfortunately, however, for a busy hike, everyone was friendly and the views are quite good for such a short city hike.

Beutiful hike, very fun. Most of it is shade, there is a lot of water so bring boots. You do need a day pass ($5).

Very crowded!! People let their dogs take a shit and they don’t pick up.

hiking
10 days ago

Go early to avoid the crowds! This was a great solo hike on a Sunday morning. I took a beat at the waterfall to do some writing, which was lovely until a chubby kid took his shirt off, started yell-singing the milkshake song and then jumped in the water. Which he somehow didn’t expect to be cold. You can try to get out of LA, but you’ll never truly escape :)

Great intermediate hike. Recent rains made the trail a little hard to follow sometimes because of wash out and falling rocks / debris in a couple places. Tip of staying on main trail going in, keep the cliff to your right and stay as close to it as you can. Bungee jumping at the end!

This hike was a little more challenging than I thought in that the boulders were vertical but it was so worth it. Haven’t rock climbed like that in a long time. I definitely recommend hiking boots and pants as my son wore running shoes and shorts and his ankles and calves took a beating. I wore hiking boots and pants and was very comfortable sliding down boulders on the way down. No waterfall but still a lot of fun.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice enough to give it a shot. But please don't advise people to go "after a rain" without giving some head's up that means a good day or 2 with no chance of more rain. Most of the trail from the road to the falls is in a creekbed canyon subject to flooding. I worry since most hikers in the area only really know drought conditions. Too much road walking and too many inexperienced hikers for our tastes, but a nice hike nonetheless. Especially if you read up on the haunted history of he area beforehand.

Great view at the peak!

Beautiful hike with lots of water to cross depending on the time of the year. Recommend to bring lots of water and snacks to make the whole trip.

My favorite local trail! Beautiful view and mostly shaded.

Relatively flat first half followed by creek bed uphill climb progressively getting steeper with some bolder scrambling. In a wooded canyon. Pretty overall.

This is a good trail for escaping the city and heat during the summer and getting a workout on the process.
Pros: lots of shade, pretty foliage around you, wide and well-maintained trail and ends at a lively waterfall.
Cons: paid parking (or adventure pass or nfs pass) and CROWDED. Lots and lots of people, which means parking is more and more difficult and you run into large, organized groups of hikers.

Overall, this is a great getaway for the day, but don't expect peace and quiet or a difficult workout; go for the shade, stroll and waterfall views.

My phone showed 7.1 miles with 1870 feet of elevation gain in 2 hours 5 minutes. Extra distance came from having to park 1/4 mile from the trailhead and doubling back on myself near Dawn Mine. Chatted with a couple near the mine who was also turned around. Noticed another review mentioning signs where you don’t need them and no signs where you do. I’ll second that. Dawn Mine Trail side crisscrosses the creek a number of times. Sunset Trail side simply switchbacks in a hillside.

hiking
12 days ago

If you’re going on a weekend make sure to go early. It get packed real quick. Went 2 days after it rained and there was a lot less mud than I expected. Very beautiful hike.

Good trail.. Clean.. the earlier the better in summer time... Camel Back and good shoes..

hiking
12 days ago

Went hiking today, super easy hike. Great for kids too!! The falls was beautiful ✨

This is a good hike for those who enjoy a little bit of a challenge as a lot of the trail is steep and narrow. The dawn mine itself was quite disappointing as you can’t see anything but steel bars with a small canon out front. The trail is NOT obvious and you need to pay attention if you don’t want to get lost. Signs were available when you didn’t need it and absent when you did. The lot at the trail head is super small, but there is a bigger lot a mile down at Millard Canyon.

Gorgeous views of city, mountains and ocean! Enjoyable trail! Areas of the trail have loose small rocks, so sturdy hiking boots and poles recommended.

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