Windy Gap Trail

MODERATE 106 reviews
#21 of 196 trails in

Windy Gap Trail is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Azusa, California 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.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2335 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful Hike. Easy parking. Lots of cool terrain and things to look at along the way like big rocks and trees, a few streams, and gorgeous views of the mountains and even the city once you're at the top. Bring a jacket b/c the gap is windy, as advertised!
Definitely recommend taking the 0.4 mile detour to the top of Islip peak. Took very little time and at the top was a little stone hut and amazing 360 views.
Would also recommend checking out the crystal lake cafe. I got to hold a python there before the hike! You can also pickup a parking pass and some decent food. The smoky aroma by the cafe was intoxicating as well.
Didn't have time to check out crystal lake. Please note that Windy Gap trail wont take you to any lakes like some pictures suggest.
Overall great success!

2 months ago

Great just to be out and enjoy the outdoors. Most of the hike I found easy, with sections that I would consider moderate. The weather was cool and a bit windy toward the top. But as others have mentioned, in the middle of a heat spell, bring LOTS of water, and wear a hat ... if bringing a dog, go super early and also there are some spots that are a bit precarious if your dog bounds about be careful.

Not many people on Easter Sunday. Don’t be turned off by starting your hike in the middle of camping sites, you soon depart from the area.

2 months ago

Awesome trail wish there was still more snow left tho. The views are really nice

3 months ago

If I could give it another star I would. Challenging mentally and physically but great fun.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a very beautiful trial that is pretty easy, and I highly recommend it for a nice day hike with some friends. This trial is not too heavily trafficked, beautiful views almost the whole entire trail. Make sure you take the short detour to visit the peak of Mt. Islip!

4 months ago

Hiking

hiking
6 months ago

Not often you can still hike this trail in mid Dec without winter gears. Nice patches of clouds in blue sky. Our group of 6 owned the trail for AM. Very pleasant day and place. Hit the trail while weather is not cold yet

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail, a little windy (hence the name), lots of people doing maintenance.

hiking
7 months ago

Perfect trail with stunning views. Very well marked. On a cloudy day 2/3 of the hike you’ll be hiking above the clouds; watching clouds constantly move and change shapes is oddly satisfying. Super cold at the top of Mt. Islip so be prepared!- bring a jacket and a hat. Definitely coming back.

trail running
9 months ago

Very nice trail run to Mt. Islip ascending Big Cienega and descending Windy Gap. The gradient is not too steep, usually not too rocky, and definitely not crowded on a weekday. Started at 830 am and it was about 20 degrees cooler than than the hot temperatures down in Azusa and the San Gabriel Valley. GPS measured the full loop just short of 8 miles, including the side trip to the summit of Mt. Islip. I ascended in 45:59 from Windy Gap Trailhead at Crystal Lake to Mt. Islip, a record according to Strava.com (although I did it in 43:08 many years ago in the pre-Strava era). Other trail runners typically take over an hour for the ascent even without walking at all. Saw 2 deer on the descent, and only one hiker. The hiker had 2 unleashed dogs and one immediately lunged at me when I approached; it bit my leg (calf) and bloodied it up! PLEASE, dogs should be on a leash as the trailhead sign says.

hiking
10 months ago

Surprisingly rewarding. Saw a small bear on the road, people were talking selfies. The bear was dark brown with a lighter brown snout. I got mountain scared that the mom would show up. I went around the bear, which jumped a rail into the forest. The hike was choice, I did it clockwise, but the earlier hikers got shade doing it regular. Yes, very little shade, and in July you get those smoggy layered views of the basin. I will definitely do this again, super mellow yet as challenging as you can handle.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bunch of bugs , but it was a great hike!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It was a great hike... I always love going to the Crystal Lake Cafe when I am done with a hike in that area. Be warned that there were a TON of fallen rocks on the trail. I really regretted wearing my running shoes and not my hiking boots. I could feel every rock and I slipped a few times, so just come prepared. Also, go early on hot days... a lot of the trail is not shaded. Gorgeous views from the top. Also, we got caught in a ladybug swarm, which was kind of awesome.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Loved every twist, turned and elevation. The view is amazing. It was amazing getting back and look up on how high we went. What a day to spend Mothers Day.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

If you're looking for up, up and up this is a good place to start. This is the other way to get to Little Jimmy campground and we did it at night. When we came back through after camping we saw beautiful views and some fire ravaged areas. Many pairs of eyes looking at us from the dark and some weren't scared of us (don't know what was watching us)!!! Also saw deer.

hiking
Thursday, December 29, 2016

We only did Crystal Lake to Windy Gap. Originally we had planned to go to Islip, but we barely made it to windy gap, as we werent prepared for that much snow. Great views hiking up this side of the windy gap, more enjoyable than hiking up the north facing side from lil jimmy. Although a lot of snow had melted by the time we went down, it was still tough trekking. Would be great to hike up this side again in the spring.

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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.

Monday, August 08, 2016

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
Saturday, June 11, 2016

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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

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
Monday, July 27, 2015

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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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!

Monday, May 25, 2015

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

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
Thursday, April 09, 2015

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

hiking
Sunday, April 05, 2015

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
Sunday, February 01, 2015

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
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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
Monday, March 24, 2014

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
Sunday, March 23, 2014

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/

Load More