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Islip Saddle, Mount Baden-Powell, and Vincent Gap

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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Islip Saddle, Mount Baden-Powell, and Vincent Gap is a 11.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Valyermo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,156 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

PCT trail with many great peak opportunities and incredible 360 views of Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean to the South and the Mojave Desert to the North. If you are looking for a beastly hike in the Angeles forest, you want great vistas, and a high elevation trail, then this is your hike. You start at the Islip Saddle and immediately begin your climb. The first mile gives you a good feel of what you are in store for most of the way. The second mile into Little Jimmy Campground levels off, and some might want to camp here before taking the rest of this trek along the PCT. You will meet most trekkers coming the opposite direction. From the camp head toward Windy Gap and then take the PCT trail headed up to Mt. Baden Powell. This third mile is another large gainer. The good news is that one you reach this crest, you've already done a lot of the climbing for this trip. There is still plenty left to climb, however, so make sure you bring lots of water, food, and good fitting shoes. You will want to be in top shape for this one.

hiking
13 days ago

Lots of shade after parking lot switch backs. Long trail with lots of vista points back towards coast and into the high desert. One large tree blow down shortly after Hawkins Peak. Have to detour through the deer brush. Overall an awesome way to spend a day!

We tried to do Baden Powell & Throop from Dawson Saddle but the 2 was closed at Islip Saddle. Pretty pleasant trail.

hiking
blowdown
snow
1 month ago

Hiked this on 5-16-20 -As of this date, this trailhead is as far as the Angeles Crest Highway is open. Gates closed after this point. So I assume that is why it was very crowded on this trail. A lot of people hiking to Little Jimmy campground, or Mount Islip, or Windy Gap... and several heartier people heading on past Throop to Baden Powell. Word on the trail was that there was decent amount of snow on the last ascent to Baden Powell, but easily navigated with boots and poles. We were lazy and stopped at Throop which needed no gear. Most people still wearing masks. Some kids seemed to completely disregard... but mostly trying to be respectful and cover their faces when passing. -Some patches of snow still on the trail, but easily navigated even if you were in sneakers. -lots of blowdown. There were many places that trees blocked the trail, could be difficult to navigate if you are older or have medical conditions. Kind of fun to hop over otherwise. -Little Jimmy Campground was poppin. lots of people there. Very nice campground -The spring is amazing. I've never seen one that is built up like this. Very cute. I hear it is year round.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday and it was tough but rewarding. Left Islip Trailhead at 7:30am and got to the top of BP at 11:30am. There are sections of snow but it was packed in along the trail and my feet were still dry at the summit. Most of the trail is in the sun. I turned around and hiked back to Islip but the way back down was tougher, I lost the trail a couple of times and sank into the snow so it took a few hours to get down the mountain. I imagine by next week with this weather it will be all but gone. Took 4L of water and used it all. Today I definitely feel the climb. Highly recommend, dry parts of the trail were fantastic.

Hiked this trail out to Throop pk. gaining the summit via the west ridge, hiked down the east ridge back to the PCT and headed back. On the return I went up to Mt. Hawkins for a brief stop before heading down it’s west ridge back to the PCT. saw two people on their way up to Throop and then a few people including a dozen or so Boy Scouts at Windy Gap before running into a huge Boy Scout troop just north of Little Jimmy camp. I’m sure it was a crowded night at the campground. Overall it was a really nice day hiking in my favorite area of the San Gabriel mountains.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

It was a great hike. Challenging hike with a ton of elevation change and good views. I definitely recommend this hike for a 2 day hike.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
snow
Wed Jun 05 2019

Amazing views with a leg workout. Me and my 15 month dog name Troy made it woooo

hiking
snow
Sat Jan 19 2019

Wed May 30 2018

Pretty magnificent hike. We started at Vincent Gap, climbed the 5 peaks and ended at Islip Saddle. The trails were remarkably maintained. We hiked Memorial Day. It was warm but there’s lots of coverage. I do recommend climbing all or most of the peaks. The views are marvelous.

Sun Feb 11 2018

It's a good hike and in some areas downtown Los Angeles can be seen as well as the observatory on Mt. Wilson. There are a few trails that cross this one so be careful to not get lost.

hiking
Fri Dec 15 2017

Stunning views but wow, the wind! Current conditions are no snow or ice but powerful winds and temps that drop as you get higher. I wore baselayer, wool hoodie, down jacket, beanie, gloves and that kept me warm enough. Wear layers and check conditions before going. The hike itself is tough at times and I'm feeling sore now. Take two cars, leave one at Islip Saddle, the other at Vincent Gap so you just have to hike one way.

Sat Nov 25 2017

Awesome views

backpacking
Mon Nov 13 2017

PSA: the trail head is ACROSS THE STREET from the islip saddle parking lot... I mistakenly took the trail that led from the parking lot. Little upset with how poorly the signage was -- no indication in the parking lot that the trail is across the street. Not sure how people who haven't been would know not to take the trail that leads from the lot, but maybe it's just me... despite all the confusion, I did get some pretty incredible views.

hiking
Mon Jul 10 2017

Fun hike - nice trail. My knees really felt the last couple miles coming back.

Thu May 11 2017

Beautiful views

Wed Jun 22 2016

Try this with a full pack and camp either on summit of BP or at several gear spots desending to Vincent Gap. the distance is closer to 13 miles and the Park signs with mileage are clearly wrong. The sign at the entrance to the PCT at VG reads 4.2 to the summit of BP and just 200 feet up the trail a sign reads 3.7. The sign at the junction to Dawson's saddle reads a ridiculously short distance to Little Jimmy as well. Just go...it's 12 or 13 miles.

Fri Nov 20 2015

Did this trail from Crystal Lake to Baden...I think a total of 17 Miles..It is a great Hike! Few areas of loose rock but manageable. Several trail runners here but all good!

camping
Fri Aug 07 2015

Beautiful along the PST portion.

hiking
Sat Jul 07 2012

This was the first time I hiked from Islip Saddle to Mt. Baden-Powell and boy was it tuff but worth every step. I was awe struck with the 360 views, Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean to the South and turn around and you have the Mojave Desert to the North, from places such as Windy Gap. Even the dead & burnt trees from the 2002 Curve Fire added a senes of beauty to the landscape by showing the effects of fire weather man-made or by Mother Nature. Seeing the Limber Pines like the Wally Waldern Tree on top of Mt. Baden-Powell left me speechless, to stand there and look at a tree that is 1,500 years old and realize this tree has been in the same spot since way before Europeans came to the America's. There were alot of other hikers on the trail but everyone was very pleasent and it was great seeing all the Boy Scouts trekking up to the mountain, I chatted breifly with a group of them from the Sylmar area and they were very friendly and enjoyed talking about their hike.

hiking
Mon Jul 02 2012

As others have stated, this hike is a real "butt-kicker". Awesome panoramic views all along the trail. Started the hike from Islip Saddle at 6am and arrived at Mt. Baden-Powell at 10am. After relaxing for an hour, I started my return trip at 11am and arrived back at the car at 1:30pm. Make sure to take plenty of water - I took 5 liters which was just about right for what I needed.

hiking
1 month ago

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