Windy Gap to Mount Islip to Big Cienega Trail

MODERATE 159 reviews
#26 of 214 trails in

Windy Gap to Mount Islip to Big Cienega Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately 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: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,273 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

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
7 days ago

We did this trail and more this last week end September 8th. Took Windy Gap trail to PCT, turned right and summit Mt. Hawkins which affords great views, then on to Throop Peak and back to windy gap where we went up to Mt. Islip and back down using Big La Cienaga trail, where we found a few Elderberries trees full of berries. It was a great clear day, windy at times. The trail is very well signaled except for the detour to Mt. Hawkins, Mt. Throop and Big La Cienaga trail, so you better check your GPS if it is the first time on this trail.

Pretty good hike, lots of beautiful flowers to look at along trail.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike, it has everything that you expected on S.C. hike. so many fallen trees, since 2009 station fire happened, that makes also amaging unique views from top of peak, islip mtn, a little burn down house at the top. takes 4-5hours for whole route. don't take paved road, that's wrong way. needs more than 2L of water for hot day.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

This trail is definitely hard not moderate. It’s a tough climb up to the top of Mount Islip. From the trailhead until you reach the peak you’re climbing uphill. Not a whole lot of shade-bring a lot of water and snacks. It took me about 3 hrs to get to the top. Then the walk down wasn’t bad, but it was still fully in the sun. No worries about parking or bathrooms. Plenty of space at the campsite. This is a great hike and the trial is well maintained; it’s just HARD.

hiking
2 months ago

Really like it. Only 5 other people met. All uphill but grad was fine. Nice breeze, shedded by long sleeve quick until top where it was windy. Flew down and great view. Did like the camp area and clean restrooms b4 heading out. Visitor center for local map and lil restaurant. Did not get to lake but going to plan an overnight and do a longer hike out early to do full loop and enjoy bbq after. Highly recommended for me

hiking
2 months ago

All incline on the way up but not extreme. It’s a great hike to watch the sunset from.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

wonderful hike with great views and few crowds. lots of annoying little flies. trail is also initially a bit difficult to find since its in the middle of a campground

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

What an awesome hike. Great incline and pristine views. A lot of sun as well as a good amount of spots to catch shade. It was not busy; We didn’t arrive until 9 and we only ran into a few hikers on the entire trip. Some sections of the trail are a bit rough in terms of quality; if you’re an experienced hiker you’ll be fine. It’s just a few trees down and parts of the trail that suffered from water run off over the past winter. Make the trip! Totally worth it!

Some areas of downed trees, but nothing you can’t scramble over. The temperature change was large-from mid-60’s at the base in the morning to upper 30’s and wind at the top. Bring layers, food and water!

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely loved this trail and will be going back often. I was lucky enough to see a herd of sierra nevada Bighorn sheep grazing along the edge of the trail. It was incredible. Very limited tree cover once you get past the small waterfall. I definitely recommend sunscreen because I got sunburned! Otherwise it's a very quiet place with hardly any other hikers. The best kind of hike ;)

hiking
3 months ago

I added a few miles by taking a different way up to Islip. Saw some big horn sheep! Steady incline, not too hard at all. Running down Hawkins Ridge was fantastic but road from South Hawkins down to parking lot was strewn with rocks; hard to keep a pace. (Lost my battery charger coming down Islip. Ping me if you find it.)

hiking
rocky
snow
washed out
4 months ago

Excellent hike up to mount Islip from crystal lake. Once past windy gap there is a decent amount of snow. Recommend micro spikes or trekking poles during early spring. Attempted to head toward Baden-Powell via PCT but lots of snow with steep slopes. I would wait another 2-4 weeks before attempting that route again. This trail offers gorgeous views, interesting burnt trees, and rocky terrain. Great workout!

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Hiked to try to get to the PCT. Trees and rockslides blocked my path until it was too dangerous to proceed.

A lot of new tree blow down since I was on this trail last so heads up for that happening! Beautiful day, beautiful trail! Have fun!

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Amazing hike, definitely recommend this one! Great elevation gain! Going up Windy Gap very rocky, once reaching windy gap there is snow on to Mount Islip, you want to use micro spike (crampons). The snow will probably be gone in a couple of weeks. But having the snow makes it way more fun!!! Bring your crampons before the snow melts!! Let's go!!

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing and challenging due to elevation gain and snow hike. Bring microspikes (very useful on slopes covered in snow) and wear waterproof hiking boots. The trail somewhat disappears from Windy Gap to Mt. Islip, but keep climbing and you will get there. The way down is much easier. More like 8 miles round trip, not 6.5.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

The views up here were awesome, but we didn’t make it all the way to Windy Gap due to losing the trail in the snow. We had poles and trax, but the sheer slope covered in snow made me a little uncomfortable to continue to the top. It was an absolutely beautiful alpine view, so we don’t feel bad about the day! In a couple of weeks, I’m hoping the trail should be clear again.

hiking
off trail
snow
6 months ago

Went up on 2/24/19. Crampons or microspikes definitely needed for the switchbacks up to windy gap. On the way down the trail is snow covered but you can pretty much head down the bowl and link back up to the road.

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