Mount Islip, 8,250' (1,690' +/-) 7 miles RT, August 13, 2017

I’m really beginning to enjoy these higher elevation hikes, and the trek to Mt. Islip had just the right amount of work to do in order to enjoy the views once you reach the peak.  We started this hike from Islip Saddle on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)/Silver Moccasin Trail on the south side of Angeles Crest Highway 2.  It was about 6:30 am and the air was crisp with a cool breeze -- just perfect for hiking.  The trail starts off climbing up steep switchbacks and you’re immediately submerged in a beautiful landscape of white yarrow, golden rabbitbrush and a view of the great pines that will soon be providing you with shade for most of the hike.  At this hour, the sun was still coming up over the mountain as we trekked along, and I was able to get some beautiful photographs of its golden rays peeking through the trees.  As we approached the Little Jimmy Campground, the trail leveled out and we began to smell the fine aroma of campfire and coffee mixed with pine and forest making this hike even more pleasurable.  At the campground, we stopped for a snack and sat for a bit to take in the beauty of the forest before continuing on.  I should note here that there is a spur trail that leads to Little Jimmy Spring, so you actually have to walk through the campground and past the outhouses to find the Mt. Islip Trail that will lead to the peak.  Once on this trail, we began to climb again and we started to see some of the damage done by the 2002 Curve fire.  As we continued higher and higher with the trail hugging the slope, we came around a bend that suddenly opened up to even more spectacular views then the ones we had been enjoying the entire way up.  Finally, as we reached the summit, we saw what remains of an old, stone fire lookout.  On the peak, you will also find a register box where you can sign your name to make it official that you’ve climbed another mountain.  We spent some time up on the summit enjoying the 360 degree views and had our lunch before returning the way we came.  It was a very pleasurable hike today!
 

 We parked here at Islip Saddle.  The trailhead to Mt. Islip peak is actually on the south side of Angeles Crest.

We parked here at Islip Saddle.  The trailhead to Mt. Islip peak is actually on the south side of Angeles Crest.

 Cross Highway 2 and pick up the PCT/Silver Moccasin Trail to the Little Jimmy Campground.

Cross Highway 2 and pick up the PCT/Silver Moccasin Trail to the Little Jimmy Campground.

 The trail starts up some steep switchbacks on an exposed climb..

The trail starts up some steep switchbacks on an exposed climb..

 The morning sun coming up over the mountain around 6:30 am.  Beautiful!

The morning sun coming up over the mountain around 6:30 am.  Beautiful!

 White yarrow and golden rabbitbrush bloom surrounded us on both sides of the path.

White yarrow and golden rabbitbrush bloom surrounded us on both sides of the path.

 Photo of my husband walking through the rabbitbrush.

Photo of my husband walking through the rabbitbrush.

 We got to do a little work here but nothing too strenuous.  

We got to do a little work here but nothing too strenuous.  

 It was magic walking through these woods as the sun turned the forest from hues of blue to warm tones of gold and green.

It was magic walking through these woods as the sun turned the forest from hues of blue to warm tones of gold and green.

 At this marker the trail levels off quite nicely.

At this marker the trail levels off quite nicely.

 Beautiful views of the Yerba Santa Amphitheater.

Beautiful views of the Yerba Santa Amphitheater.

 At this point, walk through the campground past the outhouses to find the Mt. Islip Trail to Islip Peak.  The spur trail will take you to Little Jimmy Spring.

At this point, walk through the campground past the outhouses to find the Mt. Islip Trail to Islip Peak.  The spur trail will take you to Little Jimmy Spring.

 When you see this, you know you're on the right track.

When you see this, you know you're on the right track.

 We stopped here for a bit to have a snack and enjoy the forest.

We stopped here for a bit to have a snack and enjoy the forest.

 Heading up again - follow the trail to the right to the summit.

Heading up again - follow the trail to the right to the summit.

 Damage from the 2002 Curve Fire.

Damage from the 2002 Curve Fire.

 And just around this corner, the spectacular views opened up for miles.

And just around this corner, the spectacular views opened up for miles.

 Still climbing but it doesn't feel like it because it's so beautiful.

Still climbing but it doesn't feel like it because it's so beautiful.

35743763114_6348c01bf1_k.jpg
 And we finally reach the old fire lookout.

And we finally reach the old fire lookout.

 Register box to sign in and make it official.

Register box to sign in and make it official.

 Summit view.

Summit view.

 Now heading back down.

Now heading back down.

 I think this is a sheep moth.  Saw him at o ver 8.000' on the way down.

I think this is a sheep moth.  Saw him at o ver 8.000' on the way down.

 Lupine

Lupine

 And finally we are down.  It was a great day!

And finally we are down.  It was a great day!