Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hike 2015.053 -- Mount Islip from Crystal Lake Campgrounds

Hiked Friday, July 3. Wow, that was a long time ago. ;) This was a day after a hike to Lewis Falls, which I followed with a quick drive to the Crystal Lake campground area. I was checking to see if the road and parking situation had changed since my last visit, which was quite some time ago.
I'm often surprised when I return to a place I hiked during one of my earlier 100 hike years to discover how long since last I visited some places. Yet, despite the time, when you do the hike, you still quickly do recall what you saw the last time you were there.

Well, this time, it was July, and a guess another hard rain was still in the future. The snow, of course, was long gone. Yet, wildflowers still bloomed.

That's something else I enjoy, although, unfortu-nately, with my untimely posting, this blog isn't helping much with pointing out places to go NOW, though, of course, you can always try next year! So, for future reference, early July is not a bad time for wildflowers around Mt. Islip. ;)
It's not thick, like at the Poppy Reserve, of course. But there are many places to see a wide variety of flowers along the way. I think maybe this bowl just does a good job of trapping some moisture.
In any event, the parking area furthest up the hill is reached by follow signs as though you were going to the Deer Flat group campground. That means NOT turning at the store and ranger station, but continuing straight. The large parking area is just before a road (usually with a closed gate) that would lead to Deer Flat. I think this is near Loop G of the regular campgrounds. In any event, it's basically at the end of the road, if you do NOT turn at the ranger station.
From there, the trail is to your north, and heads along some campsites and soon crosses a dirt road. That road leads to other peaks, but continuing straight across the road leads towards Windy Gap.
Nice views looking down the canyon. If it's clear, you can see several reservoirs down the the river, and on across the Los Angeles Basin.
Once at the pass, I continued forward and to the left, which seemed to be the main trail to Mt. Islip. This trail makes its way up mostly on the south and east sides of the summit.
At the top is the remains of an old cabin. A charcoal drawing was on the inside of this cabin on the day I went.
It looked Gollum-like, to me.

I'm not a big graffiti fan, but, if you're going to graffiti, temporary work is preferable to permanent. work.

Also at the top were a number of swallowtail butterfly, mating. That seemed to be a theme at all of the local summits I visited in July.
Looking to the north is looking across the Antelope Valley. I saw several outcrop-ping, which might include Saddleback Butte. But I'm pretty sure, in retrospect, that it was not.
Should have been about 7-8 miles roundtrip. Not too hot of a day, so the hike was comfort-able. It's mostly exposed to the south, so this hike can be hot in the summertime.

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