Mt. Hawkins via Islip Saddle – Angeles National Forest

Where: Angeles National Forest
Mileage: 10.1 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 2200 feet
Type: Out-and-back


To get to the trailhead: From 210 take Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2) for about 39 miles to Islip Saddle. The parking lot is across the street from the trailhead. Make sure you display the National Forest Adventure Pass before you leave your car for the day.

There are three trailheads at Islip Saddle which sits at 6670′. The PCT crosses the 2 here. Islip Saddle is named after a Canadian homesteader who used to live here in the 1900s, George Islip.

The trailhead that I would take was across the street from where I parked. I captured a picture shown below of the perfect crisp moment as I stepped onto the PCT at about 7:15am. It was a little breezy and the white flowers danced next to me on the first part of the trail. The trail was steep until I hit Little Jimmy Trail Camp.

Mt. Hawkins 001

Little Jimmy Trail Camp is nestled along the route of the PCT at 7500′ and offers 16 hike-in campsites. It’s only about 2 miles in, which makes for a perfect overnight if you want to feel like you’re away from the city! Campsites here are first come first serve. Possibly interested in staying here read more here.

After the Camp the trail steadies with not much elevation to Windy Gap, 7588′. Windy Gap offers great views and high winds… No, but honestly while I took a short break at Windy Gap it was actually pretty windy, I’m guessing that may have something to do with the name of the junction.

At the junction I turned left toward Mt. Hawkins. The trail doesn’t climb much in the beginning, but it gradually gets steeper and steeper. I spent a little time on top of Mt. Hawkins, just after a refreshment I decided to keep going further another 30 minutes. There were a couple girls I kept running into that were actually going all the way to Mt. Baden Powell. If I didn’t have to get back into town at a certain time, I would have done the same thing.

Mt. Hawkins 10

Instead, I turned around and headed back down to the car. The hike back out took half the time.

Note to self:Try this hike all the way to Mt. Baden Powell.

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