Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hiking on June 15 started on the Angeles Crest Highway and finished on the Pacific Crest Trail. Eagle's Roost Picnic Area (6,660ft) - 2.5 mi - Islip Saddle (6,670 ft) - 2.1 mi - Little Jimmy Camp (7,450 ft) - 0.3 mi - Windy Gap (7,588 ft) - 1.4 mi - pass South Mt. Hawkins Trail (8,390 ft) - 1.6 mi - pass Dawson Saddle Trail (8,790 ft) - 2.7 mi - Mount Baden Powell (9,399 ft) - 2.1 mi - pass Lamel Spring Trail (7,765 ft) - 1.7 mi - Vincent Gap (6,585 ft). Total distance = 14.4 mi. General elevation gain = 3,320 feet. General elevation loss = 3,395 feet.

Geology included Precambrian gneiss and cataclastic gneiss, intruded by Cretaceous Wilson Fm. (~122 Ma) quartz diorite, intruded by Upper Cretaceous (~90 Ma) leucocratic granite, Punchbowl fault zone, Miocene nonmarine Punchbowl Fm.

If you wish to see an enlarged version of any of the pictures below, click inside the small version.

Ready to Start

Mike Werner, who came to town from Anchorage, Alaska to visit his father, donated some of his visiting time to driving Sue and me to the starting point for the Day 7 hike. We greatly appreciate Mike's contribution on this exceedingly difficult shuttle day. The barricade across the Angeles Crest Highway marks the western terminus of the highway closure zone. In order to be picked up at the other end, we had to walk to the eastern end of the closure zone at Vincent Gap.


The Pacific Crest Trail from this starting point climbs up and over the slope of Mount Williamson before arriving at Islip Saddle. Because there was no traffic on the highway, we chose to walk on the highway through two tunnels that went under Mount Williamson, thus saving ourselves a lot of extra up and down distance. Note the complexity of the relationships between gneiss, diorite, and granite on the face of the mountain.

Islip Saddle

At Islip Saddle we left the highway and resumed our hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail was pretty steep in many places, so Sue got out her walking sticks.

Sue on Trail

Near Little Jimmy Trail Camp the trail flattens out for a while and passes through shady groves of white fir trees. Jeffrey pine and sugar pine were also common on these slopes.

Little Jimmy Camp

At Little Jimmy Trail Camp we paused for a short rest and had a snack. Little Jimmy Spring, just a quarter mile from the camp, was producing an excellent flow of water.

Burn Area

Beyond Windy Gap on the west slope of Mount Hawkins ridge the trail passes through the fringes of the burn area from the Curve Fire that burned through the Crystal Lake area in September, 2002. At this altitude, after over three years, natural reforestation has not progressed very far.


A nice Jeffrey pine on Mount Hawkins ridge provided a shady spot for our lunch, which commonly consists of sandwich, banana, apple, cookies, and water.

Mount Baden Powell

After skirting around the south side of Throop Peak, we got our first look at Mount Baden Powell, which would be the high point on our hike.

Trail in Forest

The trail on the north slope of Mount Baden Powell passes through many shady groves of exceptionally large lodgepole pine trees.

Sue at Baden Powell Trail Junction

Sue celebrates and has some trail mix for a snack after reaching the high point on the hike. The rest of the day was all downhill.

Gene at Baden Powell Monument

The Boy Scout Baden Powell monument at the top of Mount Baden Powell (9,399 feet elevation). Sue and Gene were last here over 50 years ago. Gene hiked the Silver Moccasin Trail twice as a Boy Scout, and Sue led several Girl Scout groups to the top while serving as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor.

Down from the Top

It's a long way down from Mount Baden Powell to Vincent Gap. We had already descended quite a ways before we could finally see down to where the bottom of the canyon was below us. It took one and a half hours of almost constant downhill walking to make it.

Vincent Gap Sign

Although it had been our longest day of the entire GeoTrek, 14.4 miles, and the most elevation gain and loss of any single day, we were still able to stand on our feet long enough for a picture at Vincent Gap.

George and Old Baldy

Photo of Old Baldy (the mountain in the background, not the guy in the green shirt). George Dunne kindly volunteered to pick us up at Vincent Gap and take us back home after the hike. We commend him for donating some of his time to make our part of the GeoTrek project a little easier. Mount San Antonio (Old Baldy, with some snow still on the north slope) is the highest mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains; Mount Baden Powell is the second highest.

Go to the route description for the eighth day of the hike.

Return to the CSUN hike index.

Return to the Coast Geological Society hike index.

Return to the First United Methodist Church, Reseda hike index.


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