6.8.11 – mt williamson from islip saddle

My friend Victor and I got out today on a couple of casual but really pleasant hikes. The first one went from Islip Saddle to the summit of Mt Williamson via the Pleasant View Ridge Trail. The trail originates behind the restroom at Islip Saddle and climbs gently but steadily through sub-alpine territory. Within no time, I was overlooking sudden death down the steep ridge to my right. At the same time, the trail is perfectly comfortable and that made the steep dropoff much less intimidating to me and my vertigo.

After a mile or so, the trail comes to a split where the PCT goes left. However, our plan was to summit Mt Williamson and we followed the trail straight (or slightly right). From here, the trail gets a bit steeper and less maintained. We wound our way through manzanita and chaparral, until finally coming upon our goal: the windswept summmit of Mt Williamson. This summit lacks a register and USGS stamp, but features beautiful 360 views of the surrounding San Gabes, the Devil’s Punchbowl area, and the rest of the Pleasant View Ridge Trail. Someone had actually tried to spell something out on the summit (someone “hearts” someone?) but we couldn’t read it exactly. At this point, I started to feel sick. Bummer. So instead of continuing on down the Pleasant View Ridge Trail, we headed back to the car and made it an easy hike. I definitely recommend this to someone looking for a relatively short hike with some great views. If you are a person who is skittish with ridge trails that have adjacent steep dropoffs, you may want to steer clear of this one, however.

Duration: 3:00:00
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation gain: 1587′
Temperature: 60′s and sunny
Terrain: well maintained trail up to the pct split, then fairly obvious cross country class 1/2 up to summit.
GPS log
Calories burned: 1398
Water consumed: 1L
Calories consumed: 700
Food consumed: 16 oz of Hammer HEED/Perpetuem/Crystal Lite mix, 1 PayDay bar, 3 Hammer Gels

Gear specs:
Backpack: rei flash 30
Shoes: salomon quest 4d’s
trekking poles: black diamond contour ellipticals

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Posted on June 8, 2011, in hiking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’ve always wanted to do Mt. Williamson. I’ve done Mt. Islip from the saddle and saw the trail to the peak. Maybe soon, before it gets too hot. I notice you use Hammer Nutrition products. I stumbled onto them accidently while training for a marathon and use it all the time on hikes. The large jug of hammer gel lasts a long time, tastes great and is way cheaper than Powergel and mixed much better.

  2. Hey Anthony, I’d recommend it for sure. A lot of people do Williamson in conjunction with Will Thrall and few other peaks along that trail. Its pretty similar to Islip but a bit more exposed and a bit steeper probably, too. Really really pretty though.
    And I agree! Hammer stuff is totally amazing. If you haven’t tried Perpetuem before, you should give that a shot on your longer (3+ hours) day hikes. It is absolutely amazing. Thanks for checking in!

  3. I tried twice last month to drive to Islip Saddle but Angeles Crest was closed a couple miles before the tunnels even though Cal Trans said it was open. I assume the 2 is open all the way through now? By the way I really enjoy your website! Great TR’s!

  1. Pingback: 6.8.11 – laura mountain | PasadenaHiker

  2. Pingback: Hiking with a balance disorder: Creating a healthy mental dialogue « Outdoors In Cali

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