Overview: Easy 8,000 FooterMount Lewis has the all the advantages of a relatively high San Gabriel range peak coupled with easy access. There is essentially only one route to the top and that is a ½ mile ridge ascent with 500 feet of gain. There is a use trail that passes through a forest of Jeffrey Pine providing shade all the way.
From the summit, you get grand views of the Antelope Valley and, to the south, neighbor Throop Peak beckons. In fact, you will always want to combine Mt. Lewis with one or more other peaks in the broad vicinity including Throop, Mt. Burnham, Mt. Baden-Powell, Mt. Hawkins or other peaks on the Hawkins Ridge or Copter Ridge.
The peak is named after the first Superintendent of Yosemite National Park who worked in the San Gabriels in the early 1900’s. Mt. Lewis made it on the original 1946 Sierra Club Hundred Peaks List.
One caveat about the “easy access” description given above. The ½ mile ridge route begins from Dawson Saddle (7,901’) along the Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2). However, Dawson Saddle is not currently accessible by vehicle from either direction because SR 2 is closed between Islip Saddle and Vincent Gap. Your obvious option is to park at Islip Saddle and hike along SR 2 about 4.5 miles to Dawson Saddle. This section of SR 2 has been repaved and certainly looks ready for vehicular traffic.
From Dawson Saddle, find the use trail just to the left (west) of a maintenance building on the south side of the road. The bank of the slope is pretty steep at first but soon you will get to the top of a ridge. Proceed north along the ridge to the summit.
Getting ThereTake the SR 2 exit from the 210 freeway in La Canada and drive north 39.5 miles to Islip Saddle. There is a large paved parking area on the north side of the road. Then hike 4.5 miles to Dawson Saddle.
When SR 2 is open, Dawson Saddle is reached by taking the SR 2 exit from the 210 freeway in La Canada and driving north on SR 2 about 46 miles. There is a parking area just past Dawson Saddle.
Red TapeNo permit is required for hiking to this mountain. However, you will need an Adventure Pass to park your car at Islip Saddle. You can purchase one ($5 per day or $30 for a yearly pass) at some ranger stations or forest visitor centers or at most Southern California sporting goods stores.
CampingThere are no developed campsites in the immediate vicinity of Mt. Lewis. The nearest developed campground is Little Jimmy Campground, 2.1 miles from Islip Saddle. Alternatively, you can find your own spot anywhere in the area. No permit is required. Observe fire restrictions and LNT ethics.
[img:312256:aligncenter:medium:Mt. Lewis looking north from trail to Throop Peak]
When to ClimbMt. Lewis is accessible year round for the most part. During the winter, bring appropriate gear. Crampons and ice axe may be necessary.
Mountain ConditionsCheck with Cal Trans (see link below) on road conditions and closures during the winter.
Other InformationUSGS Topos Crystal Lake 7.5
External LinksCalifornia Dept. of Transportation
Adventure Pass Information
Angeles National Forest