Islip Saddle to Little Jimmy Campground and Mt. Islip is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Wilson, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from La Canada, CA: Follow Angeles Crest Highway to Islip Saddle (about 1 mile east of the tunnels). Park there and follow the Pacific Crest Trail up an easy grade 2.1 miles to Little Jimmy Campground, a favorite overnight stop for backpackers. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area.
Always a favorite! Scenic, beautiful trail. A little rough the first mile but a piece of cake thereafter all the way to the top of Mt. Islip. My two boys, under 13, do this trail with me.
I've hiked over three dozen trails in the Angeles National Forest, and this is one of the most scenic. The path I took to the summit was a little different from the route on the AllTrails map, though. After relaxing at Little Jimmy Campground, I continued south on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is located on the southeast side of the camp (the map on AllTrails instructs you to take a path on the southwest side). The PCT passes by Little Jimmy Springs and leads to the junction at Windy Gap. It's a worthwhile detour, as the view from Windy Gap of Mt. Hawkins and Crystal Lake area is stunning. I then headed west up to Mt. Islip, passing by the trail that leads back to Little Jimmy Campground.
When you park in the lot, it might be tempting to take the trail labeled Islip Saddle, but I learned that the trail to the peak is actually located just across the highway!
I'm always excited when I get to hike a section of the PCT, and this was a rather lovely one! The first 15 minutes of the hike were a bit rough. I was out of breath fairly quickly, but I think I can attribute that to the elevation. The rest of it was quite manageable.
Most of the hike is in the shade of some big trees, making it a perfect summer hike. It really feels like you're in a forest.
I hesitate even reviewing this trail. Mt Islip and CLJ are one favorite Los Angeles based hikes and campgrounds.
Part of the PCT Mt Islip is a section of trail offers views, wildlife, plant life and different environments as you trek. This trail is rated moderate in difficulty however it is the elevation that may be more of an obstacle for some who are not use to it. Take your time up the mountain where you will be rewarded with views looking over primarily LA & OC counties and stretching past Catalina Island. A top of Islip is also an old cabin built in the twenties that is still standing.
The hike is approximately 3.5 to 4.5 hours and approximately 6+ miles. Plan on carving out 8 hours with drive time from LA area.
- Most of this hike is on the north face of the mountain. Plan accordingly.
- Water available at LJS.
Great camping spot. Many sites to choose from. Little jimmy springs not too far, so there is plenty of water. Did the hike to Islip the next morning. Great views
Hiked this trail on a Friday. The trail starts with about a 1/10th of a mile steep incline as you leave the parking lot at Islip Saddle. After reaching the top of the hill, the incline becomes much less steep for the remainder of the first mile. 2nd mile is almost flat and drops you off at the Little Jimmy Campground. After entering the campground, turn right and go past the wooden outhouse in order to continue on up to Mt. Islip. A nice cool breeze will greet you when you get close to the ridge. Wonderful views of the Crystal Lake Campground below when you get to the ridge. Very enjoyable hike.
(See North Route 1 under the Alternate Routes section).
Additional info on Islip can be found at: