Islip Saddle to Little Jimmy Campground and Mt. Islip

MODERATE 66 reviews
#32 of 200 trails in

Islip Saddle to Little Jimmy Campground and Mt. Islip is a 6.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Wilson, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

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.

backpacking
1 day ago

This was my second backpacking trip. Backpacked to Little Jimmy, setup camp, and made our way to Mt. Islip. The hike was fun and moderate. It's far into the Los Angeles Forest and takes some time to get to the parking lot. It's a great trip if you want to get away from the city. The campgrounds are well maintained and have grills, but I wouldn't recommend using the restrooms. Just handle your business in nature!

backpacking
1 month ago

This was my first taste of backpacking! We went on a Friday and only one other car was in the parking lot! Basically had the whole campground to ourselves. We definitely over estimated our cardio ability and under estimated the difficulty of the trail, at least from the trailhead to Little Jimmy. It's definitely not for the out of shape. The mileage markers are wrong, so be prepared to feel like you're hiking much more than the distance on the sign posts. We stayed the night Friday night and went for an early hike to the peak around 7:30AM. Not too many people on the trail, but on the way back, closer to camp people were flooding in around 9:30AM. By 11:00AM the campground was pretty much full, so if you go on a Saturday, get there early! The spring was flowing, and it tasted amazing. Nice and cold! We filtered some of our water, and other times drank straight from it. I'd recommend filtering, because you could definitely see little bits in the water. 4 stars because it was so crowded early in the day and because of the BUGS. I got eaten alive! I was not prepared for that many bugs and the constant buzzing in my ear.

hiking
1 month ago

A warmer day than I expected but a really nice hike. A definite moderate trail, less crowded once you get past the campsites. Cross the 2 to reach the trailhead. Not a huge fan of how long it took to get to here (the time listed in your GPS of choice will be very accurate due to the windiness of the 2).

hiking
1 month ago

This is a strong 4 star hike...near Mount Baden-Powell and similar in many ways. Parking and the trailhead is on Hwy 2. We took the 210 to the 2 Hwy near La Canada Flintridge and it took us about 50 mins and 40 miles of twists and turns while sharing the road with motorcycles and high performance cars that are testing their cars handling. You will pass the parking area for Switzer Falls (see my review for that one) and you will pass the Red Box parking area you can use to do the Strawberry Peak hike (see my review haha) and still will need to continue on Angeles Crest Hwy for about 25 more minutes. When you reach the campground it gets a bit confusing with intersecting trails. Don't stop here, continue on for about 1.5 miles to reach the Mt. Islip peak. The 3rd mile is the steepest and you will gain about 550 ft and pass the 8,000 ft elevation level and come to a fork in the trail that is well marked and you will make a right to go about .2 miles to the peak. It was 3.2 miles to the peak and 6.4 miles RT. At the top is the ruins of a small structure, some concrete squares, and a plastic and metal box with some notebooks. There is no sign with the name and elevation of the peak but it is about 8,250 ft. above sea level. There are some great views, not quite as great as Baden-Powell. This is a moderate hike, definitely not hard. We completed the hike in 2.5 hrs with no running. There are parts that are exposed to the sun, but equal amounts that have shade. I loved that we only came across 6 total people while hiking. I just hate that it takes so long to get here and especially the amount of driving the incredibly curvy Hwy 2.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice parking lot with vault toilets, recreation pass required here. For me, three stars is a nice, easy-moderate uphill climb and I would probably do this one again in the fall, but explore farther along the trails to Little Jimmy and beyond. However, there is little shade on this stretch and no water. In June 2018, even starting this hike at 7:00AM proved to be immediately warm. This is a steady, uphill climb with short stretches of steep, particularly in the last 400 meters to the peak of the mountain with broad views on both sides of the mountain from the top. Good trail for fit dogs with only one observed and very small patch of foxtails, but bring plenty of water. At top, find a red soup can protecting a notepad and pen to sign your name and write a message to other hikers.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful Views! Best in LA!

backpacking
7 months ago

This was my first time to Angeles Forest and enjoyed this hike very much. From trail head to Little Jimmy was only about 2.3 miles. Check out the Little Jimmy Spring, water was great and does not need to be purified. Campground was not crowded and the views are great! Only part of the trip that sucked was everyone who parked at the trail head had their cars broken into, mine included. There aren't any police or park rangers in the area and this seems to make the parked cars easy targets.

7 months ago

Good for moderate hikers, wear hiking boots

hiking
8 months ago

Moderate incline, beautiful views. Trail can get a little narrow but never scary. Will definitely camp next time. Campsite looked very spacious and comfortable - lots of bear-safe food containers, fire pits, picnic tables, toilets etc. Also close to the fresh water spring.

backpacking
8 months ago

I've done this trip a few times and so far it's one of my favorite. The spring is flowing, large campsite with plenty of trees for hammocks.

Monday, July 17, 2017

When here on two backpacking trips so far. It's only a 2 and a half mike hike to camp (wish it was longer). Went one year in the summer and one year in the winter where there was snow everywhere. The snow trek was dangerous if you don't have crampons. I will go here often!

backpacking
Friday, May 12, 2017

We did this trail with my son's Boy Scout troop last October (2016) as a one night beginner backpacking overnight for the new scouts. It was great! Good variety of ascent, descent, narrows, and just enough strain to make it some work, but not too much for the new guys. We got the camp site we wanted up at the top away from the rest. Great hikes and views in the area, good water source down the trail from the camp site. I'd say the only negative was the bathrooms, but it is camping after all, and the camp fire ban - but that's no one's fault.

backpacking
Thursday, April 06, 2017

For local hiking and camping this place is great. Picnic tables, firepit, stoves and vault toured
toilets, plus ample spaces for camping. Not much hiking distance to hit the campsite. Love this place.

hiking
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Beautiful quiet tranquil The snow and cool gentle breeze through the pine trees makes it mesmerizing and fragrant.

backpacking
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Loved it! Went up 3/18/17 on a sunny day with a group of 4 and our pup. Started the uphill climb at a steady pace and then we hit snow! Beautiful hike, a little sketchy losing the trail at times but we made it to a snow packed campground before sunset. Can't wait to go back.

backpacking
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thanks for the information John. I am probably going to have to consider this a problem for our trip. A group of us (6) were planning to go, and though it might be safer together, I'm still concerned about this.

backpacking
Monday, February 27, 2017

I can confirm Kevyn's information regarding this trail. I was just up there this weekend, and with snow on the trail, it was nothing but one big icy slope with 0 definition of where the trail was; I turned around within the 1st mile. James, it gets steep about a half mile into the hike. I have not seen the trail in good weather conditions, but with snow, I had no idea where the trail was after a half mile. I hiked a little bit further to see if it would become better defined and it didn't. I was just walking on a slope ... so glad I turned around.

Look at Kevyn's picture. That is exactly what I experienced.

backpacking
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kevyn or any experienced hikers on this trail: can someone tell me where it gets steep, especially in the snow? I have a trip planned for an overnight there; my thought is if we take the PCT trail until we get to the Little Jimmy Road, we shouldn't run into the dangerous steep sections Kevyn was referring to. Are these located on the PCT trail AFTER the Fire road intersection?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thanks Kevin for the review. I was thinking boing to go up.

hiking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

If this is your first time hiking this trail PLEASE read my review first. I am a VERY experienced hiker and just last week I decided to hike this trail to set up camp at little jimmy. This is one of the most beautiful trails I have hiked, but also the most dangerous. At about mile 3-4 the trail is incredibly icy with a very vertical drop off to your left. I went as slow as I could and slipped off the side and fell neck deep into snow. I had to bail all of my gear to get out and then had no cell phone signal to call for help. Spent the rest of the night hiking down in freezing conditions. I was lucky to come back from this hike and do NOT attempt this hike without crampons and an ice axe. If you slip you will be at the mercy of the mountain. I am thankful to come back from this hike, please take my advice!

backpacking
Thursday, December 29, 2016

The view from the top is about as good as it gets. Didn't want to leave the place once I finished. Also managed to spot 5 rams heading down. Plan on coming back early spring!

hiking
Saturday, October 01, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

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.

hiking
Thursday, June 16, 2016

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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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.

hiking
Monday, July 01, 2013

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

hiking
Saturday, June 23, 2012

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.

http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/islip.html
(See North Route 1 under the Alternate Routes section).

Additional info on Islip can be found at:
http://angeles.sierraclub.org/hps/signatures/14c.htm

hiking
6 days ago

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hiking
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