Mount Islip

MODERATE 62 reviews
#35 of 215 trails in

Mount Islip is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Valyermo, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

5.5 miles
1,368 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips




The views to the south from the summit of Mount Islip are nothing short of stunning. You can see Crystal Lake, the front range of the San Gabriels, as well as the San Gabriel river canyon. The hike starts out heading up a forest service road for a half mile, then you head left at the signed trailhead to Little Jimmy Camp, one mile ahead. The less ambitious in your group can relax in the camp (it has rest rooms and a spring a 1/4 mile away), while the balance of your group heads up to the summit. The summit trail is at the back of Little Jimmy camp (walk past both rest rooms). The summit trail takes you up some switch backs to a ridgeline. There is a junction with another trail at the ridgeline that comes up from Crystal Lake, but you should stay on the ridgeline trail up to the summit.

2 months ago

there's patches of snow and ice, so be prepared for that.

3 months ago

What a treat! Did this with my son in late March 2018. There was a little snow on the ground in the lower forest areas, but the trail was clear at the top, and the views were stunning.

3 months ago

Beautiful views! Hiked to little Jimmys and hung some hammocks up. Trail is well kept, narrow incline, and unshaded throughout most of the way. Great work out and well worth it!

4 months ago

I definitely got lost. From the parking, make sure you go south and you will see a gate. I started up the trail next to the parking that said Islip Saddle and that was the wrong hike!

4 months ago

Yesterday was a beautiful day on this mountain! We parked in one of the turnoffs; there was only 1 other car when we started around 11:30am. Then, we started on the fire road (through the closed yellow gate) and followed the sign for Little Jimmy Campground to get on the trail. Fairly easy most of the way. The last .8 miles was the hardest part but very doable. I loved the views! We could see LA and Catalina Island through the clouds. The rock building at the top used to be a fire lookout station. Our final mileage was 6.6. Took us 3.5 hours out and back.

4 months ago

I recently moved back to California and needed to re-introduced myself to elevation hiking. This was my first hike in 7 years! The hike was amazing! The beginning and the end of the hike was a lot of elevation gain. There were many people on the trail but still worth the hike. The view from the top was amazing. On one side of the mountain one can see the LA basin and on the other side, the high desert. The only downside of this hike was using the outhouse at Little Jimmy Campground. The camp must have been full during the weekend because the outhouse was RIPE.

5 months ago

Awesome hike. Really great for beginners who want to challenge themselves, and/or good for seasonal hikers who want a semi moderate hike to get back into shape for the winter season. Moderate incline at the beginning and end of the hike. Took me about two hours with one rest break at the top of the mountain. Mostly shades until you get towards the top.

6 months ago

If I could give this trail 10 stars, I would! Awesome views, well kept trail, a good workout...the list goes on! LOVED IT

7 months ago

Had so many pretty views!! A lot of incline but I enjoyed it. At the summit there was a cool notepad you can write notes to people in or sign your name with a little Saying.

8 months ago

Great hike for a quick outing. Started off of Hwy 2 at the yellow gate. I hiked past Little Jimmy Trail Camp, visited Little Jimmy Spring, moved up to Windy Gap then to the summit of Mount Islip. Fantastic views from the top. Signed the book and returned the same way. I clocked about 6 miles on this route.

10 months ago

Great hike. Great view. Thanks to the fella that left a midweek hiker pin at the top. Cheers!

11 months ago

This. Hike. Is. STUNNING. Did it with my mom when she came to visit and it was her first summit! Pretty relaxed little single track trail with amazing views at every point.

There was a bit of snow left on the trail at higher elevations, but it was easily navigated in regular hiking boots, only an inch or two deep.

Plenty of parking right along the 2, and Little Jimmy Campground is a nice spot to take a break halfway up with bathrooms and a spring.

I’d say this hike is longer than 4.2 miles, my GPS came out to roughly 6 all said and done. I highly recommend this trail to everyone, it’s a blast.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Entered Trail at fireroad with yellow gate and traveled approximately 3/4 of a mile and took a left at the trail sign towards Little Jimmy's Camp and proceeded to the top of Mt. Islip. Some small spots with snow on the trail, but easily passable. Great weather and a little windy at the summit.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Had a great day hike up there for Summits on the Air. My gps marked 3.12 from the road to the summit. 6.2 mi round trip. Great little campground with multiple wood stoves for cooking and restrooms 1 mile from the summit. The view is top notch.

Monday, December 11, 2017

This was easy hike and great view but WARNING!!! The direction to Mt Islip in this app is little misguided. It drop us off to park on little Jimmy campground fire road. If it wasn't for running into people we would have missed the trail up because there is no sign on this road telling you Mt Islip trail. How do we tell the app?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Short. Mildly strenuous. Dogs loved it!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I wouldn't say it's easy. Moderate. Great hike. High elevation. Great with dogs.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The scenery was beautiful, especially with snow

Monday, January 09, 2017

Ive hiked Mt Islip about 4 times now during summer and winter. Ive done it 2 times from the Islip Saddle (which is the saddle on the angeles crest highway) and done it twice from the Crystal Lake Recreational center. IMO the crystal lake approach is waaay better than the islip saddle area. Elevation gain from crystal lake is 2,450 ft and 6.6 rt miles. Elevation gain from Islip saddle is about 1,500 ft and 7 miles rt. This is a great hike it's essentially a lower elevated version of Mt Baden Powell. During the winter you can expect a lot of snow on the northern side of Islip since its shaded, so be sure to take crampons and hiking poles as there are several spots on the trail were slipping can be easy to do. Overall good hike above 8,000 ft.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Great view at the end of the trail. Be aware of the high elevation! Bring water!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This was a good change of scenery. The dramatic views are unbeatable. There are multiple trails leading to the top of Mt. Islip coming from a few different directions.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

it was a beautiful trail little hard to figure out at some points, almost did the whole thing but kids started giving out on me towards the end.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Went from the Crest Highway PCT entrance but it basically leads to the same trail. Not very hard and the trail is well maintained. The view at the top was pretty good and the cabin is something cool to see.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Views are spectacular from the summit. Moderate hike but worth the effort.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This is very nice trail.I would rank the difficulty as moderate. Lots of shaded area.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Short but gives you a good workout.

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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A beautiful secluded hike starting off from Angeles Crest highway, mile marker 66.37. This is the easiest way to Mount Islip and I Took the trail ( Pacific Crest Trail) vs the Fire Road. There are 3 options to Get to Mount Islip and Crystal lake to Windy Gap is a must for all Southern California hikers. This is great elevation training and the views from Windy Gap and the Peak are some of the best. Video of my adventure is posted below.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A fairly scenic trail for a pleasant day hike to bag another San Gabriel summit. This one seemed a bit more strenuous than the trail to the summit of nearby Throop Peak I had also done recently. The first mile of trail is moderately steep for my 50 year old butt, but then it levels out for the next mile or so to the Little Jimmy camp site. From there you have about another mile to the summit, and this section of the trail also has its moderately steep parts. Awesome views down into the Crystal Lake basin as you climb towards the summit.

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