Explore the most popular trails near Paradise Springs with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Paradise Springs, California Map
1 month ago

Please be aware South Fork Trail is a dangerous place to start from. The trail that leads up from the creek bed is virtually indistinguishable from rock slides and debris washed down from the spring rains. Beyond a trailhead South Fork Trail is unmarked and extremely hard to follow.

I went counter clockwise.

Went 11.5 mi the first day (starting at 2:30pm) and only started seeing people after 6 mi. Then I started seeing PCT people. Passed the campground before stopping to camp after Windy Gap. The campground was loud and people were allowing their dogs off leash without watching them. I found the loud people at the campsite WAY more annoying than passing serious hikers traveling the PCT.

Setting up camp was a little challenging with all the wind ... but the views were SO worth it.

Started early ... 5:30am the second day covering 15.1 mi. Saw a couple of people, but only about 4 total. No longer on the PCT trail.

A total of 26.6 miles (sam on my phone & All Trails). I am not sure there is any water at the campground ... but there was NO water source on the trail. I went through 4L total.

I really liked this loop ... will be back to go clockwise ... and hopefully will find a less windy spot to set up camp.

3 months ago

Wow... spectacular hike a short drive from LA. Scenery comparable to the Sierras and fantastic views.

I did the trip starting at Vincent Gap as a three day / two night trek. The first stretch, from Vincent Gap to South Fork was beautiful and I didn’t see a single person on a beautiful June Sunday. The trailhead is hard to find and unmarked; I accidentally started on the trail to Big Rock before I realized my mistake.

South Fork is a nice quiet campsite with water from a creek. This was really the only water I found between Vincent Gap and Islet Saddle.

Day two was South Fork to Little Jimmys. The first part, from South Fork to Islet Saddle, was the most beautiful part of the trail, but also the toughest and in the worst condition. Again, I didn’t see anyone else. Some parts very steep with big drop offs and crumbling trails. The next part from Islet saddle to Little Jimmys was steep and pretty the first mile but a bit monotonous and unscenic the next mile.

Overnight at Little Jimmys, which was not as nice as south fork. Also good water 1/4 east of Little Jimmys. The hike up Baden Powell heading this direction wasn’t bad - just constant gradual incline. The views were great. A LOT of PCT hikers on a Tuesday - probably passed about 15 of them or more. The switchbacks coming down Baden Powell were boring and offered limited views. Glad I was coming down it rather than coming up.

With the exception of the PCT crowds, this was one of the top hikes I’ve ever done.

Agree that this hike is moderate. when I uploaded, it didn't provide that option, and it defaulted to difficult.

I was inspired to do this hike after doing the Manzanita Trail, which starts at South Fork Campground as well. They're about the same in length, although the Manzanita Trail has about 400 more feet of elevation gain. Still, I found the South Fork Trail to be more difficult. Much of the trail is rocky and very narrow, which makes for slower moving. The views up and down the canyon are stunning and make up for the destination, which is a parking lot, albeit a parking lot with nice views. We didn't see a single person on the way up and down, We saw plenty of folks at Sound Fork Campground and Islip Saddle, though.

Moderate not Hard. No major climbs. Some fallen trees. Reaching Islip Saddle was anticlimactic.

Getting to the parking lot a 4WD would be best.

Besides at the beginning a leaving the camp ground area and at Islip Saddle, did not hear / see anyone. This is what made the hike worthwhile.

11 months ago

Did this loop as an overnight trip. This is a very nice loop with great views. I recommend starting early in the morning to avoid the heat. Thare is a nice first come first serve campground at the trail head that would make a great overnight stay befor starting your hike.

3 months ago