Los Angeles Hikes

Hike Little Jimmy’s Campground to Mount Islip

Synopsis: A cozy place to stay for the night and a memorable peak with cabin ruins is what you’ll find on this hike. Little Jimmy’s campground, a trail camp, named after the 1920’s cartoon, allows for several spots to pitch a tent. Hike the two miles among the smell of towering pines along the PCT to get to this campground. The architecture of the old rustic stoves remind it’s visitors of an earlier time. After visiting the camp (or staying a night or two), make the short hike up to Mount Islip, another 1.2 miles to gain some amazing valley views and visit the old remains of a cabin and a fire lookout. A munitions box awaits you at the peak with journals written by the boy scouts of years and years ago.

Hike Stats:

Time: 3.5 hours

Distance: 7 miles (total)

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Elevation Gain: 1600 ft

Dogs Allowed: Yes

Terrain Type: Large Jagged rocks, then dirt.

See bottom of Blog for GPS route.

Parking Coordinates and lot photo:

Parking for this hike is at a lot named Islip Saddle off the Angeles Crest Highway. Click here or paste these cords into google maps: 34.357298, -117.850749

Adventure pass needed to park, $5 day pass or $30 for the year. Found at Big 5 or sporting goods stores.

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The parking lot in the bottom right, and the start of the trail which is across the road near the closer cars.

Trail Write-up:

The hike starts by heading up a part of the PCT otherwise know as the Pacific Coast Trail, located on the opposite end of the Crest Highway. From the parking lot, walk 1000 feet to the starting incline of the PCT.

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This well-traveled trail is easy to keep track of without losing your way. A meadow can be seen stretching across the landscape into the first 10 minutes into the hike.
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Sunset-lit Meadow.

We hiked into the darkness as the sun set it’s way across the valley. The Angeles Crest Highway can be seen many times along the trail.

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As you leave the meadow views embark deeper into the Angeles Forest and encounter your first huge pines on the trail. Beautiful moss-covered pines and granite rock formations accompany each sides of the path.

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Continue to head up the trail for a total stretch of about 1.2 miles until hitting a marker (a sign) confirming the right direction to Little Jimmy’s Trail Camp.

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Take this trail another 1.1 miles (from the marker) to Little Jimmy’s campground.

We arrived at the Little Jimmy’s at dusk, it was a busy night full of campers this memorial weekend. Spent the night at this cozy camp and decided to set off for Mount Islip in the morning from the sleeping quarters. Overall Little Jimmy’s is a very comfortable trail camp for beginning backpackers. It offers a spring and many places to pitch some tents in a beautiful shaded canyon among the cover of towering pines overhead. In the winter it’s a totally different place and the trail can be treacherous at times. Here’s a photo from 12/28/15 and 5/28/16.

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Little Jimmy Campground at dusk.

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Little Jimmys campground during the winter.

In the morning, the light woke us up as it heated and entered the tent. Made some breakfast and set off for the trail to Mount Islip from the campground.

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The morning of the hike to Mt. Islip.

From Little Jimmy’s to Mount Islip:

As you stumble upon Little Jimmy’s camp, take a peek around. You’ll find a few signs at the camp that serve much importance. One of those signs is the trail to Mount Islip. It is not difficult to find this sign as it sits in the center of the camp. Don’t leave the camp until you find the sign to Mount Islip, which looks like this:

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One you find the sign, take the beautiful trail for 1.2 miles. It guides through a beautiful path in between pines and than finally along the ridge of the mountain.

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The trail leading to Mount Islip, which is easy enough to follow, then guides along the ridge of the peak.

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Continue along the ridge and keeping strait if any path tries to dilute your journey. Views open up of the valley to your left.

IMG_7221At about a mile in on the Islip Peak trail another sign approaches. Follow the last leg of the trail to the peak.

IMG_7206After hiking the .1 mile to the peak, the old home of the Fire Lookout worker comes into view.

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Burned in the inside from a wildfire?

Lastly the foundation of the lookout tower still holds in place and a munitions box which carries journals and notes.

IMG_7217After enjoying a break and the amazing views, take back the way you came to complete the hike.

Hiking from Islip Saddle to Little Jimmys Camp. (one way)

Hiking from Little Jimmy’s Camp to Mt. Islip. (one way)

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