Little Jimmy Trail Camp

Los Angeles Little Jimmy Trail Campground

Added by Jeremy Boggs

Fantastic opportunities for a small or large group to enjoy the backcountry just outside Los AngelesA good place to bring beginning backpackers to give them a true outdoor experienceThe most delicious spring water in the Angeles National Forest

Take Hwy 2 out of La Canada north along Angeles Crest Highway. Follow this for quite sometime enjoying the fine views in all directions. After traveling through two consecutive tunnels continue to Islip Saddle parking lot (on left). There will be a vault toilet & a picnic table. Display your Adventure Pass ($5 at ranger station or Big 5 Sporting Goods).

Your trail head is across the highway from the entrance of the parking lot. You will notice a closed highway (Hwy 39) also in this area, the trail is about 100 yards up Hwy 2. There will be a sign marking the Pacific Crest Trail & distance to Little Jimmy Trail Camp. Just a hint over two miles from here. You switch back steeply away from the highway & then skirt a wide open brush area. This is when the trail dips into large pine forests & the mix of grand views & relieving shade are welcome friends. One of the reasons this is a perfect trip for beginning backpackers is the first mile is an uphill grade, never outrageous, but enough to get your legs working. After one mile, the trail crosses over an old dirt road (signed) & everyone will welcome the level & gentle roller coaster trail the last mile to camp requires.

Rounding a bend you will see a brown sign welcoming you to Little Jimmy Trail Camp on your right. Leave the main trail & follow the spur trail into camp. There are several sites in the immediate area with others strew about on the upper slopes. Even some vault toilets if you choose to use. Pick up the trail in the middle of the campground and follow it up hill out of the back of the camp & you will find the best site in the place. Views far reaching into the desert with several tables, a fire ring & plenty of room for friends.

Another fantastic reason to go to Little Jimmy is to drink from Little Jimmy Spring. Walk back to the point where you left the main trail and entered into Little Jimmy Trail Camp. Continue on the trail as if you never gone up into the camp. About two minutes around the bend you will see a signed junction point left to the spring. Walk downhill to an absolutely delightful mountain oasis surrounded by Gooseberries. A metal pipe delivers perfectly cold water. It is your choice to filter this water if you wish. We have & witnessed others drink the water without filtering.

Possible Summit Trips:

Little Jimmy Trail Camp is a great base camp to tackle bigger goals like 8,250ft Mt. Islip. This is most ideal because you have already gone more than half way up to the summit at the present camp. A bigger goal would be Mt. Hawkins at 8,850ft & several more miles from camp. These are other adventures if you choose to research them.

History Tid Bits. Little Jimmy's name is over a hundred years old. Cartoonist for the Hearst papers, Jimmy Swinnerton, frequented the near by Crystal Lake area & would often hike far into the backcountry. In 1909 he painted a trademark character of his on one of the trees & it remained for many years. Since then the name Little Jimmy has stuck to the area.

Pack List

  • Backpack (overnight)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Backpacking tent
  • Hiking attire
  • Warmer layers
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner backpacking food (as you see fit)
  • First aid kit
  • Map
  • Water filter
  • Backpacking stove
  • Pots
  • Utensils
  • Adventure Pass
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn




Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

12 months ago

1 Night Little Jimmy Trip

This is a great quick backpacking trip that's close to LA, but feels like you're in the middle of the first! The spring water is the best water I've ever tasted!

12 months ago

about 1 year ago

Great Overall

It is a fun one night camp and hike with a mini waterfall where you filter your water

about 1 year ago

Added by Jeremy Boggs

Californian looking to see as much of this world as possible. Up for outdoor adventures of all kinds & making sure my comfort zone is left far at home.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Millard Falls

Los Angeles / Millard Campground Trail

To get to the trail, park at the Millard Campground Trailhead parking lot, where you'll find plenty of parking. Follow the trail that leads away from the lot and past the Millard Campground.

Bianca Isidro
9 Saves

Hike to Newton & Zuma Canyon Falls

Los Angeles / newton canyon falls

Three waterfalls in one short hike?!...I'll take it! That's what you'll get if you make the visit to these falls in the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu.

Derek Mathewson
17 Saves

Hike to Paradise Falls, Thousand Oaks

Los Angeles / Paradise Falls Trailhead

The hike to Paradise Falls is about 1.5 miles one way with around 300 feet elevation change.

Bianca Isidro
23 Saves