Mount Islip is a great day trip from Los Angeles for anyone who really wants to feel like they’ve gotten away from the city and into some real-deal wilderness. Nestled in the higher elevation areas of the San Gabriel Mountains, this trail features incredible views, huge, old-growth pine trees, and a backcountry campground (Little Jimmy) only 2 miles in.
Park your vehicle at Islip Saddle, then cross the street and begin up the switchbacks where you see a large sign for the Pacific Crest Trail. Have fun hiking on this legendary footpath—you may even bump into a thru-hiker! After a quick jaunt up a steep section of trail, the going mellows out to a more gradual grade for the remainder of the journey. One mile in you’ll cross a dirt road with another PCT sign. Head straight across for another 1.1 miles until you reach Little Jimmy Campground on your right.
If you aren’t camping, pass Little Jimmy and head straight toward Little Jimmy Spring, which is an excellent perennial water source and snack break spot. Make sure to always treat your water before drinking it when in the wild! After the spring, continue south on the trail until you hit Windy Gap. Soak in the epic view you just earned before turning right and continuing up the ridge/trail to the summit of Mount Islip.
Mount Islip has the remnants of an abandoned cabin at the summit, in addition to a USGS marker and summit register. From here you’ll get breathtaking views toward Palmdale, Mount Baldy, and Crystal Lake. Snap a few photos and maybe eat a trail treat before heading back the way you came.