Little Jimmy Trail Camp: Backpacking S’no(w) Problem Along the PCT

Snow is following me wherever I go! It snowed when Mark and I were at the Haleakala Crater in Maui, Hawaii early March, and we just finished trekking through snow mid-March while backpacking with the Boy Scouts to Little Jimmy Trail Camp in Southern California. The camp is along the route of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (the famous PCT) in the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles.

Trails were slippery in places–always the worst places, it seemed (think steep inclines and loose gravel from previous rockslides near trail’s edge). Considering it was barely 50 degrees and extremely windy at the base (windchill required adding that extra layer of clothing we packed for the cold nights) and then 70 degrees as we approached the higher elevations on the downwind side of the mountain, it was a treat to trek through the snow in our T-shirts.

When we got to camp, it was tough to find a dry spot to lay a tent.

Luckily, we were one of the first arrivals at the campground. We were able to survey the area and make claim to a wide-spread territory with patches of dry here and there.

As soon as we made camp, the boys were drawn to the snow and spent the entire afternoon sleigh riding on their butts down the hillsides. By early evening, everyone was soaking wet and needed to warm up and dry off by the fire.

Since we had secured an area of the campground with access to a handful of stone stoves, we made use of them to act as a makeshift clothes dryer. Great idea, right?

Well, maybe not so much.

Our Little Jimmy backpacking trip was a blast. Though it did get cold at night–in the 40-45 degree range–it warmed up quickly during the day. I’m almost always cold if the temperature is anything less than 60 degrees at night, so next time I’ll have to remember to pack a sleeping bag liner and more effective thermals. As it was, I slept in every stitch of clothing I brought and was still cold. Mostly everyone else reported a comfortable night’s sleep.


 

HOW TO GET THERE:

This campground is along the route of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, CA. It can be accessed via the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy. 2) or San Gabriel Canyon Road (Hwy. 39). The camp itself is southeast of where Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 39 intersect in the Angeles National Forest.

From Interstate 210 in La Canada, exit at Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy. 2) and drive 41 miles north to Islip Saddle. You can’t miss the parking area on your left. Once parked, cross the highway and pick up the Pacific Crest Trail leading east. Follow the trail 2 miles.

From Interstate 210 in Azusa, exit Azusa Ave. (Hwy. 39). Drive 25 miles north on San Gabriel Canyon Rd. (Hwy. 39) to the entrance for Crystal Lake. Park in the large dirt clearing to the right just before the locked gate. Hike in from Crystal Lake – 3 miles.

Note: Interagency Pass or Adventure Pass required to park at trailheads.

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The sizable Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, represented here by the two large green areas. Little Jimmy Trail Camp is in the mid-right area of the map due north of Glendora, CA, and southeast of the intersection of Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 39. [photo source: http://www.fs.usda.gov%5D

 

WHY GO?:  

  • Great first-of-the-season or intro backpacking trip
  • Easy access to a water source

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    Little Jimmy Springs. Check in the summer months for water availability (it sometimes runs dry).
  • Pit toilets

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    Easy access to pit toilets
  • Short trek (2 or 3 miles in, depending on your starting point); easy to moderate hike
  • Several possible satellite/day-hikes in the area

    Little Jimmy Trail Camp, camp backpack, jimmy camp, camp ca, tent camp, little jimmy campground, Pacific Crest Trail, PCT, Little Jimmy Springs, snow, March
    Trail to Mount Islip. Other satellite/day-hike destinations from here are: Mt. Baden Powell, Crystal Lake.
  • Beautiful scenery

 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • 7500-foot elevation. 16 hike-in campsites.
  • Spring water (treat before using) – however, water flow may be low or non-existent due to reduced rainfall. Campsites are first come – first served.
  • Large groups like to camp at Little Jimmy. Those groups tend to be Boy Scouts. It may get loud at times (from laughter, playful screaming–not obnoxious boomboxes and cursing), but by nightfall everyone is pretty well zonked out. You can expect to have your quiet evening and your quiet cup of coffee in the morning; you just may need to share the daytime-hike trails with a bunch of well-behaved young boys. We arrived early (Thursday/Friday) and the trail was pretty much ours. During warmer months of the year, a Thursday arrival is highly recommended to secure one of several especially beautiful campsites at Little Jimmy.
  • Call (818) 899-1900 for current conditions and additional information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT THE USDA FOREST SERVICE SITE:

USDA Listing of Little Jimmy Trail Camp

2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering: Photo Gallery

Okay, Folks! There’s far too many to caption each one. Rather than do so and risk not getting these photos out quickly, here’s what my camera and Mark’s camera captured at the 2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering:

 


Stay tuned for selections of these photos with special notes/stories that go along with them. If you haven’t signed up to follow TEARDROP ADVENTURES yet, make sure you do today so you don’t miss a thing!

2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering: Dutch Oven Cooking

Did someone say Dutch Oven cooking? Oh, yeah!

We had a fantastic time at the 2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering this past weekend (March 27-30). As with many events for me, it’s the unique food around an occasion that makes the memory stick. Here’s a video of many of the Dutch Ovens cranking away in the common cooking area:

Other teardrop trailer owners prepared their Dutch Oven recipes at their campsites and brought their finished products to the shared area just in time for chow call. At 5 p.m. Friday evening, all Dutch Oven chefs were on line with plate and utensils in hand ready to sample these fabulous looking entrees and desserts:

 

Stay tuned for more photos from the 2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer gathering. If you haven’t signed up to follow TEARDROP ADVENTURES yet, make sure you do today so you don’t miss a thing!