With just about an hours drive from Los Angeles, you can experience the backcountry with an overnight stay at Little Jimmy. The sylvan camp sits on a forested flat covered with blankets of pine needles and towering high-country pines. This beloved camp takes its name from a comic strip character, “Little Jimmy” invented by famed artist James Swinnerton (1875-1974).

 

Little Jimmy Campground historyLittle Jimmy was a cute boy who’d constantly forget or become distracted with the simplest of tasks and get in trouble for it.

Swinnerton spent the summers of 1908 and 1909 at Camp Coldbrook on the banks of the north fork of the San Gabriel River. He roamed over to Windy Gap and found a forested flat on the shoulder of Mt. Islip complete with an icy-cold spring. He fell in love with this tree-covered flat and spent the rest of his summer there painting and writing. He’d entertain passing hikers with sketches of his Little Jimmy character. He even carved and painted Little Jimmy on a tree!

 

Little Jimmy Campground history“Little Jimmy” once carved in a tree at Little Jimmy Camp

His campsite, for many years known as Swinnerton Camp, now bears the name of Little Jimmy Trail Camp.

 

Little Jimmy Campground historyBackpackers today putting Little Jimmy Camp into good use. Photo by Jeremy Boggs

For directions on how to get there check out this link