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Potato Mountain Loop, Claremont

  • Mar 30, 2013 · 8:00 AM

You say Potay-to, I say Potah-to, but whatever, just don’t call this hike off. We’re sliding it into the schedule before the heat becomes too oppressive and just under the wire before parking permits are required at the trailhead lots. What’s more, if anyone thinks this route is too tame, there are plenty of options for adding mileage and gain on your own after we reach the top.

We’ll start from the beautiful Claremont Wilderness Park (which connects to Marshall Canyon, for those who joined us for that hike) and take Cobol Canyon up, sharing the road with many other hikers on this popular trail. But that company should thin out a bit as the trail splits and we continue on a steady climb to a rest area a little more than four miles in. Then we’ll take the final steep-ish 7/10ths of a mile to the top. But this part of the walk is gorgeous, with wildflowers peeping out at trail level and views of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto up above. And the panorama from Potato’s water tank at the top is stunning. When we’re done ooh-ing and ahh-ing and eating our potato snacks, we’ll head back down to the rest area, but then take the Evey Canyon route down (rather than backtracking to Claremont Wilderness Park) and carpool back to the parking area.

We’ll need four or five volunteer carpool drivers to meet at 7:30 am and park at the trail end at Evey Canyon on Mt. Baldy Road, about ~ 2.5 miles/10 minutes away from the trailhead. Please email Shawn if you can do this and she’ll send directions.

While you’re in the ‘hood, consider visiting the nearby Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden after the hike for its wildflower festival this weekend.

STATS
Level: Moderate
Gain: ~ 1,765 ft.
Distance: ~7.5 miles
Time: ~3.5 hours
Type: Fire road loop with carpool, mostly exposed trail
Dogs: Permitted on leash
Water: Available at trailhead
Restrooms: Porta potties available at trailhead
Parking: There is no easily-accessible street parking and since this is a popular trailhead, lots will fill up quickly since they open at 6:30 am. There are three, free options for parking:
1. Lot at trailhead; permit season/metered parking begins April 1
2. Thompson Creek Trail lot at NE corner of N. Mills and Mt. Baldy Road, within easy walking distance of the trailhead
3. Distant third option – Padua Avenue Park at 4270 Padua Ave., Claremont. is a few blocks south of Mt. Baldy Road on the east side of the street, and a few minutes’ drive from the trailhead, so if the other two lots are completely filled, try this and call me and we’ll get someone to run over to pick you up.
Bring: Water, hat, sunscreen, bug spray (expect some gnat action), potato snacks or Peeps to share (although all options are welcome), layered clothing. Since the trail is hard-packed fire road, trail runners are fine.

DIRECTIONS
Leave in plenty of time to go to the Padua Park lot if the two primary lots are filled.

An approximate address for GPS purposes is 4030 N. Mills Ave., Claremont, CA 91711 (address of a private residence across the street from the trailhead parking lot).

From the 210 Fwy. in Claremont, exit at Baseline and head east to N. Mills Ave. Turn R/north on N. Mills and continue to the end of the road (past Mt. Baldy Rd.) into the parking areas. Thompson Creek Trail lot will be on your right or continue straight to the lot at the trailhead on your left.

Here's a map.

 

If anyone wants to carpool from the Park & Ride @ 1553 E. Wilson in Glendale, email Shawn. We’ll leave at ~ 6:45 am.
Shawn’s mobile: 213/[masked]
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The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/meetup/ or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts of this Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

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  • Claudina S.

    it was amazing and great group of people!

    April 1, 2013

  • Claudina S.

    This is amaIng group. Thank you!

    March 31, 2013

  • Claudina S.

    Shawn
    Thank you so much for an amazing hike. I am loving life every Saturday morning. Life can not get better! Thank you for being such an amazing person!

    March 30, 2013

  • Shawn

    Confirmed we're still OK to park for free at trailhead lots (they've extended the gratis period until April 15 for administrative reasons... lucky us). Still doesn't assure us a spot, so thanks for the good tip on Pomello, Laurie!

    March 29, 2013

  • Claudia A.

    Is anybody carpooling? Coming from long beach bellflower area :)

    March 29, 2013

    • rh

      I can if you wish, though must return after hike - pls provide email that I can send you specifics for 710/60 Fwy intersection

      March 29, 2013

  • rh

    Looking forward to a new region

    March 29, 2013

  • George M

    wow, this hike looks great Shawn, but I will not be able to make it, I know you all going to have a great time

    March 27, 2013

    • John C

      Stay tuned, I suspect we'll have a pictorial explanation to the reason you can't make it.

      March 28, 2013

    • George M

      Yes John, I suspect your suspicion is right.

      March 28, 2013

  • Claudina S.

    I am looking forward to this hike!

    March 28, 2013

  • Laurie L.

    Permit parking is already in effect. It's $3 for a 4-hour permit. It is possible to park on Pomello for now (turn left from Mills where the fire station is). On a Saturday morning, it's possible that the lot will already be full.

    March 27, 2013

  • Paul D.

    Would love to have done this, but it's a bit more of a drive than I can do on Sat. I am going to redo the last hike since it was so fun. Have a great hike everyone!

    March 27, 2013

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