If you've ever wanted to check out the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park but weren't quite ready to commit to the entire 5 mile Claremont Loop, this somewhat tough 3 mile introductory hike through the most scenic portions of the Claremont Loop may be just the thing for you.
It's tough because this is the steepest section of the loop, with 600 feet of elevation gain in just 1.5 miles. If you are an experienced hiker, you'll find this hike an easy walk in the park. But if you are just getting started or have only done neighborhood type walks, you'll likely find this a tough, intermediate level hike. Either way, its an excellent introduction to the Claremont Loop.
From the trailhead, we'll follow the dirt path 0.2 mile to a fork in the trail. The left fork is the Burbank Mtwy and the right fork is the Cobal Canyon Mtwy. We'll take the right fork up the pleasant, oak-shaded Cobal Canyon for another 0.8 mile before we leave the canyon and climb unrelentingly up a steep switchback and ridge. In 0.5 mile, we will reach our destination, which is the junction with the side trail leading to Palmer Canyon and Potato Mountain.
After taking a well-deserved short break, we will head back the way we came, making this a short but fairly tough introductory hike. The park closes at 8:00 pm during the month of May, so we will need to be out of there by then to avoid citation by the Claremont PD.
NOTE: PARKING IS AN ISSUE. BE PREPARED TO PAY $3 TO PARK IN THE PARKING LOT AT THE END OF MILLS AVE UNLESS YOU HAPPEN TO BE A CLAREMONT RESIDENT AND HAVE A PARKING PERMIT. JUST FIND YOUR BEST SPOT AND MEET AT THE TRAILHEAD.
EXTRA CREDIT 5 MILE OPTION: For those who want to complete the entire five mile loop and who are willing to hike at a faster pace, Margaret will be doing the entire 5 mile loop while James will stop at the side trail shown in the photo below and then head back down to the trailhead.
NO PLUS ONES: As with most of our hikes, there will be NO PLUS ONES. That means that you can't bring a friend unless they are a member of Lazy Ass Hiking and have RSVP'd for the this hike.
PROFILE PHOTO REQUIRED: A profile with a fully recognizable photo of yourself is required for membership in Lazy Ass Hiking. Those who attempt to circumvent this requirement by removing their photo after signing up or by displaying a profile photo of animals, trees, objects, landscapes, etc., will be placed on the waiting list or removed from the hike.
DIRECTIONS: From the 210 Freeway, exit at Baseline Ave in Claremont and drive west. Proceed 0.7 mile and then turn right on Mills Ave (north). Continue north on Mills Ave about 1.4 miles to the large trailhead parking lot on the left at the end of Mills Ave. There is a $3.00 self serve parking toll except for City of Claremont residents. If the trailhead parking lot is full, you can also park at the auxiliary lot located on the corner of Mills Ave & Mt Baldy Rd, about 0.3 mile down Mills Ave.
DETAILED TRAIL DESCRIPTION: For a detailed trail description covering the full five mile loop, please see my hike report on the Lazy Ass Hiker blog at:
WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK
By joining and/or participating in this and any Lazy Ass Hiking event or activity you agree to be fully responsible for your own safety and behavior and to hold the organizers and participants harmless from any loss, damage or liability that may occur during this event or while in transit to and from the event. You are responsible to know your limits and determine whether you are in adequate physical shape to complete the hike or not. In addition, you understand and accept that hiking is an inherently dangerous activity that can lead to serious injury or death and that the organizers are not professional hikers or trained leaders and are not medically trained to handle emergencies.