As Tara and I explore more of our new home in Los Angeles, we’re taking the time to get outside more. Houston, great as it is, doesn’t have much in the way of topography. Having mountains outside my front door has been nothing short of amazing.
There are literally hundreds of hikes in the area, and it’s worth noting that we aren’t necessarily posting the “best” hikes. We are simply posting the hikes as we complete them, based on our initial impressions. I’m sure our perspective will change as we get out and explore more.
Claremont Wilderness Loop Specs:
Length: 5 mile loop
Difficulty: Moderate (according to AllTrails)
Location: Claremont, California
Notes: $3.00 parking (card only)
Claremont Wilderness Loop Review:
You’ll begin your hike from a paid parking lot. It’s $3.00 to use the lot, and the pay station only accepts credit or debit cards, no cash. There are several port-a-potties at the trailhead, as well as throughout the trail.
The Claremont Wilderness loop is a five mile trek that takes you up a fairly steady ascent, granting great views of the city beneath you (when the smog isn’t getting in the way). This trail is definitely a workout, but how much of a workout is up to you. Being a loop, when you first arrive you have two options — left or right.
If you want a slightly slower grade, go left. If you’re looking for a harder workout, go right. Don’t be tricked! From an initial glance, left looks a heck of a lot steeper than right. But if you choose the rightmost path, labeled Burbank Canyon, you’ll find it quickly turns into a climb.
No matter which direction you choose, though, you will be going up.
This is a pretty popular trail, and it’s frequented by hikers and bikers alike, so make sure you stay aware as you go. Some of those bikers get going pretty fast on the way down, and there are a few tight corners.
Everything is well-marked, so you shouldn’t have any problems with getting lost as you go. Several times this trail meets up with other trails, but there is always a sign pointing the way forward. There are also mile markers every half mile to let you know how you’re progressing.
Since there is so much climbing involved, you can bet you’re going to find some nice views of Claremont and the surrounding cities. There is even a shade pavilion around the halfway point where you can stop to take a break and relax.
The shade pavilion is a nice little bonus, particularly because this trail is almost entirely in the sun. The last half mile or so descends into a canyon and is more shaded, but about 4.5 miles of the trip offer no cover whatsoever.
As always, make sure you bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen. Even on cooler days, the sun can be brutal. Take advantage of the shade when you have it, and make sure to stop and rest at the benches that are situated throughout the trail.
Claremont Wilderness Loop: Final Thoughts
I like this hike because it’s close and accessible, and provides a nice workout. It’s a bit busier than I’d like, though, and the fact that the majority of the time is spent in the sun is a bit of a bummer. I’m also not a huge fan of the paid parking, though I understand it’s necessary for maintenance.