This was supposed to be the hike of the month for February, but that particular month slipped by me in a total whirlwind. I’m only a few days late, though, so we’ll just pretend I’m on time.
Here’s the disclaimer: Tara and I, being new to L.A. are choosing hikes based on how close they are to home, how long we have available to trek, and a few other factors. The hikes we feature run the gamut from amazing to “meh” as we learn more about the area.
All of our reviews are completely honest and based upon our experience on the trail. As we spend more time exploring the area we’ll get a better sense of which hikes we enjoy the most and which ones we probably won’t return to.
If you know of any trails in the L.A. area that you’d like to see reviewed, just let us know. We’re always open to recommendations.
Walnut Creek Trail Specs:
Length: 1.5 miles (one way); 3 miles out and back
Difficulty: Easy (according to AllTrails)
Location: San Dimas, California
Walnut Creek Trail Review:
As a hobby hiker, I sometimes take issue with AllTrails’ difficulty ratings (this is probably because I’m not in nearly as good of shape as I’d like to be). Most of this hike was definitely easy, with a lot of flat ground, but the first quarter mile or so involved a steep descent.
Considering this is an out-and-back trail, that meant I had to steeply ascend at the end of my hike. I was out of breath at the end, and I took a few breaks on the way. Yep. Definitely out of shape.
Generally, I prefer hikes where the hardest, uphill portion is first. You know, so that I feel as though I’ve earned my scenic views. That said, this trail was short enough that it really didn’t make much of a difference and the starting view is definitely a winner.
Still, there’s a parking lot on either side of the trail, so you may want to start on the opposite end.
I counted three different river crossings along the trail. Thanks to the ongoing drought the water level was low, and I had no problem getting across. My hiking boots are waterproof, so there was no risk of wet feet. If you wear tennis shoes you may want to be cautious in your rock-hopping.
Walnut Creek Trail winds between several neighborhoods, following the creek itself. Most of the time you cannot see the houses, but chain-link fences are a frequent sighting along the trail. This knocks it down a few aesthetic points, as does the occasional graffiti.
When I took the trail it was midday on a Saturday, yet I only ran into a half dozen other small groups or pairs of hikers. Oddly enough, I did pass a wedding photo shoot, which was unexpected. The overall traffic level here is low, though I imagine it picks up on cooler days (it was in the 90s when I went).
Finally, there have been some wildlife sightings reported through Alltrails — primarily coyotes. This isn’t a huge surprise given the area, but it’s worth being aware of, especially if you decide to tackle the trail with your dog.
Walnut Creek Trail: Final Thoughts
This wasn’t my favorite hike ever, but it was nice and short, with lots of shade and some great starting views. It was a good way to pass an hour or so, and, being in San Dimas, it’s close to home. If you’re a fan of semi-urban hiking this is probably a good way to go, but otherwise, I found the Claremont Wilderness Loop much more rewarding.