In caring for my mental health, I have learned that a pleasant hike is a way to not just get some good exercise, but that it is also a way to reset my brain. Last weekend, I decided to head out with Owen to Claremont for some of that clarity. This popular hike in the Claremont Wilderness Hills Park offers up sweeping views of the Inland Empire below, but has an elevation gain of only about 900 feet, making it an easy trail for the both of us.
Located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in the city of Claremont, the wilderness park was about a 40 minute drive from where we’re located in the city of San Gabriel. The parking area was easy to find; we parked at the north lot just past the intersection of Mills Avenue and Mt. Baldy Road. After paying for a four-hour permit, we hit the trail.
There are eight trails within the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park according to AllTrails. We opted for what is probably the most popular hike, the five-mile loop trail. It was a short walk from the trailhead to the first fork in the road- the Burbank Trail to the left or the Cobal Canyon Trail to the right. We opted to stay to the right and headed up the Cobal Canyon trail. This was a steady three mile uphill climb, which took us through patches of forest and scrub. The trail was very wide, which was perfect for hikers with large canine companions. While there would normally be very little shade, the President’s Day holiday was a day with plenty of cloud cover and a minor threat of rain, which made for ideal conditions on this particular trail.
At about 2.5 miles, we found the benches under a stone shelter. We took a short break; Owen enjoyed sneaking a few Nutter Butter minis and some water. After about 10 minutes or so, the wind started picking up and it was time to start heading down the hill. We went about another half-mile along the Cobal Canyon Trail and at mile marker 3, we found the Burbank Trail.
We headed back down and came out at that first junction close to where we began. By then there were a few sprinkles, and we were long overdue for some lunch. So we headed back to Claremont for some In-n-Out. As much as Owen liked the hike, I’ll bet he enjoyed his patty no salt even more.
Some things to consider:
Parking for the Wilderness Park is available in the north and south lots just past the intersection of Mills and Mt. Baldy Road. The lots are paid lots, and it was $5 for a four-hour permit on a Monday. Weekends it’s $7. There are automated pay stations in the lots. If you’re a Claremont resident, there are free permits available at the Alexander Hughes Community Center.
The trail is not very shaded. Plenty of water and sun protection are a must, especially on warmer days.
We found the trail very pleasant, and while the 900 foot elevation gain according to Strava was gradual, it is rated as moderate. The loop itself is five miles. There are other trails in the wilderness park that vary in difficulty.
This was a fun trail that offered a good walk, pretty views, and plenty of room for a large dog. It is popular especially on weekends, but with how nice it was, I can understand why. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is a great place to find a happy trail.