Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Claremont: A Community Blog Post
Let me start out by delicately saying that 2020 turned out to be a tad different than expected. The flip side was it allowed me (and us!) to be more active outdoors and take up activities like hiking, walks throughout the city, cycling, trail running, etc. This was certainly the year I rediscovered the incredible, scenic hiking trails in Claremont. Now, hiking in Claremont has become a lifestyle which inspired me to write this blog post.
This time, I asked my followers on Instagram for their input on favorite walking and/or hiking trails or paths in Claremont. Together we compiled this curated list just for you.
Thompson Creek Trail
Thompson Creek Trail is a very flat trail that and perfect for a quick run or leisurely walk. The flat terrain accommodates strollers, scooters, bikes, and dog walkers. It totals 4.4 miles (out and back) and is right up against the foothills. Best of all, Higginbotham Park is along this trail and is, in my opinion, Claremont’s most beautiful park <3.
The path is paved and you’ll see many birds, vines, trees, flowers, shrubs, and occasionally someone riding their horse! I even birdwatching on this trail and it did not disappoint.
You can access other trails along the path like Johnson’s Pasture and the Claremont 5-Mile Loop.
Thompson Creek Trail is my favorite because it’s flat, scenic, and dog friendly. We even saw a buck one time! -@kristinakitty887, Rancho Cucamonga
I like to go to Thompson Creek Trail because it's easier on my older dog Zoey. -@zoey_and_cali, Pomona
Claremont 5 Mile Loop
When I asked my followers their favorite Claremont hiking trail, most said the Claremont Loop and for good reason. This heavily trafficked trail wraps in a perfect 5-mile loop and has it all; native plants, challenging inclines, wildlife, and gorgeous views of the foothills and surrounding cities. It’s dog friendly and horses are allowed on the trail. There's a resting area at the top of the loop which also provides the perfect photo opportunity overlooking the Inland Empire. You have to pay for parking but the trail conveniently begins at the parking lot.
The Claremont Loop is my go-to when I need to clear my mind and go for a challenging run. It’s a moderate trail but the incline gives your legs a good workout plus the views are amazing! -@dywong01, Alta Loma
My ultimate trail is "the Loop" because I feel safe to hike it alone or with friends. I love that I don’t have to stress to find parking, too. It’s my place to connect with nature while I get an amazing workout! Just talking about the Loop is getting me in the mood for a hike! -@justjessvibes, Claremont
Oh, how I love Johnson’s Pasture because it’s the only trail where I saw multiple deer! There are several ways to enter into this moderate 4.5 mile trail but I recommend entering through the steps on Thompson Creek trail at Higginbotham Park. Other entrances are at the very end of Mountain Ave (through High Point and Via Santa Catarina) and another opening along Thompson Creek trail (Pomello Drive). The views are grand and on clear days you can see Catalina Island and the greater Los Angeles. This trail doesn’t have a ton of shade so definitely bring some water.
I like Johnson’s Pasture because it’s very accessible and connects to the Claremont Loop allowing me to add mileage while varying the route! -Anonymous, Claremont
Potato Mountain is a 4.5 mile hike (out and back) with wide paths, picture perfect scenery, and a steady incline to the top. It's dog friendly and excellent for all skill levels with jaw dropping summit views. The trailhead is at an unmarked yellow gate located on Mt. Badly Road.
You'll immediately find yourself in an Oak Tree Grove with sounds of a running stream for about the first mile. The scenery is spectacular with many birds, butterflies, native plants, rocks, surrounding foothills and mountains. The real showstopper is the view at the summit where you can see the LA skyline, Catalina Island, the Inland empire, greater Los Angeles, and other peaks in Angeles National Forest.
Oh, and how can I forget the potatoes! Hikers leave behind real potatoes at the Summit (many are creatively decorated!) so feel free to bring your own to join in on this fun tradition.
Check out Hiking Guy’s detailed review of Potato Mountain beforehand.
California Botanic Garden
Not in the mood for a hike? No problem! Go for a walk in the 86-acre California Botanic Garden that is conveniently located in Claremont off Foothill Blvd (the road to enter runs on the East side of the Claremont School of Theology). In fact, this botanical garden has the largest collection of plants native to California.
Along your walk, you’ll find a 300-year-old Majestic Oak, redwood groves, Joshua trees, fan palms, valley oaks, a turtle pond, wildflower meadows, and so much more.
The botanical garden is a place of quiet retreat for me where I can observe and enjoy the outdoors. It reminds me of how magical Mother Nature is how good it feels to breathe the fresh air. -@ascending_mama, Chino Hills
Mount Baldy Trails
I know this blog is about hikes and walks in Claremont but Mount Baldy is just a stone’s throw away from Claremont! Ok, well not exactly a stone’s throw, but it’s approximately 12 miles from Claremont. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, head up to Mount Baldy for challenging hikes with breathtaking views.
The hike to San Antonio Falls viewpoint is a must see and is doable for all skill levels. Start from the Mount Baldy Trailhead and walk up the wide-paved road (there’s a yellow gate in front) and will lead you directly to a picturesque waterfall (6,000 ft. elevation and less than a mile from the yellow gate entrance).
The paved road ends at this waterfall. However you can hike up the unpaved fire road .3 miles to a trail head (just after the fire road bends to the left). This trail takes you to the Mount Baldy Ski Hut (8,000 elevation) that dates back to the 30’s. There is always the option of hiking to the summit which is intense to say the least. I braved that hike in early 2020 and was the most difficult hike I’ve ever encountered.
Icehouse Canyon Trail is another phenomenal (and challenging) hike you can access in Mount Baldy. This is my personal favorite because of the roaring stream, incredible mountain terrain, and picture-perfect views every step of the way. Through this trail is where you can access the trail up to Cucamonga Peak. I hiked Cucamonga Peak this year and when I got to the Summit, the views were incredibly memorable and worth every step.
Hiking in the area around Mt Baldy is such a great outdoor experience. In less than an hour, I can get away from the busy hub bub of the city and be hiking in rough, rugged mountain terrain that challenges both my fitness and hiking skills. The beauty of Mt Baldy never ceases to amaze me and offers plenty of spectacular views along the way.
It's important to be prepared when you hike Mt Baldy. Make sure to bring the essentials and do not hike alone. Many an unprepared hiker has been caught out by the area and has had to be rescued. -@kyletgatlin, Claremont
Photos courtesy of @kyletgatlin
Walk along Bridges Auditorium
Walking around the city of Claremont such as the Village, Indian Hill Blvd, Mountain Ave into Claraboya, or the Claremont Colleges can be a workout in itself. @_mandygatlin has so graciously shared with us her favorite walk in Claremont along Bridges Auditorium located on College Avenue.
Anyone wanting a classic Claremont walk should park on First street and College Ave and head north. Right at the beginning, you'll see vintage homes, and then cool outdoor art from the colleges. Then the beautiful park in front of Bridges Auditorium (to your right) with all the flowers and gorgeous trees. You could loop that park (probably have to sneak that in right now, but worth it for the floral and fauna), and then continue north to see more beautiful college buildings and structures.
I love the fern area and standing gateway on 6th street and College Ave. Continue north to see craftsman style homes with amazing landscaping to your left and the colleges to your right. I've grabbed some of the most incredible sunset views from these walks. -@_mandygatlin, Claremont
Leave a comment below of your favorite hiking trail or walking path in Claremont. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in this blog post as I will be updating it as I receive suggestions from others.
PS: Thank you to all who contributed to this blog post. It was a fun adventure collaborating with everyone!