Experience a Scenic Bike Ride or Hike at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park
We hope this report and video inspires you to enjoy an awesome ride or hike at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park!
Watch Video – Experience a Lap Around the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park
The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest in North Claremont.
The 5 mile Claremont Hills Wilderness Park trail loop has been one of my favorite trails to ride since the late 80’s when we would throw our bikes over the fence and sneak in to ride, oftentimes without ever seeing another person.
The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park officially opened in 1996 with 1,440 acres and was dedicated as a City Nature Park in 1997. This opened our secret trails to the world! The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park quickly became public knowledge with the increased popularity of the internet and our quiet trail system became a destination spot for people to enjoy.
Over the years, I have spent countless hours riding my mountain bike and gravel bike, as well as trail running and hiking on these awesome trails! The nice, wide fire road can accommodate whatever activity you are in the mood for.
The winter months are especially nice to ride the Claremont Wilderness Park after it rains when the trails are tacky and the hillsides are green.
Once you hit the trail from the parking lot, there are two trails that you can take that will take you all the way around the 5-mile loop.
If you take the trail to the left, you can go clockwise to climb the Burbank Canyon trail which climbs to the West and overlooks Claremont and views to the south, with a bonus view of Los Angeles once you get to the top. In our video, we go up the Burbank climb and down Cobal, which is my preferred direction.
If you take the trail that veers to the right, then you will head North on the Cobal Canyon trail. This trail is more gentle for the first half-mile but then steepens through the red dirt section. This climb has fewer switchbacks than Burbank and is more a straight climb.
The top section is a mile of flat with some rolling hills and a beautiful view of the mountains and Los Angeles to the west.
Both trails have some pretty steep sections (8% – 15%) that will get the heart rate up.
If you are looking for some awesome trails to ride your mountain bike or gravel bike on or go for a challenging run or hike, the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is a great trail system to explore and enjoy the scenic views and fresh air.
Claremont Wilderness Park – GPS
Approximately 5 miles
- The climbs can be very hot during the day in the summer. Be sure to carry water.
- The evenings are cooler in the summer.
- The trails are more crowded after 5 pm during the week in the summer and morning hours on the weekend.
- There are some great views at the top in all directions.
- There is a Gazebo with a bench to sit on (located at mile marker 4.10 on the map above), before the top of the Cobal trail that offers a nice place to take in the view and refuel.
- Be sure to leave enough time to get around the trail before it gets dark or the Park closes to avoid being locked in the top parking lot or be ticketed if exiting the Park after the posted closing time (see Park Hours below). If you are running out of daylight you can always turn around, instead of going all the way around.
- If hiking, allow plenty of time as it takes quite a while to hike around the loop and back to your car. Bring water and a snack, such as a CLIF Bar or CLIF Bloks for some quick energy, if needed.
- The parking lot at the corner of Mills Ave. and Mt.Baldy Road is a little further away from the park entrance to the trails, but your car can not be locked in since there aren’t gates.
- If there is fire danger or high winds the City closes the CHWP – Check the City site to see if the Park is open
January 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
February 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
March 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
April 6:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
May 5:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
June 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
July 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
August 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
September 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
October 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
November 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
* The Park hours are posted at the entrance. As an FYI, if you are late, the Park Rangers will ticket you and your car will be locked in the top parking lot, so be sure to allow enough time to finish the Loop in time. If for some reason, your car gets locked in you can call Claremont PD and they will let you out.
COVID-19 Restrictions – Mask Up & Social Distance
Due to COVID-19, the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is currently requiring everyone to wear a mask and social distance 6 feet apart while on the trails, in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and parking lots. Please note – Claremont has a mask mandate. “The “mask zones” include the Thompson Creek Trail, the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, the Village, and the Village expansion. Individuals will be given a warning and offered a mask before being issued a citation for refusing to wear a mask. Citations begin at $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for multiple citations.”
Visitors can park in two paid parking lots including a parking lot at the corner of Mills Ave. and Mt. Baldy Road and a parking lot at the top of Mills Ave. Claremont residents can acquire a free annual parking pass through the City of Claremont with proof of residence. Visitors will have to pay a parking fee.
Restaurants & Breweries
There are some awesome outdoor restaurants and breweries in Claremont to get a bite to eat before or after you embark on your ride or food to go! Euro Cafe is a popular restaurant with cyclists that has delicious food and coffee which is located a mile south of the Claremont Wilderness Park at Mills Ave. and Baseline Ave. The Claremont Village also has a lot of great restaurants and is an easy ride to get to. In addition, the Claremont Business Park on Claremont Blvd. is home to Claremont Craft Ales, Ironbark Ciderworks and Citrus Grove Distillers, if you are in the mood for a cold beer or cocktail. Claremont Craft Ales even created a tasty IPA that celebrates “The Loop” at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. Grab some to go!
Report, Photos & Video by Christy Nicholson, SoCalCycling.com
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