I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
~John Muir (1838–1914)
Today’s Friday Photo features a much-welcomed section of single-track trail on the 5-Mile Loop in Claremont, California. Claremont is host to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, where this loop trail resides. I say ‘much-welcomed’ because this trail is primarily a very wide, well-maintained fire road. It’s a moderate 5-mile hike with about 950 feet of elevation gain, but there are a few firebreaks that you can take as a detour to reach these single tracks. It makes for a bit more challenging hike and the views from the tops of the firebreaks are amazing! The side routes are also loops, and will return you to the main fire road. This hike is mainly an exercise and conditioning hike, but it’s also BIG on natural beauty, and the views open up wider and wider as you reach the top.
Also in this area is the famous hike to Potato Mountain. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is one of the best maintained trails that I’ve been on in SoCal. There are bathrooms not only at the trailhead, but also at two other points on the trail. There are also trashcans, mileposts, a huge parking lot (3.00 fee during the week, 5.00 on weekends), and the rangers are also out there quite a bit. The ‘trail’ gets a lot of use from not only hikers, but trail runners and mountain bikers as well. You could say the trail is busy but it’s never been congested, given the width of the road.
Like most loop hikes, one direction is usually steeper than the other. Mileage-wise, both segments are of equal distance to where they meet at the top, where there’s a cozy gazebo to take in some great views. Hike about 600 feet from the trailhead and you’ll reach a fork in the road. To the right is the steeper route up Cobal Canyon Mountainway, and you’ll return down the Burbank Mountainway, which is also where the firebreaks and single track sections are at.