The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park has been right in our backyard for the past six months and we only decided to make the whole 10 minute trek out there just this past weekend. It had been a typical lazy Sunday with David playing X-Box, Hoku basking in the yard, and me glued to my computer, when David suggested we actually get off our butts and get some fresh air!
The park is known for a hiking trail called the Claremont Hills Wilderness Trail or Claremont Loop. It is a fairly easy to moderate 5.0 mile hike along a wide fire road with an approximately 900 feet elevation gain. Since the hike is located at the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, the trail doesn't offer too spectacular of a view but is great for exercise and is a popular spot for families with small kids and dogs. Dogs are required to be on leash. Since we started later in the afternoon, we didn't get to complete the hike as the sun was starting to set. There had been mountain lion warning signs at the trailhead and we didn't want to take a chance with our snack-sized Shiba since mountain lions are supposedly most active at dusk.
Parking is fairly limited. Claremont residents can park in the Thomson Creek Trail lot for free with a sticker permit from Claremont City Hall while visitors can park at the Claremont Hillsides Wilderness Park lot, located right at the trailhead, for a fee of $3 for 4 hours.