Text and photography copyright 2011 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Wren Meacham Trail
- Location: Big Dalton Canyon park in Glendora. From L.A. and Pasadena, take I-210 to the Grand Ave. north exit. Head north on Grand Ave. for 1.9 miles to Sierra Madre. Take a right on Sierra Madre and go 2 miles to Glendora Mountain Road. Take a left and go 0.6 miles to Big Dalton Canyon Road. Turn right, go 0.5 miles and park in the dirt turnout by the Wren Meacham trail and pick up the Mystic Canyon Trail across the street. From the Inland Empire and points east, take the Lone Hill exit from I-210 and head north for one mile. Turn left on Foothill, go 0.5 miles and take a right on Valley Center. Go 0.8 miles and make a left on Sierra Madre, and immediately make a right on Glendora Mountain Road. Take Glendora Mountain 0.6 miles and turn right on Big Dalton Canyon.
- Agency: City of Glendora
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: 850 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year-round
- USGS topo map: Glendora
- Recommended gear: hiking poles
- More information: here; park map here
- Rating: 5
This short, but challenging hike starts across the street from the Upper Mystic Canyon Trail in Glendora’s Big Dalton Canyon Park. About the same distance as its neighbor, it packs in even more elevation gain, with a big ascent and descent in both directions.
From the parking area, follow the signs for the Wren Meacham trail. The trail does two creek crossings that may be a little tricky if the water is flowing. After the second, the trail takes a sharp left and almost immediately makes a third crossing. (Remember this turn on the way back, it’s easy to miss).
Now, the work begins. After the third creek crossing, you will see a staircase in front of you. The trail climbs the stairs and continues a short, but very steep ascent. You arrive at a ridge where you can see the higher peaks of the San Gabriels on the left (east) and the San Gabriel Valley (and perhaps downtown L.A.) on the right.
Soon after, you begin a steep descent through a wooded area, before arriving at the equestrian center. The terrain can be erosion-prone and tricky to navigate following heavy rains; this is where you will be glad to have your hiking poles.
The trail can also be accessed from the equestrian center’s parking lot, and if you don’t want to repeat the steep ascent and descent, you can convert the hike into a loop. Do this by heading left and walking along the channel, through the center, and taking a right on Glendora Mountain Road, walking a quarter mile and turning right into Big Dalton Canyon Park. In half a mile you will come back to the parking lot.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the area, including how the trail got its name, check out this article.