Thompson Creek Trail (Claremont)


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Deer on the hill across from the Thompson Creek Trail
Deer on the hill across from the Thompson Creek Trail
Foliage and mountains, Thompson Creek Trail
Foliage and mountains, Thompson Creek Trail

Thompson Creek Trail (Claremont)

  • Location: Claremont.  From I-210, take the Towne Ave. exit and head north (left if you’re coming from the west, right if from the east.)   Cross Base Line Road and follow Towne for a short distance.  Park in the dirt turnout on the left side of the road, before the church entrance.  Look for the signed trail, heading right, following the concrete drainage channel.
  • Agency: City of Claremont
  • Distance: 4.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 350 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG
  • Suggested time: 2 hours
  • Best season: Year round
  • USGS topo map: “Mt. Baldy”
  • Recommended guidebook: Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire
  • More information: Yelp page here; Everytrail report here
  • Rating: 2

Veteran hikers might not get too excited about a paved path that parallels a concrete channel, but the popular Thompson Creek Trail is worth a visit if you’re in the area. Inland Empire and San Gabriel hikers might want to keep it in mind during the hot summer months; area residents who want to get out into nature but are a little intimidated by the tall San Gabriels might well also find the Thompson Creek Trail a worthwhile destination. The trail is popular with bikers, joggers and dog walkers, so expect a lot of company.

0:00 - The trail at Towne Avenue's north end (click thumbnails to see the full sized version)
0:00 – The trail at Towne Avenue’s north end (click thumbnails to see the full sized version)

From the parking area at the end of Towne Avenue, turn right at the gate and begin your walk. The trail passes Mountain Avenue at 0.5 miles, and soon afterward comes to Higginbotham Park, where there are restrooms. Across the channel from the park, the Sycamore Canyon area is currently being refurbished, and will hopefully soon become accessible.

0:18 - Higginbotham Park (times are approximate)
0:18 – Higginbotham Park (times are approximate)

At just over a mile, the trail bends slightly and starts heading northwest. Your view is livened up by bright red toyon berry bushes, and you’ll get glimpses of the Ontario/Cucamonga Ridge between the tall eucalyptus trees lining the path. At 1.6 miles, you cross Pomello Drive and enter a flood plain, with the mountains prominently off to the left and straight ahead.

0:42 - Nearing the upper end of the Thompson Creek Trail
0:45 – Nearing the upper end of the Thompson Creek Trail

The trail ends at Mills Avenue (2.1 miles). If you have time, you can head north on Mills and explore the Claremont Hills Wilderness Area.

1:00 - End of the trail at Mills Avenue
1:00 – End of the trail at Mills Avenue

Text and photography copyright 2013 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. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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