This Saturday I finished hike number 21/52 for the 52 Hike Challenge in 2015, and have now completed 240 of my goal of 1000 miles for this year. The weather was incredibly hot and dry this weekend with temperatures above 90. In the summer, a 90 degree day is painfully average here in the valley, but for early spring, the heat has come too soon. I decided on an easier hike that started on Thomson Creek Trail, ascended Claremont Wilderness Park, and then descended via Webb Canyon. This hike covered 9 miles and gained 1300 ft in elevation. My initial plan was to start at Claremont Wilderness Park and hike back via Thompson Creek, but both parking lots were full with people looking to enjoy the nice weather. I instead drove over to Towne Ave, and parked at the head of Thompson Creek to begin there. I was accompanied on this hike by Julia, and my two dogs.
With the morning temperatures already in the 80’s, I was glad to have started on Thompson Creek. This isn’t the nicest trail in the world, as it’s just a 2 mile paved track that parallels a dirt track and runs along the foothills. The positive is that it’s heavily shaded and usually not very crowded. In any event, it was a nice way to warm up and get our legs ready to climb the trail in Claremont Wilderness.
By the time we reached Claremont Wilderness, the temperatures were really starting to soar. We took the right hand path (Cobal Canyon Rd) of the loop. The crowds were pretty thick towards the beginning of the trail, but thinned out as we hiked on. The dogs were handling the heat very well, but we still stopped every 2 miles to let them drink water as we soaked their coats with more water. It was a lot of fun to see them walking around with their usually furry coats dripping wet.
Instead of continuing the loop, we took Johnson Pasture Rd to Webb Canyon Rd. Johnson Pasture Rd makes for a great end to this hike as there are very few hikers and you get long stretches to yourself. The major downside of a trail that’s not heavily used is the growth at this time of year. Lilly got a burr in her paw, which meant I carried her the last 2 miles of the trail. Luckily, she’s a light package!
The final stretch of this hike was on the asphalt of Webb Canyon Rd, and takes you past the storied Webb Schools. It was hitting high noon at this point, and we were very happy to be finished with our hike and out of the sun. As much as I love the warm weather here in California, I always forget just how tiring the baking temps can be. It’s time to start getting used to it again, as this will be the norm from now until September.