The hike to Potato Mountain via Every Canyon Trail is one of my favorites for quick local outings. At 4.4 miles with 1165ft of climbing, it’s a great way to train for more demanding hikes and backpacking trips. When I’m really looking to push my body, I hike the east face of Potato Mountain. Gaining all 1165 in one mile, this route is a real leg burner!
Directions And GPS Tracks:
- To hike Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, you’ll head to the Every Canyon Trailhead. There is a small dirt lot at the trail head just off of Mt. Baldy Rd. If that section is full, there are two more dirt lots on the east side of Mt. Baldy Rd. Make sure to leave no valuables in your car, as there have been a few break-ins in the last year.
- Download GPX
- See my track on Strava
- Distance: 3.1 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1165 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 2300 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 3422 ft
- Time: 1-3 hours
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash
- Permit Required: No
- Season: Year round, Can be hot in the summer
- Trail Condition: Use trail on the uphill, fire road on the downhill
- Cell Phone Reception: Spotty
- Restrooms: None
Hike Map And Elevation Profile:
From Mt. Baldy Rd, find the Evey Canyon Trailhead marked by a yellow gate on the west side of the street. There is an opening to walk beyond the gate on it’s left side.
Continue on Every Canyon trail for .2 miles, and you’ll see a hairpin junction to your left. Keep your eyes open here, as the turn is easy to miss. The first 100 meters of this east face route cuts through some thick brush, but it’s easy to push through when overgrown.
The first climb before reaching the east face of Potato Mountain takes hikers to a lookout facing east. The trail is lined with stones, and a swing chair has been brought up for those looking to relax.
After taking some time to enjoy the lookout, continue on the stone lined trail towards the east face of Potato Mountain. The stones quickly fade behind you, and the use trail ahead is all you’ll see for the next 800ft of climbing.
Climbing up the east face begins in earnest, and you’ll quickly realize just how much ground you’re ascending with each step. Make sure to look around to enjoy the views around you. You’ll be able to see your car in the parking lot grow smaller and smaller. Make sure to enjoy the views of the San Gabriel front range to the north.
At the .6 mile mark there is a shelf like on the east face that allows hikers to catch their breath and regroup for the final push.
As you reach .8 miles of hiking on the day, you’ll have finished the east face of Potato Mountain and rejoin the main Every Canyon Trail to the summit of Potato Mountain. Make sure to take extra caution on the final .2 miles of the climb, as the grade and footing make for a potentially slippery outing.
The final .2 miles are are on a wide fire road. A large base of concrete signifies that you’ve made it! Take it the views of the Inland Empire, Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, Marshall Canyon, and the surrounding mountains!
The east face ridge is far too steep to hike down, so as you begin your return leg of this hike, continue on the fire road instead.
At 1.7 miles you’ll hit a three way junction, make a right hand hairpin turn and follow the trail that heads east.
The final 1.4 miles of this hike is just a shaded stroll down a pleasant fire road. There is a seasonal creek that runs on the left hand side of the trail, so be aware that there can be quite a few bugs depending on the time of year.