Riverside, CA

Mt. Rubidoux vs. Claremont Loop: Which popular hiking trail is best?

Eugene Adams

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Mt. Rubidoux and The Claremont Loop are two extremely popular Southern California hiking sports. 

Lots of people love both of them. 

But what if you could only choose one? 

I decided to attempt to answer this question by comparing five different aspects of each.


Everyone has a different level of fitness. That level affects how difficult of a hike a person looks for. 

Mt. Rubidoux

Mt. Rubidoux is around 2.7 Miles. That, according to the city of Riverside website, takes the average person around 45–60 minutes to walk. 

Overall, it’s a pretty easy hike that people of all fitness levels can do. If you are in great shape, you might need to do two laps to get a good workout. 

Claremont Loop

The Claremont Loop is longer, approximately 4.7 miles. Most people rate this hike as moderate. That seems about right to me. 

It’s not the hardest hike in the world, but it will definitely leave you winded if you are out of shape. 


The Claremont Loop is the winner based on difficulty. However, Mt. Rubidoux is probably better if you are still rounding into shape. 


A great view is the best part of hiking. If there isn’t a nice view, you might as well just walk on a treadmill. 

Thankfully, both trails offer some great views. 

Mt. Rubidoux 

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Claremont Loop

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Photo by Author


I picked Claremont here. 

It was a close call, though. Both offer great views. Personally, I prefer Claremont because fewer houses are surrounding it. Being further away from houses makes nature feel more natural. 


Nobody wants to hike somewhere overcrowded. It makes it harder to enjoy yourself. 


Claremont is the winner here because of its size. 

Both trails are crowded, especially later in the morning. Going early is a smart idea to avoid the crowds. 

Both are probably equally as busy. However, The Claremont Loop is bigger, so it feels less crowded even if it's not. 


Mt. Rubidoux

Parking and the hike are 100% free.

Claremont Loop

Unfortunately, parking will cost you some money

On weekends from opening to 10:00 am, a single-use, four-hour parking permit costs $7.00. 

All other days and times cost $5.00.

For frequent visitors, an annual permit might be a better option. Annual parking permits cost $140.


Mt. Rubidoux is the clear winner here. Free is better. 

But, $5-$7 isn’t bad either.


Discarded Face MasksPhoto by Author

Mt. Rubidoux 

The trash is easily the most disappointing part of Mt. Rubidoux. 

Some days are better than others, but it always seems like there is trash. 

Claremont Loop

The Claremont Loop is not bad but still not perfect. 

I counted 8 discarded masks last time I was there. Also, there was a fair amount of dog poop.


Claremont wins this one narrowly. 

If you visit either of these trails, please pick up after yourself. 


To be clear, this is all my opinion. If you think I am wrong, you are probably right. 

The Claremont Loop was the winner in my book, 4–1. 

Both are great hikes, though, and I highly encourage everyone to check them both out. 

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Southern California raised Henderson transplant. I write about sports and other events in the area.

Henderson, NV

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