Marshall Canyon Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||10.5 miles (16.9 km)|
|Hike Time||4-5 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,310 feet (399m)|
|Highest Elevation||2,424 feet (739m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Park Website||Marshall Canyon Regional Park|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
Tucked into the suburban sprawl of Los Angeles, the Marshall Canyon Trail hike offers a shaded oasis along Marshall Creek. The hike climbs into the foothills Marshall Canyon Regional Park, does a lollipop-loop with great views, and then descends back along Marshall Creek. This hike offers a little bit of everything: moderate distance, reasonable climbing, and lots of scenery. Keep your eyes open for deer and wildlife that are using the creek to hydrate. This route takes you about 10.5 miles, but there are opportunities to cut the distance and climbing down with a simple out-back turnaround. It’s a great trail for beginners looking to get some distance in without super-tough conditions, and also a great options for experienced hikers who want a change of scenery.
Where is Marshall Canyon Trail?
Technically speaking, Marshall Canyon Trail is a 7.8 mile trail that starts in La Verne, CA, and makes it way up to Marshall Canyon Regional Park. This hike covers the most popular route, which starts at the Oak Mesa Park, follows the trail north, and then comes back.
Use this trailhead address: Oak Mesa Park, 5400 Wheeler Ave, La Verne, CA 91750
There are bathrooms and water fountains at the ball field next to the parking area. Oak Mesa Park is a short walk to the actual trail, but most folks park here because of the lot and bathrooms.
You’ll share the trail with runners and bikers. Get there early to beat the crowds.
Gear for the Hike
Although you could get away with doing this hike with fitness gear as many trail runners do, I strongly recommend using proper hiking gear. Don’t let the fact that this isn’t a big mountain hike fool you, it’s long and has tough sections. There’s a decent amount of shade on the hike but there are also exposed sections that can get very hot. There can also be flies and mosquitos, so bring insect repellant.
I try a lot of hiking boots and shoes, and there are some great options out there, but the La Sportiva Spire is the best combination of comfort, protection, low-weight, and durability. They are waterproof, and the high cuff keeps debris out without the need for a gaiter. Time tested over thousands of miles. Use them with a two-layer sock system to end blisters for good.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
On a medium or longer hike I recommend a pack like the Osprey Talon 33 (men) or Osprey Sirrus 36 (women) which is a little bit larger. These packs are on the upper end of the (35L) daypack range, but they only weigh a small fraction more than a pack with less capacity. Having the extra space gives you more flexibility and means you don’t have to jam things in there. I use the space for things like extra layers in the winter, extra water on desert hikes, and even a tent & sleeping bag on overnights.
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.
I’m a big fan of GPS watches (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar. I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Marshall Canyon Trail Maps
This popular hike route actually covers a few parks. It starts the Marshall Canyon Trail, which then enters Marshall Canyon Regional Park, which then enters Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and becomes the Cobalt Canyon Trail, then heads back on the Marshall Canyon Trail. So all that happens. There are a lot of trails in these parks, and if you want to go off the guide to explore, there are many opportunities. But again, this route is the most popular one and a good starting point for your first hike in the area.
The route is an out-and-back with a lollipop at the end. If you want to hike less distance, just turn around anywhere before the lollipop loop. Turning around at the start of the loop makes this a 7.2 mile hike.
Marshall Canyon Trail Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Marshal Canyon Trail Hike Directions
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FYI I have a version of this video in 360/VR format. Not familiar with the benefits of 360 video? Then watch this.
Turn By Turn Directions
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.