Marshall Canyon Trail

Marshall Canyon Trail

In This Guide
  • Where is Marshall Canyon Trail?
  • What to Expect on the Hike
  • Turn-by-turn Hike Directions
  • Marshall Canyon Trail Maps & Video
Distance10.5 miles (16.9 km)
Hike Time4-5 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)1,310 feet (399m)
Highest Elevation2,424 feet (739m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park Website (?)Marshall Canyon Regional Park
Park Phone909-596-5568
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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.

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La Sportiva Spire

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: WomenMen

Osprey Talon

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.

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

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.

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2020.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.

Click To View Map

Marshall Canyon Trail Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). 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.

Marshall Canyon Trail 3d
The hike makes it’s way up through a developed area and then does a loop in larger parks.
Marshall Canyon Trail Topo
The Marshall Canyon Trail follows Marshall Creek until it gets to Marshall Canyon Region Park, where there are more ups and downs and you can see by the topo lines.
Marshall Canyon Trail Elevation
The elevation chart is deceiving. The hike climbs gradually to the foothills, and then there are some ups and downs. This is not a tough mountain climb.

Marshal Canyon Trail Hike Directions

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Video Directions

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Turn By Turn Directions

Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 2
There’s plenty of parking at Oak Mesa Park. Bathrooms are water fountains are by the baseball field.
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Getting from the parking area to the trailhead requires a little urban hiking. Here’s the route.
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Follow the sidewalk through the field and schoolyard.
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Go up the steps and head right.
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Cross the bridge.
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After the sidewalk from the bridge, head right on Los Robles.
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At the end of Los Robles, make the quick right….
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… and head caddy-corner across the street to Orangewood Street.
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Shortly after you get on Orangewood St. the Marshall Canyon Trail will be on your left.
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Here’s the start of the trail. Not too pretty, but it gets better, I promise.
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When you come to the large wash area, just walk straight through to the other side and you’ll see the trail.
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After the wash the trail becomes “a trail” and offers seclusion as it winds through the neighborhoods of La Verne.
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The trail meanders next to Marshall Creek. There are some small stream crossing, but nothing that you can’t hop across.
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At this fork, hike to the left.
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You’ll see markers on the whole Marshall Canyon Trail. The mileage corresponds to the beginning of the trail, not where this guide started.
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At this fork, hike up to the right. You can go left too but you have to walk through the stream.
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Eventually the trail comes up alongside the golf course. Keep hiking along the trail next to the paved golf cart path.
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After a few minutes the trail dips back down to the creek and nature.
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Soon after that, you’ll go through a tunnel. Keep your ears open for bikes and runners.
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The trail is popular and generally well marked. There are small spurs and bifurcations here and there, but in general the trail follows the maps.
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Soon after the tunnel there’s a big trail junction. Hike straight through and bear to the left.
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Hike to the left at the fork here.
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And another fork, stay to the left.
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You’ll climb a little hill and then come to the junction of the Stephens Ranch Spur Trail (sign to the left here). Go straight through and stay on the Marshall Canyon Trail.
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Keep straight through the large clearing.
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As the trail climbs you’ll start getting views of the foothills.
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Avoid the bulldozed cutoff and hike on the trail.
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Keep hiking straight / left through this intersection, where some of the earlier trails to the right rejoin the main trail.
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Okay, here’s the beginning of the lollipop section. If you just want the shorter, 7.2 mile hike, you can turn around here. Otherwise make the left up the hill.
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Hike to the left as the trail climbs.
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The Marshall Canyon Trail skirts around Camp Paige. Make the hard right at this intersection to continue on the trail.
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There’s a sign at the intersection that confirms this is the way for the Marshall Canyon Trail.
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Hike to the right through the gate. The trail here is a wider dirt road.
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Again, bear to the right to stay on the main trail / road.
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The trail meanders up gradually, with some nice shaded sections.
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At this intersection with a trail board, bear left and hike straight through. The trail board has a nice trail map if you want to take a look.
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Continue hiking on the main trail, avoiding the trail to the right.
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Keep hiking straight on the Marshall Canyon Trail as it passes through and old campground.
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The campground has some tables and old bathrooms if you want a break. The shade makes it a nice halfway stopping point.
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This intersection marks the point where you will leave the Marshall Canyon Trail, which bears off to the right. You should hike straight on the Cobalt Canyon Trail We’ll rejoin the Marshall Canyon Trail a little bit later.
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Local equestrians erected this bench which offers a nice photo opportunity with a view in the background.
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Signs mark the end of Marshall Canyon Regional Park and the beginning of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.
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Hike right as the trail climbs the hill.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 100
When the trail dead-ends at the gate, make the right.
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The views along this stretch are great.
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If you want a break, there’s a little pavilion where you can get some shade with nice views.
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As you continue straight, you’ll see the trails of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park before you.
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At the first major intersection, make the right to head back into Marshal Canyon Regional Park.
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Keep hiking on the main (wide) trail, avoiding the side trails that mountain bikers use.
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Welcome back.
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Keep hiking straight. The trail to the right was the cutoff trail from the other side of the lollipop loop.
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Again, more great views. At this point you’ll be able to see Camp Paige and the lower sections of Marshall Canyon Trail that you hiked up earlier.
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At this split, bear right to close the loop on the lollipop section.
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The trail is narrow again as you descend.
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At the junction, bear left.
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Bear right and straight at the larger intersection.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 101
And here you are, back at the start of the lollipop section. Make the left back onto the out-and-back section of the Marshall Canyon Trail and head back the way you came.
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After the loop section, the hike back to Oak Mesa Park is a gradual descent where you can enjoy the trail and descent.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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