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)
DifficultyModerate
Total Ascent (?)1,310 feet (399m)
Highest Elevation2,424 feet (739m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park ContactMarshall Canyon Regional Park
Park Phone909-596-5568

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.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

Osprey Talon

Osprey Talon 33

My best lightweight pack for hikes between 3-10+ hours. I use mine with the 3L water bladder from Osprey.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

Garmin InReach Mini

You can text, SOS, and get weather in the backcountry where your cell phone doesn’t work. Literally a life-saver.

Lowest Prices

My In-Depth Review

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Modern materials mean you get the protection of a traditional hiking boot (waterproof, etc.) with feel of a sneaker.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

If you’re not using poles yet, you should be. This model takes a beating, is light, and is super comfortable.

See The Reviews

Socks Sock Liners

2-Layer Sock System

I use a light inner toe sock and then a top-quality outer sock to prevent blisters.

Injinji Sock Liners

Darn Tough Socks

Probar

Nutritionally Dense Superfoods

Probars are great: no preservatives, vegan, low-GI, compact, and tasty. Put good fuel in your body.

See the Probar Flavors

If you’re hiking in the backcountry it makes sense to have a decent emergency kit and some basic gear to spend the night in a pinch.Full HikingGuy Gear List

* 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 REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

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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

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

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

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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 10
Getting from the parking area to the trailhead requires a little urban hiking. Here’s the route.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 3
Follow the sidewalk through the field and schoolyard.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 4
Go up the steps and head right.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 5
Cross the bridge.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 6
After the sidewalk from the bridge, head right on Los Robles.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 7
At the end of Los Robles, make the quick right….
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 8
… and head caddy-corner across the street to Orangewood Street.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 9
Shortly after you get on Orangewood St. the Marshall Canyon Trail will be on your left.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 11
Here’s the start of the trail. Not too pretty, but it gets better, I promise.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 12
When you come to the large wash area, just walk straight through to the other side and you’ll see the trail.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 13
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 15
At this fork, hike to the left.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 16
You’ll see markers on the whole Marshall Canyon Trail. The mileage corresponds to the beginning of the trail, not where this guide started.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 17
At this fork, hike up to the right. You can go left too but you have to walk through the stream.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 18
Eventually the trail comes up alongside the golf course. Keep hiking along the trail next to the paved golf cart path.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 19
After a few minutes the trail dips back down to the creek and nature.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 20
Soon after that, you’ll go through a tunnel. Keep your ears open for bikes and runners.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 21
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 22
Soon after the tunnel there’s a big trail junction. Hike straight through and bear to the left.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 23
Hike to the left at the fork here.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 24
And another fork, stay to the left.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 25
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 26
Keep straight through the large clearing.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 27
As the trail climbs you’ll start getting views of the foothills.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 28
Avoid the bulldozed cutoff and hike on the trail.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 29
Keep hiking straight / left through this intersection, where some of the earlier trails to the right rejoin the main trail.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 30
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 31
Hike to the left as the trail climbs.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 32
The Marshall Canyon Trail skirts around Camp Paige. Make the hard right at this intersection to continue on the trail.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 33
There’s a sign at the intersection that confirms this is the way for the Marshall Canyon Trail.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 34
Hike to the right through the gate. The trail here is a wider dirt road.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 35
Again, bear to the right to stay on the main trail / road.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 36
The trail meanders up gradually, with some nice shaded sections.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 37
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 38
Continue hiking on the main trail, avoiding the trail to the right.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 39
Keep hiking straight on the Marshall Canyon Trail as it passes through and old campground.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 40
The campground has some tables and old bathrooms if you want a break. The shade makes it a nice halfway stopping point.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 41
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 42
Local equestrians erected this bench which offers a nice photo opportunity with a view in the background.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 43
Signs mark the end of Marshall Canyon Regional Park and the beginning of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 44
Hike right as the trail climbs the hill.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 100
When the trail dead-ends at the gate, make the right.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 45
The views along this stretch are great.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 46
If you want a break, there’s a little pavilion where you can get some shade with nice views.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 47
As you continue straight, you’ll see the trails of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park before you.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 48
At the first major intersection, make the right to head back into Marshal Canyon Regional Park.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 49
Keep hiking on the main (wide) trail, avoiding the side trails that mountain bikers use.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 51
Welcome back.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 52
Keep hiking straight. The trail to the right was the cutoff trail from the other side of the lollipop loop.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 53
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 54
At this split, bear right to close the loop on the lollipop section.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 55
The trail is narrow again as you descend.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 56
At the junction, bear left.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 57
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.
Marshall Canyon Trail Directions 58
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.