As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Middle Marshall Canyon
- Location: North of La Verne in the San Gabriel foothills. From the 210 freeway, take the Fruit Avenue exit, go north (right if you are coming from the east, left if you are coming from the west) and in 0.1 miles, take a left on Baseline. Go 0.3 miles and take a right on Esperanza. Go 3 miles, take a right on Stephens Ranch Road. After a mile, looked for the signed Equestrian Assembly Area and park in the dirt lot on the right side of the road.
- Agency: Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: 300 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: All year (hot in summer)
- USGS topo map: “Mt. Baldy”
- More information: here
- Rating: 5
If you live in the Inland Empire, the only way to avoid the notorious summer heat on a hike is to go way up to Big Bear or Idyllwild, right?
Aw, c’mon, you know this blog better than that!
Marshall Canyon Regional Park features an extensive network of trails, starting just above the housing tracts of La Verne and extending to the fire roads of the Claremont Wilderness Area. As a former resident of La Verne (1999-2000) I had no idea that these trails existed, yet they’ve quietly attracted the attention of hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians over the years.
There are several possible loops in Marshall Canyon. The one that’s described here, with its short distance, easy grade and abundance of shade trees, is a good hike for hot summer days. It skirts the edge of a golf course and the equestrian center but manages to still have a fairly isolated feel.
From the parking lot, head south on a trail that descends below some power lines, past a meadow. After half a mile, turn left at a T-junction, pass by an equestrian training area and continue, picking up the trail on the opposite side, and go 0.3 miles more before heading east into the canyon. This brings you to one of the most attractive parts of this trail, beneath the shade of many large oak trees. Stay left at the next two intersections and leave the canyon, arriving at the Fred Palmer Equestrian Center. There, a dirt road will take you the last 0.4 miles back to the parking lot.
If the weather is cool and time and energy permit, make sure you check out some of the other trails in the area; this loop is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Marshall Canyon, but it’s a great, quick and easy escape from the endless sprawl of the Inland Empire.