Monrovia Canyon Park is a great place to hike in Southern California in the winter if you do not want to deal with the snow, but yet still want to feel like you’re out in nature. This was the case for me last weekend when I chose this hike. I opted for the longer 7-mile round trip Ben Overturff Trail rather than the shorter 3.5-mile Waterfall Trail that leaves from the same area. Even though the ground was wet and it was slightly cloudy, it was still incredibly beautiful.
To get to Monrovia Canyon Park, I took the S Mountain Ave. exit off the 210 freeway and went north. I turned left on E Foothill Blvd. and then right onto N Canyon Blvd., which I then followed all the way to the park. Once inside the park, I paid the $5 fee and parked in the lower lot. I hiked up the road until I saw a gate on the right with a sign to the Trask Scout Reservation. The gate was locked but I walked around it.
I walked along this road and passed this huge dam on the left:
I continued past the dam and the Trask Scout Reservation, until I came to the trailhead on the left. It was easily marked with stone pillars on either side and a plaque with information on the history of the trail (there were several more plaques along the way with interesting tidbits about the various sections of the trail). I crossed over a charming footbridge across a small creek and soon came to a meadow in the shadow of a 50-foot dirt cliff. After the meadow were several switchbacks and then a pretty intense incline alone the side of the mountain until I finally reached The Gap:
After The Gap, the trail took me back into the forest, across two streams, past the remains of a lodge, and finally to the end of the trail: the remains of Deer Park Cabin. This is also where I met this guy.
I continued a bit farther into another little meadow scattered with rocks, where I ate my lunch before turning back. The way back was almost all downhill, which was a relief after the 2,400-ft elevation gain on the way up.
I would definitely hike this trail again, and would be interested to see what it’s like when the sun is out. Check out the pictures below and leave a comment to let me know what you think of this hike!
Distance: 7 miles, out-and-back
Total Elevation Gain: ~2400 ft
Best Time To Go: Year-round
Here is a map of Monrovia Canyon Park, showing the Ben Overturff Trail.