Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
California Hikes Dog Friendly Hikes Hiking Trails Los Angeles County Hikes

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop

Turnbull Canyon is a loop trail located in Whittier and part of the Puente Hills Reserve. The cooler months during winter and fall are the perfect time to enjoy Turnbull Canyon, as they offer pleasant daytime temperatures and captivating views of the snow capped San Gabriels.

Turnbull Canyon is a loop trail located in Whittier and part of the Puente Hills Reserve. The cooler months during winter and fall are the perfect time to enjoy Turnbull Canyon, as they offer pleasant daytime temperatures and captivating views of the snow capped San Gabriels.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos


Directions And GPS Tracks:

  • There are a few ways to arrive at the trailhead for Turnbull Canyon, so click the link below and use Google Maps to find the quickest route from your location. Parking can be a bit of a hassle on crowded days, as there isn’t a ton of available space on the road near the trailhead. For this reason, I advise you to arrive before 8AM.  Click here for directions on Google Maps
  • Download GPX
  • See my track on Strava

Key Points:

  • Distance: 5.2 miles (4.2 without the Skyline fire road addition)
  • Elevation Gain: 884 ft
  • Minimum Elevation: 544 ft
  • Maximum Elevation: 1232 ft
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Permit Required: No
  • Season: Year Round
  • Trail Condition: Well maintained fire road

Make sure to hike with the right gear. See my current hiking gear list. 


Hike Map And Elevation Profile:

Below you’ll find a map and elevation profile for this hike of Turnbull Canyon. The main hike is a lollipop loop, but on this map you’ll see an out and back extension along the Skyline fire road (Rattlesnake Trail) that I’ve added. This is a great addition for unmatched views of Los Angeles.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos


Hike Description:

The trailhead for the Turnbull Canyon Loop is located just off of Turnbull Canyon Rd. On the north side of the street you’ll see a parking area with a gated off section. The trail begins just behind the wooded and metal gates.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Trailhead Gate
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
First Steps On The Trail

The first .7 miles follows Turnbull Canyon Trail with a very gradual 200ft of elevation gained.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
The Road Ahead
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Me and My Buddy Getting Started

At the end of the first .7 miles of hiking, you’ll see a junction that begins the loop. That is why I call this a lollipop loop. At this point you’ve already hiked the stick of the lollipop, and now it’s time to do the loop. My advice is to take a left hand turn onto Sumac Trail from Turnbull Canyon Trail to hike the loop in a clockwise fashion.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Sumac Trail Junction
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Heading Uphill On Sumac
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Looking Back Down On Turnbull Canyon Trail

The Sumac Trail winds uphill on what begins as a broken asphalt fire road. The asphalt eventually gives way to dirt, and at 1.5 miles, meets up with the Skyline Dr fire road. You can take a right hand turn on Skyline Dr to continue the loop, or take a left hand turn (Rattlesnake Trail) towards a viewpoint hill for unbeatable views of Los Angeles and the San Gabriels. The trail junction on Skyline Dr is marked at Rattle Snake Trail. Follow this towards the viewpoint.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Uphill On Sumac
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Skyline Dr Junction Rattlesnake Trail
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Turn Left On Skyline Drive And Head Towards This Hill
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
The Final Hike For Great LA Views (Marked as Peppergrass Trail Junction)

Up on the hill just past the Peppergrass Trail Junction you’ll be able to take in unbeatable views of Los Angeles and the Turnbull Canyon Trail network. You’ll also be able to see the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple, one of the largest temples in the Western Hemisphere.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
San Gabriel Views
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Trail Network
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Hsi Lai Temple

Once you’ve taken in the views head back on Rattlesnake Trail/Skyline Dr and continue hiking on the loop due east. From here, you’ll have a short uphill hike towards a watertower covered in satellite dishes. At this point, you’ll have hiked 2.7 miles.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Uphill Hiking
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Dish Tower

Head down the back side of the hill with the water tower and continue on Skyline Dr towards a series of transmission towers. Follow Skyline Dr until you see a gate up ahead at 3.2 miles into the hike. Make sure to stay vigilant here and take a sharp right just after passing the gate.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Transmission Towers
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Take A Sharp Right Just After The Gate
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Sharp Right

This is my favorite stretch of the Turnbull Canyon Loop hike, as the path turns into a single track trail and leaves the wide and dusty fire road behind. At 4.4 miles the you’ll complete the loop portion of this hike and see the Turnbull Canyon Trail with the junction of the Sumac trail that you took earlier. Take a left and finish the .7 mile stretch that leads back to the parking area.

Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Shaded Downhill
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Completing The Loop
Hiking Turnbull Canyon Loop Whittier Guide Map Photos
Turnbull Canyon Trail

I hope you enjoyed this hiking guide for Turnbull Canyon. Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the section provided below. 


 

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

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