Marble Falls Trail

MODERATE 198 reviews
#5 of 86 trails in

Marble Falls Trail is a 11.9 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.

DISTANCE
11.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
496 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A great spring time hike through a deep canyon in the Foothills. This hike offers an abundant and diverse plant life as you switchback through shady, woodland chaparral. Oaks, cottonwoods, redbuds and dogwoods are skirted with a variety of flowers in the spring like brodiaea, madia, lilies and Chinese houses. The trail ends at "Marble Falls" cascading over polished marble.

hiking
17 days ago

It’s a bit dry and dusty at the moment (Labor day weekend), but normally this trail is probably great. It was fine today - just quite hot and 6 out of 7 of us got stung by yellow jackets (there was a swarm right on the edge of the trail). We saw 3 rattlesnakes on the trail but if you spot them and wait for them to slither off it’s no problem. The falls at the end were nice (a bit small), but not 100% sure they were worth the effort and stings.

23 days ago

Out of all of the hikes I have done in socal thus far, this has been my absolute favorite! It's definitely a hidden gem. Took about 6 hours with a nice nap in the middle of the river atop a rock near the falls. I saw maybe 8 people the entire hike. There is quite a bit of shade which is nice for those hot days and the falls at the end is a nice rewarding treat! It's so hard to go back to the park and not do this day hike.

hiking
24 days ago

was nice hike run into to bee hives but didnt get stun till the way back. water was cold but refreshing. Deer came up close as well as a bear cub that wanted to follow.

hiking
24 days ago

Be aware that there are large nests of angry and very territorial bees after approx 1.5 and then 2.5 miles. The first was about half a metre of the trail so not too much of an issue, but the second was right on the trail and completely unavoidable. Both my wife and I were sting multiple times - take anti histamines if you're going to do this till and be prepared to run past the nests.

hiking
1 month ago

Not as advertised. Very difficult hike, especially in the summer months because of the rare shade found for the greater parts of the hike. The elevation change is also closer to 2,300 feet and round trip it is almost 10 miles. The falls are gorgeous at the end but with the poor air quality in the park and the fires in the nearby areas, it was difficult catching a full breath the whole time. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Trail was a bit of a challenge. Ran into a large doe with two fawns about halfway in. Had to make room because momma wasn’t having it. None the less awesome views and the water was amazing definitely recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

After our plans to reach the Mineral King area today fell through, we decided to do a hike in the foothills instead.
Mid-June, the temperature was easily in the 90s and there isn't much shadow along the way, so be sure to carry a lot of water and wear sunscreen and a hat if you're doing this in summer. Long pants also come highly recommended, as the trail is narrow and there is a lot of undergrowth.
The hike itself is not terribly exciting for most part - you don't get much in the way of views and, especially in the summer heat, it can become a bit of a slog. The waterfalls are quite pretty though.
Overall, I would say that there are better hikes to do in Sequoia, but if you want to experience the climate of the foothills, this is not a bad hike to do.

1 month ago

BRING LOTS OF WATER. I would recommend long pants because there was nettles and poison oak along the trail and overall my legs got itchy from rubbing against the dry brush. Trail is narrow and loose so make sure you've got a good footing. Some areas are shady and some parts have no shade at all. Was an awesome hike and the falls are beautiful! We finished our hike in 5 hours. Oh and a FYI, the trail starts in a campground. There were no signs for it.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this trail on July 22, 2018. We were on the trail by 8:30am and completed it in approx. 4 hours. Our total time included about 25 min of rest at the falls:) Trail has some great shady portions, but quite a bit is full sun and quite hot this time of year. Trail is definitely narrow and has steep drop offs close to path. Hard to pass if you come across others. Would not recommend taking small children. I would not rate trail as hard for those who are able to move well and are sure footed. It does have a variety of terrains such as rocks (both loose rocks and secure rocks embedded into mountain), sandy, slick dirt, leafy bedding, water, and fallen trees, all of which require close attention to footing, balance and the ability to shimmy around bushes in some pretty narrow passes where the trail is washed out a bit. I would recommend long pants AND a pair of good hiking boots. There were LOTS of rattlers sending their warnings out this time of year. Did not SEE any rattlers but they were very close to the trail. We did encounter a water snake at the falls. It was laying on the rocks in the pool. Be cautious if you choose to take a dip. I highly recommend this trail and suggest you go all the way to the end and spend some time enjoying the falls! Absolutely worth the hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Very very hot, but absolutely worth it. Took a dip in a pool by the waterfall to cool down. Great. Saw a small snake in the water.
Did not need long sleves and had plenty water with me.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was fairly challenging for someone who is used to living at sea level and could definitely have used some more time to acclimate to the climate and heat...but it was worth it. Hiked for what felt like forever and and soon as we got our first glimpse of the falls, we knew we had to finish it and touch that water. They are beautiful! After arriving at the falls, set up a spot on the rocks to take a break, have some snacks, rest, recharge, and enjoy before beginning the journey back.

To echo other recent reviews: minimal shade, need lots of water, two liters a piece at minimum and covered legs are a must. I was ok in a tank top but for those that don’t want to risk it while brushing up against over grown plants, long sleeves are a must too.

2 months ago

This was a great day hike but I’d definitely recommend an early start to avoid the worst of the heat if you’re doing it in Summer, as more than half of the trail is in the full sun. We were prepared with plenty of water (2L per person for us), sunscreen, and insect repellent. Despite the heat we were both wearing long pants, which I would definitely recommend because of the scratchy burrs that kept attaching themselves to my pants (and would otherwise have been scratching my legs). It took us about 2 hours each way. It’s almost all uphill on the way in and then almost all downhill on the way out, which is exactly how I like to hike :-) We saw a deer on the trail, and some hikers behind us also saw a rattlesnake. Some parts of the trail require caution, for example at some parts near the falls the trail is eroding away a bit, and on those bits I’d rate it as hard, not just moderate. But overall we really enjoyed this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Pros:
- Great views of the valleys and trees.
- You can hear the river/falls for probably half the trail.
- Not very crowded.
- Plenty of shaded resting areas at the end of the trail.
- Great for a day hike.

Cons:
- The trail is very narrow. It's difficult to pass people coming the opposite direction.
- Plants are growing into the trail, and if you're wearing shorts, you will get scratched up.
- I would not recommend this in the summer! I went in June 2018 and it was way too hot. At least half the trail does not have shade. Because of the heat, there were a decent amount of bugs. I stood under the mini waterfall at the end to cool off, and it was so hot that I was completely dry in about 20 minutes. I hiked this trail last November too, and enjoyed it much better then.

hiking
2 months ago

My least favorite hike ever. Little to no shade along the trail. The trail is incredibly narrow and hugged a cliff. Spider and who knows what else infested bushes that rub up against your leg. We probably only made it about a mile before bolting back to our car. Two of our friends made it to the end and they did not seem to enjoy it either. They said the waterfall wasn’t worth it. If you do decide to do it, bring a LOT of water because it can get hot there (especially in the summer). I wouldn’t waste your time on this one. There are so many other amazing hikes in Sequoia! We hiked it July 2017.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate hike with mild elevation gain. The hike is mostly on a narrow trail with dried pokey plants on either side. At times I had wished I had worn pants since my shins were rubbing up on all the plants. Meeting hikers can be semi frustrating when trying to get by one another on the trail. The trail has some nice views and I actually came across a deer having breakfast just off the path before it wondered off into the brush. I also came across a rattlesnake on my way back to camp when it was sunbathing in the 90 degree sun. Marble Falls is lovely and I had to put my sunglasses on because of the bright white reflecting back me. Not too many people in the morning probably due to the hot weather. The trail has some portions of shade but is mostly out in the sun but bring plenty of water if you are hiking this on a hot day. I brought my water filter so I could refill at the falls and dipped my shirt in the water to keep cool on my way back. I was completely dry by the time I was back at camp an hour and half later.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Steep. Gets hot. Bring water

3 months ago

Really nice trail. Did meet a few people who attempted in flip-flops and sandles with no water - I would not advise!
The waterfalls at the end were every bit worth the walk up, and I also got to see a baby bear on the trail! Would recommend :)

hiking
3 months ago

went early in the morning for this one, because it can get busy. pretty easy hike, with beautiful scenery. many wild flowers along the way. probably one of most beautiful water falls I have seen in California.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike and relatively easy! Lots of overgrowth so plan on wearing pants unless you want your ankles getting poked. Beautiful views throughout the entire hike.. the falls are the icing on the cake.

hiking
4 months ago

this trail is actually 3.7 each way, making it a 7.4 total distance (per the NPS Trail Map). bring lots of water or a purifier system, the lower 2 miles are very warm.

mile 1: switchbacks to start (5/6), gentle climb through oaks
mile 2-3: steady climb, trail begins to follow cliff face with loose gravel, watch your step
mile 3: gets steep uphill here, doesn't last long
mile 3.5: gradual decent into waterfall zone.

pros:
-awesome marble waterfalls, duh.
-great wildflowers
-breathtaking geology
-inspiring vistas

cons:
-nettles.
-i saw a snake, be prepared.
-nowhere to overnight .

be advised, poison oak within 3 feet of trail, and small rattler (18") was lounging at trails edge when I approached. Coaxed him away with small pebbles but his signature rattle did give me quite a scare.

4 months ago

Great hike, lots of poison oak. We saw a baby bear on the hike out. The picture doesn’t do this place justice.

hiking
4 months ago

Took my 6 yr old with a few stops. Recorded 1,890 ft elevation gain at just about 4 miles with slight detours for site-seeing. It was an overcast day and my son felt a chilly at the falls having his lunch. Stay covered and wear long sleeves, bring gloves if you can. Lots of poison oak/ivy. Narrow at some spots with steep drops.

Great hike! Took about 2 hours to make it to the falls but once you got there it was amazing! We ran into two king snakes (I think) but thank goodness no rattlers! That was enough for me... lots of shady areas which helped out for us beginners. Must see

hiking
4 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike with all the rock formations, culminating in a beautiful waterfall & river. You will want to rest @ the falls, it's amazing.

hiking
4 months ago

Great day hike. Narrow path, moderate difficulty, steady climb. Lots of poison oak throughout the trail so be sure to cover up! 4/21/18 temp around 80 F, was warm but not too hot, little humid under canopy so bring lots of water. 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours up at a moderate pace.

hiking
5 months ago

absolutely beautiful in the spring, with flowers and vegetation. Can hear the water rushing during whole walk up, and the destination waterfall is iinteresting with the white rock.

More moderate than hard. approx 1500 ft elevation gain is spread over 3.5 miles (from the gate) Some rocks/rocky steps but mostly easy on the feet. Trail clearly marked. No crossings. A few spots of some exposure, but only near very end.

This is probably horrific in summer.

5 months ago

I disagree that this is considered a "hard" trail. I bet it would be pretty brutal in the dead heat of the summer but overall it was a piece of cake on 3/29/2018. I'm not in the best shape right now, but completed this one w/ 4 buddies after I was hiking in Yosemite the day before. So go for it. If you can handle the inclines on the first half of the trail, you'll be fine.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail to hike. It was my first ever trail 3 years ago and I have done it over 4 more times since then. The views are amazing and end destination is well worth the hike. Careful though I have seen snakes on two of my hikes. One of which was a Rattle Snake.

6 months ago

Definitely would rank this as a moderate hike, the inclined parts are very steady and nothing too steep, making for an excellent day hike! The falls at the end are even more beautiful than the pictures, highly recommended!

6 months ago

Awesome hike during the winter!! light snow almost the whole time made for great pictures!! cold but worth it tread carefully with muddy trails and slippery rocks. Waterfall was amazing! huge reward at the end :)

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