Nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This honor recognizes the exceptional value of these lands to California and the entire nation. This land is part of the 50,000 acres of permanently protected land preserved on the historic Irvine Ranch. The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks contain important natural habitats and unusual geological formations. The landscape is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including eagles, badgers, mountain lions, Tecate cypress trees, and many rare species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. Scientists have identified this region as one of the world
Beautiful falls and such a fun adventure hike. Thought I could complete it faster than the 5 hours most guides said it would take, but with all the boulder hopping back and forth across the creek and waiting for others to pass it took a solid 5. Parking at trailhead was packed on a Saturday afternoon. Had lots of fun scrambling up the rocks and hopping across the creek. Didn't see anyone with dry feet. Please pack out all your trash so that everyone may enjoy these falls in all its beauty. If you packed it in, you can pack it out.
Shanna L. on Black Star Canyon Trail
Definitely give a great view and workout. This hike is not boring at all.
This hike was fun. It's not like most of my hikes with 2000-4000 elevation gain. I thought from reading the other reviews that it was going to be easy. This hike has 3 parts. The first is the fire road and it's very easy with nice views. The second part is also easy and goes right along the stream. The last parts is..THE ROCKS. It will give you an upper body workout and test your balance many times. This part wore me out. Gloves will help here. The falls were beautiful and doing it on a Tuesday meant less crowds. This was waaayyy more of a challenge then I thought it would be. I bet it's a zoo on the weekend.
I though this was a great hike but I highly recommend to NOT bring your dog! My dog is a pretty big boy and LOVES climbing boulders and rocks but it was even a little much for him, when you get towards the end, it gets a bit more tough. we ended up turning back and deciding to come back without our dogs.
Go a few days after rain and the waterfall at the end will be flowing. Once you're past the fire road and into the gulch, the "trail" becomes very rugged. You will sometimes push through brush, jump across water (or just walk in it). I would recommend adequate coverage for your arms and legs for the brush. And walking sticks to help with balance when descending from the waterfall which I didn't bring with me this time, but I wish I had. It would have been very useful. Also probably some weight lifting gloves or something to protect your hands cause some of those rocks are quite rough when you need to climb up. I saw a lot of people with bruised/scrapped shins. So maybe some shin pads too haha.