Explore The Beginning - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Beginning Map
1 day ago

Short but sweet. Would be a fun hike to take visitors.

It had different palm trees on the hike as well as butterflies and frogs. It also some flowing water. The trail was nice but at a certain point we got lost and didn't know how to proceed

Great trail! Today was perfect with the overcast and the dogs even enjoyed themselves. ☺️

Got their early and was drizzling rain. Gorgeous hike. I really enjoyed it! You will cross a small stream several times but you wont get your feet wet. They say this is a popular trail and I can see why. I recommend hitting it early to beat the crowd.

After the long walk, you’ll get to some signs and that’s when the real hike begins- so much fun!

I’ve done this hike multiple times and the last two times I’ve thought as I walked all the way back to my car how boring this trail is.

Besides the boulder scrambling portion & waterfall, this hike really sucks and is boring. It’s definitely a full body workout when you’re scrambling up the rocks but that portion is just too far and too boring to get to. Maybe I’ve been here too many times

I met the coolest people on this hike!

Really fun trail. Lots of rocks and boulder so I highly recommend boots and some good socks. Not heavily traffic cause it is a lil tough. Recommend starting early too.

Lots of scrambling and light bouldering to make your way up. No water in the creeks or waterfall right now but still a fun experience! Will be back.

7 days ago

I remember this place as a kid. I used to go camping with my parents at Mountain Lakes which is just up the road a little further. We would meet tons of people at Mt. Lakes all around our age. This was back in the 80's (I was like 8-10) and I guess one of the others (teenagers) knew about this place. So we all went and it was amazing. We walked the whole way so it was a long walk but well worth it. I have seen waterfalls in Hawaii so obviously this doesn't come close to those, but to see one in the middle of that area was amazing. It was like a secret place then and there wasn't really any graffiti or things like that. There was a path, kind of, we climbed up and around to get higher up too.

It’s great view at the entry . We were there in the early morning. It is very refreshing. Unfortunately, the waterfall is not running.

Beautiful view

8 days ago

Went on this hike just today, and it's partly covered with snow at points with lots of mud and wet spots. About a third to halfway through the hike, footing gets to be a problem with the snow and collapsed trail. But after the first half, it's smooth sailing.

We thoroughly enjoyed this waterfall, minus the tagging on all the rocks of course. Today was beautiful. There were giant clouds bringing in some light sprinkles, and the waterfall had a steady, strong flow. I'm personally a fan of climbing over rocks, so that plus the waterfall is why I rated this a 5. In all, we saw only 4 other people doing this hike, so I enjoyed the opportunity of sharing nature with just my boyfriend. I definitely plan to visit this hike again!

10 days ago

Easy trail my kids love it

Awesome trail! Lots of graffiti though.

I've done this trail several times and its awesome. At some point after you split off from the main road you'll see an old mine and then theres a semi-hidden path a little past that which breaks off and goes up to the ridge. Some people have set up some ropes to help scale some sections of that side trail. It'll get you winded if you're a little out of shape but its doable. I definitely recommend looking for that off chute (its been a while since I've hiked it so I can't give you any pointers off the top of my head. Only thing I can tell you is that it starts on one of those side footpaths on your left that meets back up with that trail in 30 feet but breaks off from that. Pretty soon you'll be funneled into a narrow canyon that'll keep you single file for a moment). We've made it to the ridge twice and just take the ridge back down and it pops out behind those houses at the beginning.
I've continued past that ropes trail once and both of us hiking got poison oak! Look out for that back there. Wear pants. Take an immediate cold shower when you're done just to be extra safe especially if you brought a dog.

14 days ago

Review is for Black Star FALLS trail- starting at the sign (not the canyon’s fire road). As others stated, be prepared for boulders and rocks for a majority of the hike. I hike every weekend and found this trail to be very challenging simply due to climbing over rocks, trying to not fall in water and avoiding poison oak all around. I’m short which required me to use a lot of balance and upper body strength to get up and over the boulders. There were younger hikers who found this hike to be moderate (but definitely not concerned about how much it would suck if they scraped a leg or twisted an ankle which could EASILY happen and did happen to people I saw on the trail. Lots of scrapes and bruises.).

As for attire, I wore trail runners which worked fine. Hiking boots would have been best for ankle support and stability over the rocks. Wear long pants since there’s poison oak everywhere, especially at ankle height. Wear shoes with good traction since it is muddy and very slippery. Luckily, my leggings didn’t tear but I would’ve been better off with jeans or thicker pants (When you’re short, you end up boosting and sliding over boulders since you don’t have height to step up. I was paranoid all the rock sliding was going to tear a hole in the seat of my pants.)

The scenery is ok and is best in early spring after HEAVY rainfall. I did this hike once in late spring and it was miserably hot and dry with no water. It’s too bad there is so much trash and graffiti. Hence, the lower rating. (Spotted 3 different undies; smh)

Watch for the orange ties in the trees and blue arrows on rocks to guide the way. When you get half way up and spot a small sign covered in graffiti next to a rusted bike, the trail comes to a Y, turn left and follow the creek bed. Going straight will lead you to a disappointing dead end.

Hi all! I hiked through mud, bouldered the amazing rocks to the dry waterfall round trip in roughly 4.5 hours. Unfortunately, the waterfall is currently dry despite the recent rain. It will take a LOT more rain in order for this waterfall to come back.

BOO!! It's Monday morning 8am and the gate is closed!! B.S.

14 days ago

We go hiking every weekend and have done a lot of trails, this trail by far is my favorite. First couple of miles is really easy road, and trail then you hit the trailhead and the fun begins. It’s a challenge a lot of rock climbing and maneuvering your way through massive boulders but it’s totally worth it. We will definitely do this one again.

15 days ago

We enjoyed this trail. It was easy to complete. It is very scenic. Once you past the old mine cave the trail turns into pretty good cardio. You walk up plenty of rocks and beautiful greenery. I am a beginner and I was able to finish the trail. It took about 2 1/2 hours to complete

Very beautiful scenery! I went on a side trail that took me right to the path for the falls. The path straight up to the falls was kind of difficult due to big rocks along the trail. I suggest getting hiking boots; I slipped a few times. Might also be a bit harder for those that don't hike often but it's manageable. Will definitely be returning in the near future.
-Photos added

This brought me back to my high school days.. Walnut Creek “el ton pook” haha shaded for the most part.. the hike was easy, had a few swings, I’m glad we had that incline on the way back to get my heart rate going. Good for all ages and animals.

This was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve taken in a long time. Most of the hike you walk up a muddy path (2 miles) until you reach the Black Star Falls Trail sign. From there, it’s straight bouldering! Intense rock climbing experience, you definitely need to be a bit flexible for this one. When we got to the top of the falls, there was no water, but it was still amazing. Happy to say I conquered it!

19 days ago

This is a pretty little hike, on a warm spring day the heart is full of water and the foliage green. Fun for the family.

21 days ago

fairly easy hike gradual incline. Nice views. would do it again.

This was a good hike. We went in February. Looks like pretty hot summer hike though.

A great trail for the whole family. Generally a pretty easy trail with a quarter mile hill at one end. You can make this trail a little more challenging by running it or pushing your pace while walking. A lot of shaded areas and fun little streams to cross with well placed rocks. There are parking areas every one mile or so. The main parking area next to the 210/57 fwy is often full during peak times and is regularly monitored by sheriffs dept. A great trail for a 6 mile round trip with beautiful scenery.

Very rocky. Not dirty. Waterfall area crowded. For what should be an easy trail it’s quite rocky.

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