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

Went to the falls. They are dry right now, but it was still a fun hike with bouldering. Lot's of rocks, big rocks. you must be able to climb up, over and down various sizes of boulders. I had a blast.

I’ve done this hike 4 times.. I love it every time. Best time to go is during the rain, or right after for the best flowing waterfalls .I love a good challenge & this one does it most by far. Lots of boulders make it great if you like to climb. I would say this is an all over workout hike. Best time to go I’d say 6am. Avoid the toll road if you can.

Free parking. You walk on asphalt for a while, before actually getting on a trail. We decided to go up Black Star. The way up is nice. Some climbing. No running water. Tiny stream-about 11 inches long. Going back was slippery. Total time 3 hours 1 min at a moderate pace. Will do again!!!! Not hard, between easy and moderate.

Hands down one of my favorites so far! A much more difficult hike than I’m used to but it was very much enjoyed. Hiking shoes, highly recommend!

I took my 5 kids ages 14,12,12,12,&7. They are great hikers who don’t tire easily. This hike wiped us out! It starts off easy but the last mile is all rock climbing. It was very fun but exhausting. The trail says “dog friendly” but I question if a dog could make it the entire way do to all the rock climbing. There is tons of graffiti, so much so we missed the sign that pointed to the direction we were to go in. At the rusty bike in the tree go left (we went right and had to backtrack about half a mile). The waterfall was dry but someone left some ropes making it fun to explore the cave and rock climb. Next time I go it’ll be after a good heavy rain to ensure the waterfall is flowing.

This hike is fun. It’s a lot of bouldering, so I suggest using a backpack and having a hydration pack to drink water instead of a water bottle because you’re going to need your hands to climb over large rocks. The trail is nicely shaded all the way except in the beginning where you have to hike in. The down side is that all the water is gone! You also can’t climb into the cave at the end of the hike like you used to. There’s a ton of bees flying around. I think there is a bee hive inside the cave.

An awesome Hiking experience.

extreme rocky hiking..

Overall, it’s a nice hike to the falls with a couple mile lead in to the trail head on paved roads. I’d say this is a moderate hike unless we have a rainy season in SoCal which means you’ll be scrambling over wet rocks - some areas can be tricky if your not agile. The trail is popular so you will be disappointed if you’re expecting a quiet, peaceful hike with an ample amount of solitude. On the contrary, prepare yourself for lots of young people complete with Bluetooth speakers, blasting rap and hip hop, a few ‘seedy’ types carrying 40’s or six packs, weekend warrior-fitness enthusiasts and as well as a small population of inexperienced hikers in Vans or flip flops who aren’t mindful of right-a-way rules and worse don’t have much respect for the outdoors. Sadly, you will see trash left behind by these knuckheads on the trail and worse, an ever growing epidemic of graffiti on the stream bed rocks (super disappointing). If you can block all this out, Blackstar Canyon does have some idyllic views, nice stretches of shady nooks and the waterfall is quite beautiful when there is rain. Oh, one last note, dogs are allowed and there are many on the trail. It’s worth noting that some people let their big dogs roam free, off leash, so if you’re not a dog person this might worry you. Lastly, some people clean up after their dogs, others do not so keep your eyes open or you may step in a mess!

ropes we're up to climb the trail to the right of water fall,

Seems like it be a pretty cool hike but there was no water the waterfall was dry

Great little hike. Lots of scrambling over rocks. There wasn't any water when we went, but the canyon and the cave were still really neat. Definitely 420 friendly. Lots of people playing music while hiking.

best local hike orange county in my opinion.

Did this on 5/13/18
No water yet, also my first time doing it on a weekend and I couldn't believe how many people are blasting their speakers the whole time. still my favorite hike in OC

I wouldn't rate this trail as "hard", but it is fun! there's an awesome little cave and waterfall you can climb into at the end

Great hike! The beginning is flat but the end to the waterfall is tons of boulders, poison oak, and rattle snakes. Worth the hike.

Pretty environment quiet nice trails you can continue uphill for a long way

Always top choice for the girlfriend as I , we go there mountain biking or hiking

hiking
1 month ago

The first 1.75 miles is a road that leads up to the actual trail. The actual trail is a long rock scramble.... so much fun. We made it in about 3.25 miles and then doubled back... Not bad with two kids, 7 and 8 years old. They loved the rock scramble but didn't care for the long boring walk to get there.

I look forward to going back and getting to the very end,

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