Black Star Canyon Trail

MODERATE 1169 reviews
#1 of 131 trails in

Black Star Canyon Trail is a 6.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Silverado, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
941 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

scramble

no shade

Black Star Canyon Trail, a lesser known hiking trail in Orange County of Southern California, is a fun hike to Black Star Canyon Falls. The trail can be accessed off of Highway 241 at Santiago Canyon and after a few miles you will turn left onto Silvarado Canyon and then left onto Black Star Canyon Road. You can park along the road. Black Star Canyon is an important archaeological site and holds a great deal of history. The canyon was home to the Black Star Coal Mining Company in the 1800s, from which its name is derived. There was also an armed conflict in 1831 between American fur trappers, led by William Woldskill, and a group of native Americans called the Tongva. This was the bloodiest battle in history of the Santa Ana Mountains The trail starts off on a dirt road and then follows Black Star Creek toward the falls. The last portion of the hike requires boulder hopping up the stream bed to reach Black Star Canyon Falls. This hike is best experienced after heavy rain, as high flow is usually in the rainy season and can be only a trickle during summer and fall. There is heavy poison oak in the area so proceed with caution. Black Star Canyon Road Restricted Parking Zones The new parking restrictions will be in effect beginning Thursday, November 1, 2018. The County Board of Supervisors recently approved the following recommendations: - West side of Black Star Canyon Road: (1) “No Parking” zone between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. from Baker Canyon Road to 400 feet south of the access gate, and (2) a “Tow‐Away No Parking” zone from access gate to 400 feet south of the access gate.” - East side of Black Star Canyon Road: (1) “No Parking” zone between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. from Baker Canyon Road to 50 feet south of the access gate, and (2) a “Tow‐Away No Parking” zone from access gate to 50 feet south of the access gate.”

1 day ago

Excellent after a rain, especially for the full experience at the falls, but be aware that it makes it super muddy and you'll have to cross the creek several times - bring waterproof hiking boots to protect against the water and all the rock climbing you're going to have to do. Lots of dogs on the trails, both big and small, but I saw plenty of dogs of all sizes who needed to be carried through some parts, so keep that in mind when you bring your pooch! The hike itself is GREAT - one of the best in OC! though because it's so popular it gets super packed.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

Beautiful waterfall at the end of a great hike! The first half is a flat walk, and the second half you’ll be climbing over boulders and rocks as you follow a stream to the waterfall. Super fun!

Very fun trail especially after a rain. Although it gets crowded later in the morning, there are lots of paths to take to avoid the traffic jams on the trail. I think the trail continues on after the first major waterfall

recorded Recording - Jan 21, 01:57 PM

hiking
2 days ago

Black Star Canyon

hiking
2 days ago

The trail was awesome! It rained all last week so there was lots of water in the creek and falls. The water made it a bit tricky, but it was worth it to see a waterfall in this area. Glad I wore waterproof hiking shoes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Pretty difficult hike for clumsier people. There Are a lot of rocks to climb and jump off. If you’re shorter that may present a difficulty. The trail meanders a lot so it seems like you’re jumping from side to side a lot. You will have to eventually get your feet wet so plan accordingly. Don’t forget your socks like I did -_- came 3 days after the heavy rains we got on 1/15/19. Mud is still really slippery, and the rocks themselves are slippery too. Saw a lot of dogs so it is dog friendly. Be prepared for a long hike it took about 4 hours round trip.

9 days ago

Easy trail to follow. Was pretty slippery and muddy when we got down into the falls entrance. People were friendly. Trail was clean. Would do it again. Easy one for the dog too. :)

17 days ago

It is a good hike, just be careful while stepping on rocks. You could slip and sprain your ankle. Otherwise its not too difficult.

hiking
17 days ago

This trail is so much fun!! I love rock climbing so this was a very fun trail, the last mile or mile and a half are fairly challenging. There are even more options to climb once you reach the now dry water fall. There is quite a bit of graffiti but nothing that affected the beauty of the trail. Parking is free, the trail itself was fairly busy for a Saturday morning around 8 am. I will definitely be visiting this trail again soon!

hiking
20 days ago

Definitely wouldn’t call this a lesser known hike. Granted we went New Years Day, but starting at 8am on an exceptionally cold(for SoCal) and windy day, we were about the 10th car in the area. Passed probably 60 people on the way out and the parking was completely full.

The trail itself is actually only about a mile through a creek bed. The first 3ish miles are all on paved/hard packed road. Once in the creek the place really comes alive! As you progress up the boulders get larger and larger leading to some great fun climbing and hoping around. For those who wish to skip climbing, there is several paths around that hug the creek bed. The waterfall itself was dry, but a rope has been set up so you can climb up it a bit and explore the cavity the water has created. Once your done, scramble back down the creek hit the road and you are home free. Clocked 7.4 miles in 3.5 hrs leisurely.

Decent views, good fun scrambling, but LOTS of graffiti. Sad to see so much defacing in a reasonably secluded area, it was borderline distracting.

hiking
26 days ago

great hike! first half is a flat fire road, the second half is legitimately climbing through boulders all the way to the fall. no water at the fall, it’s completely dry, but i think it’s been dry for a while. the graffiti and lack of signage is why i gave it four stars but otherwise a great hike!

One of my favorite trails! It’s a really fun trail but lost of bouldering. Leads to two beautiful waterfalls... when there’s water. There’s hardly any shade from the parking to the actual trail head.

27 days ago

Found this to be more of a mountain biking trail, but very enjoyable the same. Thanks

1 month ago

this trail was awesome. had back surgery last month and i still made it to the fall. great workout.

1 month ago

nice easy trail, obvious trail so no issues there and decent views...

hiking
1 month ago

Don’t let the hike into the waterfall fool you. (It’s dry at the moment) if you continue on once you reach the falls, there will be a steep incline to your right with a rope to help guide you to the top. If you are going with a group I would recommend to climb very cautiously and call your rocks as they head down. If you are bringing a dog, it’s do-able....responsible? It all depends on the owner. Haha just make sure to have a person down at the bottom to catch your dog incase they slip, unfortunately they don’t have thumbs like us to try and catch themselves. There is a beautiful photo op once you reach the top with a 8” foot cross being propped up by rocks. I would keep a look out for the bike trails since that will be your best route to go back down unless you want to bust your ass and have achy knees for the rest of the day and go down the same way you came up. Overall, we hiked for 5.5 hours and conquered 10 miles. You will be tired for the rest of the day. Guaranteed. And if you’re not, then you suck.

1 month ago

awesome views! a but challenging, but fun!

1 month ago

Very fun trail… Boulder scrambling super fun unfortunately all the graffiti takes away a lot of the beauty but still worth the hike! A little bit of water in the creek bed but not at the falls!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking with friends. A little bit of water along the way. I really enjoyed the hike. Good workout. A lot of rock climbing

1 month ago

The best way to go is ride a bike to the trail head hike to the to the water fall and back and then it’s nothing but a down hill ride back to the parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is so much fun, you have to climb over stones but it's not super difficult.

1 month ago

not really a good trail for taking a photo..

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail so much. Unfortunate there's so much graffiti. Looking to start a cleanup group to get rid of the graffiti/trash if anyone's interested...

hiking
1 month ago

good trail. Took my dog and all went well. Hiked up to where you start climbing over some rocks to get the waterfall, but decided to turn back after a family said there wasn't any water. hopefully that changes soon, definitely want to come back when there is water

1 month ago

This hike was a little more challenging than I thought in that the boulders were vertical but it was so worth it. Haven’t rock climbed like that in a long time. I definitely recommend hiking boots and pants as my son wore running shoes and shorts and his ankles and calves took a beating. I wore hiking boots and pants and was very comfortable sliding down boulders on the way down. No waterfall but still a lot of fun.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice enough to give it a shot. But please don't advise people to go "after a rain" without giving some head's up that means a good day or 2 with no chance of more rain. Most of the trail from the road to the falls is in a creekbed canyon subject to flooding. I worry since most hikers in the area only really know drought conditions. Too much road walking and too many inexperienced hikers for our tastes, but a nice hike nonetheless. Especially if you read up on the haunted history of he area beforehand.

1 month ago

Relatively flat first half followed by creek bed uphill climb progressively getting steeper with some bolder scrambling. In a wooded canyon. Pretty overall.

nature trips
1 month ago

Great for the pups! Easy parking. Less crowded during the week. Best after a rain.

2 months ago

You

hiking
2 months ago

Well maintained dirt road, easy to park and find trail head, wide trail and when you get to the last 1/3 where the rock trail begins the terraine gets more challemging but we saw a 4 yr old doing it so really not hard at all. Great trail day!

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