Black Star Canyon Trail

HARD 1750 reviews
#1 of 149 trails in

Black Star Canyon Trail is a 6.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverado, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 941 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

rock climbing

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 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.”

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

hiking
no shade
5 days ago

Extremely difficult trail but the views are SO worth it! Bring water, no shade.

hiking
6 days ago

good rock challenge hike, fun, no or low water at falls

hiking
9 days ago

This is the best hike I have done in Orange County.....so far. Other than the poison oak throughout the entire hike, it was a wonderful day. Like others have said....wear long pants and bring plenty of water. There’s a lot of climbing (upper body), balancing (core), & hiking (legs). A total body workout! Once you reach the falls, it’s definitely worth the effort. We did this hike in mid-August and the afternoon temperature reached 97F. We met a lot of decent folks along the way as well. I’ll definitely be back when the waterfall is flowing good. Enjoy!

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

There's a looooooong (45 minute) trail before the actual trail for Black Star Canyon. It's really really fun. Just don't go when it's raining !

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

Did this in May 2019. Hiking to the falls is super fun. Somewhere between moderate to hard hike. Easy to miss the path as you need to scramble a lot. Lot of Poison oak in the area, so, wear long pants. Spotted lizards that are bigger than average sized ones. Don't try hard to not get wet during stream crossings. your shoes will get wet anyway at some point lol. Just wade through the water and embrace it. That's what I did, haha. Falls may be down to just a trickle during summer months. Great workout for legs

hiking
12 days ago

Very difficult hike! Definitely need hiking shoes

trail running
no shade
13 days ago

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
16 days ago

It was just amazing! It was dry but worth it !

hiking
18 days ago

This is truly a wonderful hike. The only downside is the trail sees heavy use and people leave lots of trash everywhere. Starting off at the trailhead, it’s about 2 1/2 miles to the creek trail along a wide dirt road that has decent scenery. You’ll come to a sign pointing down to the creek trail on the right - if you go left here it will take you to Main Divide. There is a decent trail to follow most of the way, but about 1/2 mile from the falls it starts getting pretty hard, with lots and lots of boulder hopping and elevation gain at the end. I had my dogs with me and there were a couple of places we almost couldn’t make it through. Although you’re in the creek only a mile it will take at least twice as long as the 2 1/2 mile dirt road section. It was low 90s but the creek is there to keep you cool. The entire creek section is gorgeous with lots of clear pools and cool wildlife. The waterfall is tall. and spectacular, with a cave to boot. It is quite a bit easier on the way back. Water level was pretty low, in the wet season would be a lot harder. We did the hike in 3 hours but ran the dirt road section. Harding Falls took 4 1/2 hours and in my opinion is much harder. Well worth the effort and obvious why this trail is so popular - best done on a weekday.

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

I personally would Like to say this trail is fantastic! Downside a lot of bugs but definitely great adventure hike!! Not so sure I would call it moderate definitely a little harder! “Experienced hikers” with rough terrain would love this hike! Non experienced I wouldn’t recommend the falls trail due to no trail markers but other then that great hike! Don’t be afraid of all the barb wire and electric fences the farm is training cattle and horses to live wild and free on the land!

hiking
bugs
20 days ago

This trail is definitely not easy. Make sure you bring plenty of water and bug spray.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
21 days ago

I would rate this trail closer to hard than moderate. Getting to the trail head is easy and scenic walk from the parking lot. But , once you get into the trail it is rocky and overgrown; a lot of boulder climbing. There is a confusing amount of side trails going along the creek which results in a hard climb. A fellow hiker recommend that we stick to the left of the creek going up the falls. Unless your kids are good at climbing , I would not recommend this for kids. Overall it was a satisfying hike. Great workout and there is a lot that nature has to offer to see. Note: bring bug spray.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
22 days ago

lost most trails, had to climb over boulders, dried moss. only to reach a dry waterfall. got my steps in though.

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