Black Star Canyon Trail

MODERATE 1,121 reviews

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

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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 tunf 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.

hiking
1 day ago

No water at the waterfall but still a good hike! Very rocky, not meant to climb alone. Bring water! There’s no service on the trail.

3 days ago

If your going just to see the waterfall be warned there is no water right now.

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike. First 2.5 miles is along a dirt road with little to no shade. Not overwhelmingly exciting. When you get to around 3 miles in, the fun starts. Its hiking through thickish bush and concluding with a bit of light climbing uphill. In August the waterfall is more of a rockface, but it's a cool little area to relax nonetheless. I'd definitely do this one again

10 days ago

it was a fun hike but there were a lot of yellow jackets

hiking
15 days ago

To get to this trail hard you have to walk 2.5 miles down a fire road. It is flat and easy. Once hitting the trail head it is a 1 mike hike up to the falls. Mostly light bouldering. This is where it earns its rating.

16 days ago

great hike, shaded most of the time, beginning isn't as shaded. wear good hiking shoes lots of rocks. It definitely is a better hike when water is running but still a good workout.

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked to the Old Indian Village. A fun hike!

22 days ago

Not long, but very rocky. Well w o rth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Once you get into the creek, the hike is more challenging and much more interesting. The climb back into the falls is the toughest and most satisfying part! This hike isn't the easiest, so make sure you're ready for it, and take lots of water with you.

hiking
1 month ago

Overall I enjoyed this trail and would do it again. I did this trail in the summer so there was no waterfall at the end but the place where it would be is still pretty cool. The trail is easy for most of the path and gets moderate towards the end. You follow along a paved/dirt road for probably 2 miles and then you find the trail head. From there you follow along a riverbed for about a mile and a half. The last 1/2 mile of trail is alot of bouldering with quite a bit of incline.

Bring lots of water, I brought 2 liters and ran out about a mile from the parking area.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail but gotta go after a heavy rain to see the waterfall in all its glory...and it’s a long hike take plenty of water and good comfortable shoes a lot of climbing over rocks

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike if you don't mind climbing over and under rocks and fallen trees. I was really beautiful . You should go early in the morning because it gets really hot. The end was where the water fall is supposed to be. It was a very nice adventure and I do recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Long way on a paved road to the BOULDERS. Never seen such big ones! Fun climbing, jumping, slipping on our bottoms.
Missed the top, ran out of time. Will be back!

1 month ago

No waterfall in the summer when we went and the barren waterfall smelled like sulphur.

However, I will say that the bouldering was really fun and made up for the non-existent waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Trash on the trail, graffiti on the rocks, and 2+ miles of fire road before you get to the real trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Long paved road leading to the real trailhead. I would call it moderate because of the length and the boulders to navigate. Otherwise it’s a relatively easy hike. No major inclines, no switch backs. We recorded 6 miles in and out.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Perfect mountain biking through OC’s most haunted canyons!

3 months ago

Good one but tough to get over all the boulders toward the end. Enjoyable and great sites. Not a beginner trail in my opinion. The trail from parking lot to the start of the “falls trail” is easy but once you start out for the falls it gets tougher and tougher. I would suggest a nice cool day or start early. Proper hiking shoes definitely a must. Pack a snack and appropriate water (depending on the heat).

hiking
3 months ago

This one was tough. We went in woefully under-prepared (we each had a small water bottle, that’s it) and ignorant of what the actual hike entailed (we knew it had a waterfall).

The first part of the trail is a scenic walk through black star canyon, great views, but not exactly what I’d call challenging. The hard part came once we got to be river. Hopping across the rocks and hiking along the river was a lot of fun, but when the rocks turned to boulders and we went from hopping to climbing, things started to get dicey. Neither of us had ever done something like that before, so you can probably imagine the...challenge we had to overcome.

But overcome we did, we made it to the waterfall, and it was beautiful. The hike back was tough, and once it was over I had a serious case of jelly-legs, but I’m glad we persevered. It was a valuable lesson that helped me grow as a hiker and a person

My struggles can’t be blamed on nature, the hike itself was beautiful and rewarding, Would like to do it again one day.

3 months ago

It was raining when we went and it was a tough hike. But worth it to see the waterfall at the end.

3 months ago

This hike was so much fun but be prepared to do some rock climbing. There is a river that runs through it but it depends on the time of year and the rain we get.

We took our boys but it kicked their butts.

3 months ago

A little crowded on the weekend but a fun hike

hiking
3 months ago

This was my second hike ever and this hike kicked my ass lol still got to the end though!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Not too crowded, and easy to park. Flat fire roads at first, but then you get into a nice riverbed with great views. There wasn’t any water when we went, but it would probably be even nicer after some rain. Both my dogs did great- one big, one little. But we turned back right before the end because we heard the last part was hard to get the pups up over the boulders and there wasn’t a waterfall right then anyway. Would recommend.

hiking
4 months ago

Super cool hike! Apparently it's claimed to be the most haunt trail in Cali. Super beautiful and the end is a blast. For dog hikers, know it might be a bit hard to get your canine up the very last stretch. The hike is super awesome as a whole. Hope it rains soon!

hiking
4 months ago

My sister and I did this hike about a year ago.
It’s a super fun hike, but it gets pretty hot. We went right after there was that couple month span of a ton of rain so there was an actual waterfall there and a little pool at the top.

We made the mistake of hiking through poison oak the entire way (and there’s a TON of it so keep your eyes peeled!).

Fun hike.
Very challenging at the end when you’re clambering over rocks and things. Expect to get a full body work out here.
I would recommend going after heavy rain so you can soak your tired feet in a pool of cold water when you get to the top.

4 months ago

Do you like long hot trails to nowhere?? No waterfall, no water...

hiking
4 months ago

Last half mile is very hard and challenging with rocks and boulders. There was no water at the fall. There are lots of wizards and birds singing along road. Good 4 hour hiking. I like it very much.

4 months ago

Decent trail with lots of rocks and boulders. It’s definitely a full body workout

4 months ago

Great hike, gigantic boulders, tons of poison Oak! No water up top, so we turned around 15 minutes short.

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