Holy Jim Canyon Trail

MODERATE 364 reviews
#3 of 107 trails in

Holy Jim Canyon Trail is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Corona, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
570 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This may be Orange County's most popular family hike despite the washboarded road leading to it. Nature was profaned here by the swear words flooding from the mouth of "Cussin' Jim" Smith or "Holy Jim" as he was renamed by tightlaced government surveyors who mapped the canyon in the early 1900s. Another bit of history marks the place: the last wild California Grizzly -- an old bear named "the honey thief" -- was killed at the mouth of Trabuco Canyon after robbing beehives here in 1907. Heavy winter rains are essential to a pleasant journey. Along the way, you will see many small cascades and cross the stream several times before you reach the split where the main trail ascends to the Main Divide Road to the left and the trail to the waterfall shoots off to the right. Watch for poison oak as you scramble over the last quarter of a mile to the twenty foot falls. This may not sound like much, but Holy Jim Falls is a chapel in the brush.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice nature hike. Diverse plant life, particularly enjoyed the scent from fig trees and sound of croaking frogs in the late evening.

hiking
5 days ago

Drive in is funner than the hike.

26 days ago

The dirt road driving into the trailhead is not paved, it's rocky & bumpy. We saw small cars from a Honda Civic to big SUVs driving through. Just drive slow. You can also buy a Adventure pass at the General store, if you don't have one already.
The hike was scenic & kid friendly. Ours were between the age of 5-10yrs & they loved this hike! Enough to come back again. Its also dog friendly. Watch out & step aside for The Off Road Cyclers, they look like they were having fun riding down the bumpy trail.
Along the trails you'll find small cabin houses, native plants, birds, streams, fallen branches & big rocks to climb on. At the end of the trail you'll discover a small waterfall about 15 ft high.

hiking
1 month ago

4 mile dirt road to the trail head, it’s not too bad just go slow. I drive a Honda Accord and I did it fine just watch for the potholes. This trail was amazing. The views of the mountains peeking over the trees were great. The water fall was flowing so it was a great turnout at the end. Plenty of little streams to cross; I ended up just walking through them so if you’re like me and don’t mind getting your feet wet consider bringing a fresh pair of socks. I brought my dog and she had no problem with the trail she loved playing in the water at the end. I did not have the parking pass I took a risk and just went for it anyways. It went well for me, but just in case maybe look ahead and get one.

hiking
1 month ago

it was chilly today, so bring a light sweater if you go before 9am. it was about 40-45 degrees when i went. beautiful hike and the waterfall had a nice flow.

1 month ago

I love it !!!!!

1 month ago

make sure your car can handle a small dirt road leading to the trail. the lower trail is fairly quick and easy. but if you head to the upper trail it will take you about 2 hrs to reach the top. beautiful scenery. be wary of a pass that may be needed for the park. I did not purchase one and took the risk. I spent about 4 hrs in total on the trail with a friend and did not receive a ticket. it's is beautiful. wear a hat and sunblock if you plan to do the upper trail. Definitely will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

I was a bit nervous to go on this “off-road” excursions, as my truck is not a 4WD. I took my chances and went for it. It was no big deal! As long as you keep momentum going, you’ll be fine. There are a few spots along the road I drove to get to the trailhead that seemed a bit hairy, but we did fine! Great 3 mile trail, out and back. Recommend good footwear, like hiking boots for the little streams you have to cross, unless you want to try you luck at balancing across a few rocks in the stream. The trail gets a little tight towards the end, but once you get there, it’s pretty awesome. Perfect to take your wife or kids on for a day-date, pack a lunch and eat on the trail about half way through. There is a decent size shaded section with big rocks where you can sit along the creek and enjoy a sandwich or a snack and a drink. Enjoy!

off road driving
1 month ago

Absolutely love Holy Jim! Would even consider it as "Mothers Nature Playground"! I've only gone off-roading at Holy Jim and haven't done the hiking trails that goes further into the mountain.

Loved this trail! Beautiful. Worth the drive!

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a long drive down a dirt road to get to the trail head. The hike to the falls is pretty short and fairly easy. Dogs and kids everywhere, if you’re into that sort of thing.

1 month ago

Pretty clean, trail in good shape and there was a little water in the falls. A beautiful, warm, SoCal December day!

2 months ago

Nice hike. Good times

2 months ago

I’ve read reviews saying to buy the adventure pass at big lots, but that didn’t work for me. I ended up getting mine at Big 5 Sporting goods in Burma Park but was told most of them carry it.

2 months ago

especially fun for a night hike

3 months ago

Fun :)

hiking
3 months ago

Fun little shaded hike. Watch out for bees!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice sun cover, watch for poison ivy. Fun approach!

4 months ago

Nice hike up the mountain. The road to get there is a dirt/gravel road about 4 miles long until you reach the parking lot. First portion of the trail takes you down the residential cabin road until you get to the trail head. The falls were... disappointing as they were just a trickle, but we did go at the end of September. We did see a group 4-5 woodpeckers which was cool.

6 months ago

I enjoyed this trail, but the road to get to the destination is pretty terrible. 3-4 mile dirt road with potholes and rocks. The waterfall was pretty dried out. We went in late July. Probably won't give this trail another go.

Load More