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Holy Jim Canyon Trail [CLOSED]

MODERATE 362 reviews
#72 of 149 trails in

Holy Jim Canyon Trail [CLOSED] is a 10.8 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: 10.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,559 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers




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.

22 days ago

Does anyone know if this trail is open now, I use to offroad and hike?

2 months ago

The nats are awful. And not sure how the paths are looking after all the fires

5 months ago

Had a blast! With all the rain a few weeks ago.

off road driving
8 months ago

Had a great time exploring here. Especially after some good rainfall.

8 months ago

Great trail but closed indefinitely due to the “Holy Fire” in August 2018. USFS said it will be closed for 2-3 years.

11 months ago

love this trail, but currently closed due to wildfires.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Note: The dirt road that leads to this trail is rough and not suitable for most sedans. Mid to high clearance vehicles are recommended. This is a beautiful canyon hike with a good amount of shade. It’s pretty busy though, so if you’re not a fan of crowds, come during the week or early on the weekend.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Great family hike. Lost a pair of Maui Jim prescription glasses today, though. If found, please call Jason at 714-910-4101.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Nice hike. Great little falls at the end

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Incline trail. I grade this trail moderate/hard. We parked on street that led to trail, why drive? The views were okay, the leg workout was good. Keep in mind the trail is full of uneven ground, holes. If your okay with the incline being most of your trail, this is for you! Wish I could post trail pictures for you, don’t know how though.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Gate is closed 2miles before parking lot and notice posted saying Emergency closure April 20th through May 18th, 2018. I’ll try to post photo of sign warning $5,000 fines for being in area.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Awesome Hike! Kids loved it and Mother Nature Gave us a lot of shade along with some nice breeze through the openings of the canyons. Kids will Be Kids, bring extra socks and shoes, A Good possibility they will purposely splash crossing the creeks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My primary concern was getting my Scion xB up to the trailhead. I left early in the morning and drove a slow 10 mph but it managed! Decent amount of water on the falls.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Really enjoyed the hike. Shady and small creeks to cross made it very enjoyable. The car ride to get there was bumpy but also fun. Not a difficult hike even for small dogs.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Great Hike! Just make sure you have the right foot wear. Some small streams and rocky areas to cross. We took our jeep all the way up, Make sure to Air down on the bumpy ride all the way up to the parking area. So, beginner Off roading & Hiking in one short trip! =D A must for local Hikers!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Great trail. We ended up having to park 2 miles from the trail head so we ended up with a 7 mile hike. Still very beautiful!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Short but sweet. Would be a fun hike to take visitors.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Got their early and was drizzling rain. Gorgeous hike. I really enjoyed it! You will cross a small stream several times but you wont get your feet wet. They say this is a popular trail and I can see why. I recommend hitting it early to beat the crowd.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

It was fun but to get to the start of the trail it takes four miles of off road driving and an extra quarter mile walk. While on the trail, there is a stream and there are areas where you have to cross the stream while walking on rocks. Since the trail is out and back, there are lots of people walking back and forth so if you are walking through a small, narrow area, you have to watch out. At the end of the trail, there is a waterfall but it’s probably not as big as you’re expecting. I feel like in order to get to said waterfall, you have to be careful, and really climb on rocks and over the stream. You can have children and dogs on this trail. At the beginning of the trail, after the extra walking, they have a wagon of water bottles you can have only asking for a small donation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Drive in is funner than the hike.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

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.

Monday, January 22, 2018

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.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

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.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I love it !!!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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!

Monday, January 08, 2018

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
Friday, January 05, 2018

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.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Loved this trail! Beautiful. Worth the drive!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

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.

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