Beeks Place Hike From Black Star Canyon
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance||16 miles (25.8 km)|
|Hike Time||6-8 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||2,240 feet (683m)|
|Highest Elevation||2,820 feet (860m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Cleveland National Forest|
The Beeks Place hike takes you to the ruins of an old cabin compound built at a scenic spot high in the Santa Ana Mountains. From Beeks Place, you can see from San Gorgonio to Mt Baldy to Catalina. The hike is challenging, taking you 2000 feet up fire roads through the mountains, and along the way, you get epic views, hidden pastures, and even a Native American settlement. While Beeks Place might not be a big-name peak bagging experience, it is a nice long mountain hike that you can do all year.
Where is the Beeks Place Hike?
Beeks Place is just off Main Divide Road, the rugged dirt road that traverses the Santa Ana Mountains, and you can actually drive up there in a 4×4. But what fun would that be? We’ll hike to it instead. The most popular hiking route to Beeks Place is up Black Star Canyon Road, and that’s the route covered in this guide.
Use this trailhead address:
13333 Black Star Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA 92676
There are no bathrooms or water fills at the trailhead.
Gear for the Hike
This is a long hike in the mountains, so prepare accordingly. I don’t recommend doing this hike when it’s hot out. There’s almost no shade once you leave the canyon, and the temperatures can be brutal in Cleveland NF. Either way, bring 3L of water, snacks, and sun protection.
The Most Comfortable Hiking Shoe Ever
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (Women: REI | Amazon + Men: REI | Amazon) is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they work great on the trail. It’s a favorite of PCT and AT hikers for a good reason!
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up to 40% off here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2021.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Beeks Place Hike Trail Maps
This hike follows fire roads up to Beeks Place. In general they are wide, graded gradually, and easy to follow. Despite the fact that the hike is on fire roads and not single-track, it’s still scenic and fun. Just watch out for mountain bikers who often fly downhill here; there’s a local challenge to ride to Beeks Place and back in an hour or less.
There are a number of private land parcels along the hike, especially on the beginning stretch. They are well-marked, fenced off, and often have multiple warning signs. Just stay on the main Black Star Canyon Road and you’ll be fine.
Download the Hike GPX FileView a Printable PDF Hike Map
How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.
- There are lots of fun haunted Black Star Canyon stories, and you can dive deeper on them in my hike guide to the falls.
- In the middle of the hike you can visit a Native American settlement where the Tongva people would grind acorns and hunt the wildlife that came to drink in the creek. The settlement was allegedly the site of a massacre when local whites accused the people living there of stealing horses.
- A few minutes past the settlement is Hidden Ranch, which is where in 1899 the owners got into a dispute about money owed (about $550 in today’s dollars) and ended up killing someone. The trial was a big deal and the ranch owners ended up getting out free. If you want to dive deeper, see if your library has Shadows of Old Saddleback, which has a good history of the area.
- And then there’s Beeks Place. The first cabins were built in 1929 by Joe Beek, the the longest-serving Secretary of the Senate in California history (1919–68), and the guy who was attributed with developing the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach as a tourist attraction. The cabins once had a pool and wind-powered electricity. In the 1970s Main Divide road opened automobile access to Beeks Cabin, and vandals would come and steal, shoot, and destroy the cabins. Eventually they were abandoned. And today, according to this brochure, you actually buy it. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper.
Beeks Place Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
The Mariposa Reserve is owned by the Wildlands Conservancy, a great non-profit organization that protects natural spaces. Wildlands also hosts great hikes like the Santa Margarita River Trail, Whitewater Preserve, and Mission Creek Preserve.
This guide last updated on February 21, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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