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Hikes In and Around Orange County

How to Hike Black Star Canyon Falls

  • 7 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 4-5 Hours (Total)
  • Can Get Very Busy
  • 820 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 1,630 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

The Black Star Canyon Falls hike is a local classic. You'll hike through mellow country roads and then cut down into the dramatic (and maybe haunted?) canyon along Black Star Creek. The scramble up along the creek is challenging but doable by almost anyone. This guide has everything you need to navigate the hike safely and get to the falls.

In this Guide:
  • How to Get to the Black Star Canyon Trail
  • Black Star Canyon Falls Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Black Star Canyon's Haunted History

Where Is The Black Star Canyon Trail?

Black Star Canyon Falls Location
The Black Star Canyon Falls hike starts in Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park, about an hour from downtown LA in Orange County, CA.

Here's the trailhead address: 13333 Black Star Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA 92676, USA.

Black Star Canyon Falls Parking Lot
Park alongside the road in the long parking areas. Parking gets full with hikers and mountain bikers.
Black Star Canyon Falls Parking
Park on either side of the road.

There's no permit or fee to park here and no facilities such as a bathroom or water fill.

Gear Recommendations

Black Star Canyon Falls Sratched Leg
It's easy to scratch your legs when climbing the boulders and rocks. Long pants or leggings are better than shorts to protect your legs from rocks and plants.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated June 2024)

Can dogs hike to Black Star Canyon Falls?

I've seen plenty of people with dogs on this hike, but they'll have to get up and down steep rock sections. They should be comfortable jumping up and down, or you should be prepared to carry and lift them. Because of sharp rocks, many folks put booties on their dogs for the hike.

Black Star Canyon Falls Trail Maps

Black Star Canyon Falls 3d Map
You can break the hike up into two sections. The purple line shows the first part of the hike, approximately 2.5 miles rolling on dirt country roads closed to traffic. Then you hop off the road (yellow line) and hike up Black Star Creek for a mile. The section along the creek is slow going and involves some steep sections and minor scrambles.
Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Hike Brief

Black Star Canyon Falls Mine Entrance
When you get to the falls, you'll see a tunnel, one of several explorations at Black Star Mines

Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions

Black Star Canyon Directions 1
Hike through the gate at the end of the parking area.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 1
You'll be walking down a dirt road for the first 2.5 or so.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 3
Avoid the gate on the right that says "Black Star Canyon" and continue straight on the road.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 4
At the bottom of the hill, bear right.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 5
Follow the peaceful and mellow road.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 7
There's private property alongside the road. Keep straight on the main road and avoid any side roads or driveways.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 6
You'll leave Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park and enter Cleveland National Forest.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 8
The road section has a few bridges to cross.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 9
This is the important turn. At about 2.5 miles, look for the sign and trail into the trees to the right. The road continues left and uphill.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 10
There's a nice big sign at the entrance to the smaller trail.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 11
Once you turn off the road you'll go downhill. At the bottom, make the left to hike up along the creek.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 13
Hike upstream. The going is slower here than on the road. You'll cross over the stream multiple times.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 14
Look for paths a few feet away from the banks of stream for an easier path.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 12
Shortly after 3 miles the trail goes sharply uphill through the boulders. You'll have to pick your way through. Just take your time.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 15
Towards the end, when the boulders seem massive and impassable, look for a steep dirt trail on the left.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 17
Sometimes there will be a rope to assist with the steeper parts.
Black Star Canyon Falls Hike Directions 16
And after about 3.5 miles you'll reach Black Star Canyon Falls!

From here, just turn around and go back the way you came.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.