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Black Star Canyon Falls Featured
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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

what does this mean?

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

When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

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.

My Latest Gear Picks

Featured Gear 2023 08 11

Garmin inReach Mini 2 ( Amazon | REI )
HOKA Speedgoat 5
( Men | Women )
Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra ( Zpacks | Review )
Alpine Carbon Cork Poles ( REI | Amazon )

As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.

All My December 2023 Top Gear Picks

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

Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Best Smartphone Apps to Navigate: AllTrails | GaiaGPS | OnX

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

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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.

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.

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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!).

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