Hike to Black Star Canyon Falls

Black Star Canyon Road

Looking to find Orange County's best preserved gem? I have uncovered an amazing adventure for you waterfall loving fiends. Be sure to add this to your to do list, if you don't, you'll be bummed!

Waterfalls in Orange County are far and few between, with the best lying near and inside the Cleveland National Forest. Black Star Canyon Falls are some of the best just after a rain if you are heading out during a dry time of the season you should still expect to see some water. Free parking, easy directions and a WATERFALL you can't pass up this much beauty. The only limitation for some is that there are some tricky boulder areas for the last mile roughly leading up to the waterfall and back down. Make sure you know your limits! 

Hiking Trail Directions to the Waterfall

  1. Beginning at the white gate hike roughly 2.5 miles up an easy fire road until you come across an old rusted sign that has the words Black Star Falls cut out of it. (I have it pictured above). It is roughly a fast paced part of the hike and will take anywhere around 40 minutes to an hour.
  2. Stay on this trail for roughly a mile, distances will slightly change from person to person because you can hike in the riverbed or above on a trail parallel to the river. This trail will take a while due to climbing over boulders or walking on steep and slippery river banks up a canyon.
  3. This will dead end at the waterfall. Be careful to not stay too close to dark because it's a long hike down the riverbed. Also be sure to bring slightly warm clothing for the way down if you are at night and it's not summer out, the canyons can drop in temperature fast.

Make sure when doing this hike that you are prepared for climbing over boulders for nearly a mile. It is not just a basic hiking trail that is steep.  There is not much elevation gain but you are going to be crossing the water many times and you need to be able to climb over human-sized boulders. 

Pack List

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Food/Snacks
  • Hiking Boots or Athletic Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • A friend
  • A flashlight
Show More
RT Distance 7.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 913 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing hike

Definitely one of the funniest hikes in a while

Great Hike For Dog Owners If...

We loved this hike. We had our dog with us, but she's pretty good at climbing and getting dirty, though sometimes we did have to put her on or off boulders. So if you have a large one, make sure you're ready to carry your pup. Other than than that it was a full body workout. Make sure to bring hiking shoes, since once you wet your sneakers there's a big chance you'll keep sliding on the ricks. Just prepare yourself and enjoy!

The Treck To The Falls

Started this hike about 7:45 am, glad we did because the canyons gets very hot after the sun is really up. Bring layers!! I highly recommend wearing pants, there was a ton of poison ivy along the trails. Be aware of snakes. Saw a couple garter snakes and heard rumors of a rattlesnake from other hikers. The riverbed is pretty much your trail so as long as you stay with it, you will reach the waterfall. Some rocks are very slippery. You can make your trail as difficult or as simple as you like. The waterfalls at the end are definitely worth climbing over tons of rocks for. The beginning of the trail is just flat and paved for the first two or three miles and then difficulty increases as you get closer to the falls. Bring lots of water and maybe leave furry friends at home for this one!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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