There is lots of history in this area dating back to the native Tongva People, most of the remaining history can be seen on a farther hike up Black Star. This area has many haunted stories, some fiction and some non-fiction based on what you want to believe. No matter how you view this canyon, it is a great place to visit! For anyone that does visit, please respect the natural surroundings and pick up a few pieces of trash on your visit. Also, there are a few residents who still live in the canyon, please respect their properties and their ways of life.
Black Star Falls
Distance: 7.8 miles
Time: Approx. 6 hours
Don't forget: Headlamp, water, snacks, comfortable hiking shoes, extra socks
Season: Winter, Spring
To get to the trailhead, get on to Santiago Canyon Road, coming North Orange County passing Irvine Lake, make a left onto Silverado Canyon Road, from South Orange County passing Modjeska Canyon, make a right onto Silverado Canyon Road. Make the next left onto Black Star Canyon Road and follow it less than a mile until it dead ends at a big metal gate where you'll see other cars parked.
The hike begins at the large gate blocking the road. The first half of the trail is very easy, flat ground with a very slight uphill. The second half of the hike once you drop into the canyon is much more difficult as you will half to boulder scramble.
After the easy 2.5 mile section, you will see a sign for Black Star Falls which will direct you to make a right down towards the creek which is where the trail quickly becomes more difficult, the waterfall is upstream of this creek so if it is running, then the waterfall is flowing.
Now, you will be basically following the creek upstream until you get to the waterfall where you will no longer be able to go any farther. The trail disappears and other trails will appear and meander back and forth requiring you to cross the creek many times and probably get wet and also have to figure out the easiest paths.
After .6 miles from the Black Star Falls sign, you will get a random bike in a tree as well as a sign pointing you in the right direction which will still be up the same creek. From this point, you have only a half mile to go which will take you about 30 minutes.
Why 30 minutes for only half a mile? That's because the trail becomes much more difficult and requires all four limbs as you spend time looking for the easiest route to scramble up boulders.
Once you reach the waterfall, you will have gone 3.6 miles and you'll have a well deserved reward of sitting and enjoying the falls. From the parking lot to the falls will take the average person 2-3 hours.
The waterfall typically is flowing for a few weeks after a substantial amount of rain and for a few months after a very wet winter. But if you go when it's not flowing, here's what it will look like, still a great hike and a little easier without the creek crossings.