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Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon Trail - BlackStar/2-26-11-135
Hiking up Black Star Canyon on 2/26/11

Black Star Canyon - BlackStar/2-26-11-101
Black Star Canyon, near the trailhead, 2/26/11

Black Star Canyon Trailhead,  9-17-05
Black Star Canyon Rd Trailhead at the Parking Lot, 9/17/05

Hiking pictures of Black Star Canyon in Orange County.
Click any picture on this page for a larger view.

This is an easy hike for the first few miles on a flat paved road.  This is also a popular mountain biking area.  Black Star Canyon Road turns to a dirt road leading into the Santa Ana Mountains at the edge of Cleveland National Forest.  Keep following this road and it ends in Corona.  Many other trails connect to Black Star Canyon Rd.

The dirt area along the road just before the locked gate or "trail head" is the "parking lot".  The picture on the left shows the rock next to the gate. 

Many people believe the formations in the rock at trail head resemble skulls.  Parking is free.  Black Star Canyon Road is gated at this point, vehicle entry is for residents only.  You may still see "Private Road", "keep out" or "666" spray painted on the pavement in several places beyond the locked gate.  Black Star Canyon Road is really a public road, so you can disregard these warnings.

Many spooky stories have been told about Black Star Canyon.  This was the site of an Indian masacre.  It is listed as California Historical Landmark No. 217 Black Star Canyon Indian Village Site.
Claims that cars won't start at trail head for no apparent reason, strange behavior of wildlife, sites of groups of...something dressed in black hooded robes are among the stories.  According to news articles, an old timer living in the canyon shot at passing people for whatever reason and was prosecuted.  News stories of people assaulted (not related to the shooting).  This place has a history.


Black Star Canyon Road, 9/25/05
Black Star Canyon Road just beyond the locked gate, 9/25/05

Black Star Canyon, 3/22/08
Black Star Canyon, shown from Santiago Canyon Rd, 3/22/08

Black Star Canyon, 3/9/08
Black Star Canyon, this area also referred to as Red Rock Canyon, 3/9/08

Strange fact:
I don't often update this page...the page usually "scrambles" knocking everything out of alignment for no good reason if I mess with it, I spend hours fixing it every time.  This is the only page on my site with this problem.  This is also page number thirteen created on my site which was not on purpose, I loaded up several pages at a time and this happened to fall on 13.

Black Star Canyon Road, 9-25-05
Black Star Canyon Road, 9-25-05


Rabbit on Black Star Canyon Rd., 9/25/05
Rabbit on Black Star Canyon Rd., 9/25/05

CaliforniaTarantula in Black Star Canyon, 9/25/05
CaliforniaTarantula, 9/25/05

Wildlife we noticed in this area include rabbits, lizards, various birds, mountain lions, mule deer and California tarantulas.  In Sept '05 we found mountain lion tracks of a mother and at least one kitten. 

Black Star Creek, Black Star Canyon, 9-25-05
Black Star Creek 9/25/05, now Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Black Star Creek, Black Star Canyon, 9-25-05
Black Star Creek 9/25/05, now Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Most of the property along Black Star Canyon Road is privately owned.  Many stories have been told of the residents here getting upset at passing mountain bikers.  I've never had any problems here.  If you stick to the trail it is very doubtful anyone will bother you. 
The property along the creek pictured on the left is now part of the Irvine Ranch Land Preserve.  To visit this part of Black Star Canyon call the Irvine Ranch Conservancy at (714) 508-4757.

Black Star Creek, Black Star Canyon, 9-25-05
Black Star Creek 9/25/05, now Irvine Ranch Conservancy

At the end of the paved part of the road off to the left is a very nice creek.  I might mention again most of the land around the trail is private property or part of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.  The mountain lion tracks we found in '05, were near the creek. 

Black Star Creek, Black Star Canyon, 9-25-05
Black Star Creek 9/25/05, now Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Black Star Canyon, 9/25/05
Black Star Canyon, 9/25/05

View of hills from Black Star Canyon Road, 9/25/05
View of hills from Black Star Canyon Road, 9/25/05

Black Star Canyon Creek - BlackStar/2-26-11-100.jpg
Black Star Canyon, creek day after a storm, 2/26/11

Oak trees on Black Star Canyon Road -- BlackStar/2-26-11-154.jpg
Canopy of California native oak trees over Black Star Canyon Road, 2/26/11


Seasonal creek, 2/26/11

The walk down the paved road begins, just past trailhead, 2/26/11

Black Star Canyon trail -- BlackStar/2-26-11-131.jpg
Trail past the end of the paved road, turning up into the hills.

Black Star Creek -- BlackStar/2-26-11-222.jpg
Creek running along Black Star Canyon Rd. The purple bush is California Lilac.

Black Star Canyon Creek -- BlackStar/2-26-11-177.jpg
Another of many views of the creek seen from Black Star Canyon Road, 2/26/11

Black Star rocks covered with lichen -- BlackStar/2-26-11-184.jpg
Lichen covered rocks along Black Star Canyon Rd trail, 2/26/11

Black Star Canyon hills covered with california lilac ceanothus -- BlackStar/2-26-11-209.jpg
California Lilac, or Ceanothus, covers hillsides top to bottom, 2/26/11

Red Rock Canyon at Black Star -- BlackStar/2-26-11-045.jpg
View of Red Rock Canyon area off Black Star Canyon Road, 2/26/11

Creek crossing Black Star Cyn Rd -- BlackStar/2-26-11-255.jpg
Creek crossing on Black Star Cyn Rd near Silverado Cyn Rd, snow cap mountains above Maple Springs.


Click here to view the entire 2/26/11 hike photo album on our Facebook page.

Yes, Black Star Canyon does have a waterfall!  It's a little tricky to find, slippery they say and watch out for poison oak.  See it on the
Nobody Hikes in LA hiking blog (and this blog gives directions to the waterfall).

Other pages on CAopenspace you might like (nearby Black Star Cyn):
Silverado Canyon/Maple Springs
Modjeska Canyon & Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
OC Snow, seen from Black Star Canyon in 2008

From Santiago Canyon Road turn on Silverado Canyon Road.  Make a left on Black Star Canyon Road.  Drive until you reach the locked gate.  Park anywhere here off the side of the road.  Parking is free.  Directions to Santiago Canyon Road, click here.

View Larger Map

Pictures from 2002 & 2005 including both Black Star Canyon Rd and Main Divide (one of the connecting trails) along with great descriptions of the area, including topo maps:
Mountain lions are known to be in this area at times.  Be cautious in all wilderness areas.  See the links below about what to do if faced by mountain lion and also read our Safety page.
What to do if faced by Mountain Lion or other wildlife, lots of good information at:
What to do if you see a mountain lion:
Know how a mountain lion behaves, assess your risk if you see one--mountain lion body language:
Picture of a mountain lion track, California Dept of Fish & Game: