Hiking and scrambling to Black Star Canyon Falls 🌟

Black Star Canyon Falls is one of the many reasons I love Orange County and living in Southern California in general. This moderately strenuous hike is 6.5 miles round trip near Silverado, California – and will lead you to a gorgeous waterfall with plenty of opportunities to explore side trails.


There are two parts of this hike. First, an easy 2.5 miles walking down a fire road and then another .8 miles of hopping through a stream bed and scrambling up boulders to reach the waterfall.

First part of the hike at the trailhead.
Walking along the easy fire road.
Entrance to the second part of the hike, where you’ll hop through a stream bed and scramble up boulders to the falls.


The main cascade flows about 50-60 feet. There’s also a shorter one to the left, which is apparently from an old mine shaft that was cut into the rocks.

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It typically takes around 1 hour or so to do the road, but then expect to take another 1 to 2 hours to reach the falls, depending on the conditions and your skill level. It took us a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes. The elevation gain is 1,100 feet.

I had so much fun doing this hike, and even had dreams about it that night. I can’t wait to go back!

Sign at the trailhead.

If you go, some things to consider:

-WATCH OUT FOR POISON OAK. I spotted it in several areas along the hike, so be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants and maybe coat yourself in some type of poison oak treatment.

-We went right after rain, which is definitely the best time to check it out. November to May is ideal, according to “Afoot and Afield: Orange County.”

-Black Star Canyon Falls is in the Cleveland National Forest, and the fire road that leads to the falls is surrounded by private land. While the public is allowed to travel there, it’s important to respect the area, residents and property (please don’t litter, don’t blare loud music, don’t smoke, etc.)

-I recommend bringing a trusty pair of hiking boots, as I was wearing my old Nike Free shoes with zero traction and had to constantly watch my footing on the slippery boulders.

-Bring some snacks or pack a lunch to enjoy at the falls!

-Parking is located by the trail start point (there’s a gate at the trailhead open to pedestrians).

ADDRESS: Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
13333-14587 Black Star Canyon Rd., Silverado, CA, 92676, USA

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