OC Parks’ Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park is home to the iconic Red Rocks, picturesque Baker Canyon, and serene Baker Meadow. On Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon on Saturday, 9/3, visitors can hike, bike or enjoy an equestrian ride along designated trails at their own pace from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Take advantage of a day off from work this upcoming Labor Day Weekend and connect with the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
While traveling the trails of Black Star Canyon over the long weekend, capture photos of the local habitat and tag #OCMountainstoSea on social media for a chance to be included in Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks' Facebook album. Trail enthusiasts can observe noteworthy geological formations and a variety of plant and animal life as they make their way through the canyon. Make sure you stay on-trail to avoid elements such as poison oak and ticks, and for the protection of the native plants our local wildlife need to survive.
Black Star Canyon is rich with history. According to Phil Brigandi, author of “Orange County Place Names A to Z,” Black Star Canyon was formerly known as Cañon de los Indios (Canyon of the Indians), named for the Native American Tongva/Gabrieleño people who first settled there. A portion of Black Star Canyon has been named a California Historical Landmark at the Native American settlement. The expansive area was home to grizzly bears until the late 1800s, and a variety of native animals still roam the land, including Mexican free-tailed bats, acorn woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and Southern Pacific rattlesnakes. The Black Star Mining Co. opened a mine near the mouth of the canyon in 1877 and operated on and off until the early 1900’s, ultimately providing the canyon with its current name. Black Star Canyon’s rich history has spawned many urban legends that add to the area’s mystique, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Black Star Canyon welcomes hikers, bikers, and equestrians to enjoy exploring designated trails at their own pace on Saturday, 9/3. Parking is limited and carpooling is encouraged. Wilderness Access Day is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is encouraged. Mosquitoes have been out in full force at Black Star Canyon recently, so make sure to bring bug spray in addition to sunscreen and water. No new trail users will be permitted on the land past 1 p.m., and all trails are cleared for closure by 2 p.m. No dogs are allowed and all minors age 18 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Click on the title above to register for Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, or for more programs on the Landmarks, go to LetsGoOutside.org/activities.
Wilderness Access Day is a regularly occurring program held in various wilderness parks and nature preserves on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. For a full list of Wilderness Access Days, click here.