In the late 1800s, the canyon was primarily used for beekeeping and was quarried for coal by the Black Star Mining Company, which is how the canyon received its name. Black Star Canyon was previously known as Cañon de los Indios or "Canyon of the Indians,” which was named for the Native American people who first settled there. Many tales have been passed down about previous residents and historical conflicts that ended in tragedy, leading some people to believe the area might be haunted.
Many native animals make Black Star Canyon their home. The vast hillsides are made up of coastal sage scrub, riparian, and grassland habitats, and were once home to larger animals like grizzly bears. Today, a variety of native animals still roam the land including turkey vultures, Pacific tree frogs, Mexican free-tailed bats, striped garter snakes, and Southern Pacific rattlesnakes.
To learn more about Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park and the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks visit LetsGoOutside.org.