Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park


An easy gateway to the backcountry of the Cleveland National Forest and the northern Santa Ana Mountains. Black Star Canyon is well-known for many historical stories from both ranching days and the Gabrieleno or Tongva people who were its first residents. Visitors to Black Star and adjacent Baker Canyon are awed by soaring red rock cliffs, sweeping vistas of Irvine Lake and the Pacific Coast, as well as diverse sage scrub and chaparral habitats with many rare species of plants and animals.

Until the late 1800s the area was even home to many California grizzly bears. Black Star Canyon was previously known as Canon de los Indios (Canyon of the Indians) in Mexican times. Many tales are passed down about local residents including an infamous armed conflict in 1831 between trappers led by William Wolfskill and Native Americans that left many dead. As a result of this conflict, some people consider the area to be haunted even to this day. The Black Star Coal Mining Company opened a mine near the mouth of the canyon in 1877, which gave the canyon its present name. The mine operated off and on until the early 1900s.

For a list of upcoming events in Black Star Canyon, click here.