Orange County's stock of open space grew significantly last summer when the Irvine Company gifted 20,000 acres of undeveloped land. Of that, about 2,000 acres make up Black Star Canyon.
Adjacent to Irvine Lake in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, the park is only open by guided tour except for Saturday when county officials will celebrate the gift's one-year anniversary by allowing self-guided access for the first time.
Three trails will be available between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Red Rocks Trail: A flat 2 to 2.5-mile out-and-back hike on a double-track trail. This family-friendly walk includes a view point for looking at the red rocks.
- Baker Canyon Loop: Slightly more challenging, this 3-mile hike traverses a single-track trail, which is off limits to bikers, and ranch roads, and offers an overlook viewpoint.
- Black Star Canyon: A strenuous 15-mile trek to the Cleveland National Forest and back, partially along a paved road and a double-track trail.
Like the nearby Limestone Canyon, which features a "mini Grand Canyon," open access days are limited. More such days at Black Star have yet to be planned, but a spokesperson said there will be more in the future. A listing of all group events at Orange County's new open space parks can be found here.
To get to Black Star Canyon, take Santiago Canyon Road to Silverado Road (north). Turn onto Black Star Canyon Road after a quarter-mile. Here's a map of the area.
For the record: An earlier version of this post referred to the land as Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park. It is just Black Star Canyon.