Walkabout: OC Style

 

So here we go folks, Holy Jim Trail.  This is my version of a "walkabout" because I have never done this trail before and want to go explore it.  :-)

As always, please wear comfortable, sturdy shoes/boots and bring plenty of water.  An Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead and can be purchased at REI for $5.  As an added incentive to carpool (I can take two others), I will be happy to purchase the pass in advance.  Just let me know who you are carpooling and I will pick it up for you.  ***Please also note, the ride up to the trailhead is not for slick, expensive, low-riding sports cars.  Please drive up there with your vehicle at your own risk.***

So if you are up for some adventure, don those hiking boots and let's go get lost!

Directions to trailhead:

From Interstate 5, exit at El Toro Road and go north for about 7.5 miles to "Cook's Corner". This is where El Toro Rd splits.  The left hand split will be E. Santiago Canyon Rd, but you will be turning right on Live Oak Canyon Road.

From Cook's Corner head east for about 4.4 miles to a fairly obvious wash. You will pass a small store on your left and O'Neill Park on your right. The store is your last chance for supplies. Adventure Passes may be available at the store.

Turn left up on the dirt road (Trabuco Creek Road) immediately after the wash and follow this rough road for 4.7 miles to the trailhead parking area. No services or piped water. The parking area is immediately after the Holy Jim Fire Station (unmanned). Be sure to display your Adventure Pass. Note: After heavy rains this road may be tough to negotiate since it crosses Trabuco Creek several times (no bridges). Other than these times 4WD is not normally required but high ground clearance is recommended. Passenger cars can make the trip with caution.

Trabuco Creek Road continues on to a different trailhead, past some private residences for a couple of miles, at a dead end. Use the fire station as your indicator to stop.

Trail description:

The trail to the falls is not difficult. It crosses through Holy Jim Creek many times, rising gently until you reach the fork. At the fork, take the trail to the right for about 1/4-mile. Allow at least 1- 1/2 hours for a relaxed round trip. For the 5 -mile trek to Main Divide, take the left trail at the fork.

Stop 1: Holy Jim's cabin.
Remnants of the stone wall are all that remain of Jim's 1870 house. The house was burned to the ground along with the hundreds of bee hives from which Jim made his living. The original fig orchard was also burned by the fire, but as can be seen, subsequent generations of figs have survived and are numerous in the canyon today.

Stop 2: The Talking Mountain
Looking northwest up to the ridgeline you can see Santiago Peak, or the "talking mountain", named for the many electronic antennaes and transmitting stations at the summit. From Santiago Peak, cellular telephone and microwave signals are transmitted all over the Los Angeles basin.
Santiago Peak was called Kalawpa by the Luiseno Indians, who knew it as the home of a powerful spirit. Later the Spanish named it Santiago Peak, however at 5,687 feet above sea level, it is easily recognized by the local residents who call it, together with its neighbor Modjeska Peak, "Old Saddleback."

Stop 3: Wildfires and Downed Trees
In July of 1908, two hunters failed to extinguish their campfire at the junction of Trabuco and Holy Jim Canyons. The escaped fire swept through both canyons and charred over 4,000 acres. The hunters were apprehended by the Forest Service and fined for the damage their carelessness had caused.

Stop 4: Picnic Rock.
In the stream you will see a structure made of fieldstone and cement spanning Holy Jim creek. This is a weir or "check dam," created to provide deep pools for fish. The gap in the check dam can be closed off, blocking the water flow and creating a pool behind the dam. The numerous dams were built in the 1950's by California Department of Fish and Game. Picnic Rock is a popular spot to pause on the way back from the falls.
Opposite "Picnic Rock," on the eastside of the trail, is an ancient oak that may be 500 years old.

As the trail rises and bears west, a fork in the trail appears. The left fork leads to the Main Divide Road, a difficult, hot, and dry 5-mile hike. For the short 1/4 mile hike to the falls, take the right fork and follow the creek until you reach the falls.

Read more: http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-cleveland-national-forest-hiking-sidwcmdev_065897.html#ixzz2GyiVfoPQ

 

 

 

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  • Roberto

    Awesome hiking adventure with awesome people. Thank you Liz and Vince.

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome group of people and a wonderful hike!

    February 18, 2013

  • Lisa

    I had a blast! It was great meeting everyone. Looking forward to the next adventure. Thanks Liz and Vince!

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want to thank everyone for making this an especially great event, especially all the drivers who helped haul out butts out there. We even got to try a great restaurant, Bru! I had a great time!

    February 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Liz and Vince, Thank you so much for a fantastic day with amazing people. I really enjoyed spending the day with the group, from the time we all got together, through the hike, and a great lunch. BTW, I feel like I'm about to explode. Should have skipped dessert.

    Can't wait to see everyone again, especially for another hike.

    Have a fantastic week.

    February 17, 2013

  • Kimberly

    I am here at the Big Five, but they don't open until 10 a.m. on Sundays!

    February 17, 2013

  • Junjun W

    I really want to go but need to carpool.I live in Walnut/Diamond bar area.I can meet you guys somewhere but i dont think my car can take that dirty road.If anybody have a spot please please let me know.Thank you.Thank you!!! - Jun

    February 16, 2013

    • Junjun W

      Yes Roberto. thank you .that will be great.what time should i meet you guys at your place?

      February 16, 2013

    • Roberto

      Jujun, lets meet at 8:45. I will email you my address and hone number.

      February 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am borrowing a friends SUV, so I have room for 4. I live in Mission Viejo by Saddleback Church if anybody needs me to pick them up or I can meet them at the dirt road (Trabuco Creek Road) immediately after the wash. Let me know

    February 9, 2013

    • Brian

      Hi Joe, I live in Mission Viejo as well. If I meet you at your house at 9:30am, can I get a ride as well?

      February 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Meet at Big 5 at 9:30 am for a ride

      February 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there still room for one more person? I don't want to RSVP unless I can ride in a SUV or truck with someone.
    Thanks!

    February 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Are we all going to meet somewhere together to start the carpool to the starting point of the walkabout?

      February 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, Raana, we are going to meet at the Big 5 in Lake Forest at 9:15am.

      February 17, 2013

  • Lauren F.

    I know it's last minute, but if there's room in a SUV, I'd like to join. I already have an adventure pass too.

    February 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      is there another spot for me by any chance?

      February 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      great, thank you. so we just meet in lake forest at 915?

      February 16, 2013

  • Kimberly

    I am in need of a ride! Anyone coming from the Costa Mesa area?

    February 12, 2013

    • Kimberly

      Sounds good! So you are going Harbor to the 405??

      February 14, 2013

    • Kimberly

      Oh, I see we are meeting in lake forest at 915, I will see you there!

      February 16, 2013

  • Lauren F.

    nvmd..it's a no go now. Working at noon. boo =(

    February 16, 2013

  • Jaclyn

    Doctor's orders. :-/

    February 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Okay, folks, this hike is on! Let's meet at the Big 5 store located at 24314 Swartz Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630 at 9:15a. It is located just off the El Toro exit of the 5. I will be purchasing Adventure Passes for any vehicle that takes folks to the trailhead. My cell number is[masked] in case you need help finding us. If the folks driving others, could please contact me either on my cell or via Meetup email to let me know that you got this message, are still able to drive folks, and if you need an Adventure Pass, I would greatly appreciate it. See you all Sunday morning :)

    February 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we all meeting somewhere to start the carpool to the trail?

    February 15, 2013

  • Christina

    sorry

    February 14, 2013

  • Christina

    I am coming down with a cold or flu. I won't be able to make it. sorry for the short notice

    February 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gotta work

    February 14, 2013

  • Courtney

    Man, really wanted to do this, and forgot about a fundraiser I'm volunteering for at 10am. Geesh! Have fun, kids!

    February 13, 2013

  • Vince

    OK guys, I'm helping Liz work out the vehicle situation. At the moment, I have the following people able to drive the dirt road: Joe, Chris, Chrysta, Udit, and (me). That's enough space for 18 people. We're 7 short. If you can drive (have a truck/SUV/Subaru/or piece of crap), please volunteer. It won't be 4 wheeling, but I wouldn't want to take a sedan on the road. Also, if you DO NOT think you can make it PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE update your status!! We're working hard to find space for everyone and need an accurate headcount. Thanks!!!

    February 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you, Roberto and Gregg! That puts us at 25 :-) Yay!!

      February 12, 2013

    • Roberto

      Thank you, Liz for doing the hard work and organizing the hike. Looking forward to Sunday.

      1 · February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Right now I have Joe, Chris, Udit, Vince, and Chrysta with trucks who can take a total of 18 of us. Vince has suggested that we meet at the Big 5 on El Toro and the 5. I am hoping that there are more drivers of SUVs/trucks out there to help out. Please let me know if there is and if you can't make it, please change your RSVP. Thanks!

    February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Changed my mind, I'm going. I'll try to get a truck to help shuttle.

    February 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    lost interest in the trail, too much trouble to get to.

    February 5, 2013

  • Christina

    Anyone interested in carpooling from north OC (Brea/Fullerton)?

    February 3, 2013

  • Christina

    I woud like to carpool

    February 3, 2013

  • Roberto

    Connie, I will save you a spot.

    January 27, 2013

  • Roberto

    Liz, I have a 4x4 SUV and can take 4 people.

    January 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks, Roberto. I am hoping Chrysta and Vince will help out, too. This can all be arranged closer to the date of the event. Don't fret my friends :-)

      1 · January 21, 2013

    • Connie

      Great! I will definitely need to ride up to trailhead with someone. :)

      January 26, 2013

  • Amy

    I hike Trabuco Canyon yesterday, which is the next trail after Holy Jim. The drive in was bumpy, close to rough, and lot of dirt and you will encounter rocks. Luckily no pot holes, but according to another memebr in the hike, there were pot holes last week. I strongly recommend SUV and trucks...I see people driving thier sedans...but that's just crazy. And yes, it took 30 mintues to drive 3-4 miles. I took my new Outback in, handled like a champ...but hopfully no dings and sratches after my car wash tomorrow.

    January 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I am working on partnering with members who have SUV/trucks/4 wheel vehicles to shuttle members with sedans/low clearance vehicles to the trailhead. So no fear if you don't own a truck. Join us anyway :)

      January 21, 2013

  • Courtney

    I will probably need to ride with someone, too, at least up Trabuco Creek.. I would be coming from RSM, so can meet around Trabuco General Store or Trabuco School, rather than going all the way to Cook's Corner.

    January 4, 2013

  • Jason

    I know it very well. I've hiked it 5-6 times and mountain biked it twice, once to the peak. It is very scenic. This is the time of year to do it. The fauna is very green. Rain creates a good flow in the creek and waterfall. And it's not a million degrees out, with gnats. The road is dirt and VERY rough right now. I could ride a bike there faster than a car could. A truck or SUV with ground clearance is recommended. It takes 30 min. to travel 3 miles. But well worth it.

    January 4, 2013

  • Kimberly

    i would like to carpool, my Jetta would not be pleased with that drive!

    January 3, 2013

  • Andrew

    I do not know the area, but will definately follow your lead.

    January 3, 2013

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