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Black Star Canyon to Tongva-Gabrieliño Site - STRENUOUS

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  • Black Star Canyon Gate

    Black Star Canyon Road, Silverado, CA (map)

    33.807602 -117.643776

  • Joel will be wearing a psychedelic shirt. His cell phone is[masked] We'll meet up at the gate.
  • The site of a Tongva-Gabrieliño village, massacre and late nineteenth century murder is our objective on this end of the year hike. This area was one of the few where California Grizzly did not go which made it an ideal place for Native Americans to concentrate their acorn-gathering and other subsistence efforts. We will view the traces of their presence while we enjoy an early lunch (perhaps consisting of turkey sandwiches?) We will also pass through the Mariposa Preserve with its strange rock formations and views of the Santa Ana Mountains and enjoy the shade of Black Star Canyon itself.

    We will start at the Black Star Canyon Gate then walk along Black Star Canyon Road. At the end of the flat portion (about two and a half miles in) we will begin to ascend a series of switchbacks to the Mariposa Preserve where we will stop to catch our breath and explore a little before proceeding to the Black Star Ranch/Tongva-Gabrieliño site. Here we will stop for lunch and explore the area, then turn back the same way as we came.

    This hike is dog friendly!


    Distance: The hike is about 10 miles long. It should take us about 4 to 5 hours round trip.

    Difficulty: Strenuous. The first two and a half miles are flat, but we will then engage a series of stiff switchbacks that will take us to the Mariposa Preserve.

    Facilities: There are no facilities at the trailhead, along the route, at the Mariposa Preserve, or the village site.

    Gear: Good shoes, hat, and lunch. Trekking poles can be very helpful along the switchbacks. Cameras can capture stunning views and the nuances of the village site.

    Pets: You can bring your dog! There is a portion with an electric fence flanking the road where you will want to keep your dog on a leash.


    From Santiago Canyon Road (accessible from the 241, Jamboree, El Toro or Chapman), take the Silverado cutoff. Take the first left down Black Star Canyon Road until you get to the gate next to the big cheese rock. The hike leader will be waiting behind the gate.

    This is what the gate looks like.  The entrance is on the right:


    Select hikes that are at your ability level-there is no sweep.

    Bring at least one bottle of water (16oz). Two might be best for this hike.

    Eat a hearty breakfast and bring a bag lunch.

    Rain three days or less prior to hike might cancel the hike. Check the site the night before for news.

    Wait at each trail crossing or turn-off for the rest of the group and the organizer.

    Wear appropriate hiking clothes and shoes.

    Do not leave a fellow hiker behind without inquiring as to their condition.

    You are responsible for your own safety.

    Bring food, water, and a leash for your dog.


    Group organizer and assistant organizers assume no liability; hike at your own risk. By being a member of this group you hereby agree to assume all risks and liability related to or resulting from any and all group functions. You agree that neither you nor any third party will hold any of the group's leaders, officers, or representatives liable for any injury, loss, or damage to your own person or any members of your family, friends, acquaintances, children, pets, or property, arising directly or as a consequence from a group activity. You also agree that your membership of this group is based on an "at will" basis.

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17 going

  • Joel S.
    Sunset Naturalist,
    Event Host

    Getting better.

  • Melissa +1


  • MimiK

    Hi! I'm a happy hiker and photographer and looking forward to joining meetups with this group!

  • Mike F.

    Casual hiker looking to build strength and endurance and meet some nice people.

  • Andrea


  • Sheri

    Moved to California from IL this year. Interested in making friends with other fun, genuine,... more

  • Sherry

    New to OC but not to hiking. Looking forward to meeting new friends and exploring.

  • Steve

    Former New Yorker who came to Orange County recently where the weather is perfect.

  • Diane F

    Hi Like to explore the outdoors.

  • Kevin M
    The Transformer,

    Looking to hike for fun, exercise and to meet nice people. So far, mission accomplished!

  • Tanya K

    I love the outdoors. I bike and hike and look forward to doing more of it.... more

  • Trudi C

    The journey of my life has taken many turns. Exploring new places... more

  • John B.
    Captain Chips, Assistant Organizer

    Hello, I live in R.S.M. and I regularly walk and hike in the area. Love to meet... more

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