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Holy Jim Falls Out and Back

Easy/Intermediate
  4.2 ( 6 ) Favorite

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer out and back
89% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 528' 161 m
Descent: -528' -161 m
High: 2,295' 700 m
Low: 1,767' 538 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by John McKinney

An out and back run to Holy Jim Falls.

John McKinney

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

There may be fire restrictions in effect.

Overview

This 3 mile round trip run follows Holy Jim Trail up to Holy Jim Falls.

Need to Know

This trail is extremely popular and could be crowded on the weekends.

Description

To reach the trailhead, off-road or four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended as Trabuco Creek Road is potholed and quite rough.

From the trailhead, head north on Holy Jim Trail up the canyon road. On this well-shaded part of trail runners will pass numerous private cabins that are on land leased from the Forest Service. After about 0.5 miles the path becomes more trail-like and runners continue up the vine and oak covered canyon as it follows and crosses the creek several times. Stone check dams were built by the California Department of Fish and Game in the 1950s to create deep pools for fish. At the fork at about 1.4 miles, take a right onto Holy Jim Falls Trail ( a connector trail) towards Holy Jim Falls. After some boulder-hopping and creek-crossings, runners reach Holy Jim Falls, a 20 foot tall waterfall surrounded by lush flora including oak trees, ferns, and vines.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Oak, sycamore and fir trees, vines, and ferns.

History & Background

This part of the canyon was popular among pioneers in the early 1800s. These "mountain men" tended to be woodcutters and professional beekeepers. The trail, falls, and canyon all take their names from "Cussin" Jim Smith, one of these early settlers who had a proclivity for using "unholy epithets" when displeased. Mappers in the earth 20th century changed his name to "Holy" Jim Smith, in an effort to not honor such a blasphemer with geographical landmarks.

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#2569

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Featured Run Rankings

#399

in California

#2,569

Overall
40 Views Last Month
1,016 Since Aug 7, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Yellow flowers
Aug 7, 2017 near Trabuco…, CA
Linda crossing the creek
Aug 7, 2017 near Trabuco…, CA
Linda in the overgrowth
Aug 7, 2017 near Trabuco…, CA
Linda take a break by the stream
Aug 7, 2017 near Trabuco…, CA

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