Holy Jim Hiking Trail

Cleveland National Forest, California

Distance4.6mi
Elevation Gain4,011ft
Trailhead Elevation4,169ft
Top4,174ft
Elevation Min/Max1891/4174ft
Elevation Start/End4169/4169ft

Holy Jim Hiking Trail

Holy Jim Hiking Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Riverside County and Orange County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 4.6 miles long and begins at 4,169 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,011 feet. The Bear Spring can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Upper Holy Jim Trail and Holy Jim Canyon Road.

Holy Jim Hiking Trail Reviews

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7/6/2013
It is an adventure just getting to the trail head, you almost need a 4x4. The 4.7 mile approach is a dirt road with deep dips and pot holes. The trail itself is beautiful, especially for So. Cal. Very green, lots of trees (which means lots of shade on the trail) and some water. We went in July after a very hot week and there was just a trickle in the waterfall. We met some people there who had been there 3 weeks before and they showed us pics of the same waterfall with a lot more water in it. The trail has a lot of rocks and it is well marked. Loved it!
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4/19/2011
Great trail, I've been twice in the summer and there was still a good amount of water. Make sure you're not driving your dad's Mustang up to the trail head, it won't work. The road is very rocky and gets narrow at some points. And believe me, do not park your car on Trabuco Creek Rd and try to walk to the trail head, it's a long walk. When you reach the waterfall the cliffs on the right side of the water are easily climbable. I would like to see how far back the creek runs but I'll have to save that for a day when it's not too hot. I definitely recommend this hike, but it can get kind of crowded on the weekends so come early!
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3/14/2009
We picked probably the most perfect day and weather for this hike. The sky was clear, sunny, and blue. And the vegetation and flowers were lush, green, and in full bloom. The falls were at their fullest, due to so much recent heavy rain. The trail was well maintained, and easy to follow in all but a few spots where it crosses the stream. The gorgeous trees keep the trail very well shaded for the majority of the hike. This is a great hike to do with kids, and the bumpy 5 mile dirt road out to the trail head adds to the fun and adventure (go slow, high clearance vehicles are best). Count on getting your shoes wet when the stream is full.
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4/29/2007
Great Trail!!! A bit crowded on a Sunday afternoon, but my 12 yr old son, and our boxer (Roxy) had a great day. The hike to the falls was a great first hike for my son. There were hikers of all ages on the trail and everyone seamed to be enjoying the day. Lots of wild life to be seen.
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8/13/2006
I was impressed to find "wilderness" within the OC. Nice trail. Interesting little cabins on the way up. Cute waterfall. No bugs (except water beatles in the stream-- careful of your toes, they bite). You definitely need a 4x4 to get to the trail head.
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7/24/2006
Beware the road to the trailhead! It is a lot worse than advertised. But even with that pitfall (or perhaps because of it) this area is worth exploring. A lot of shade is provided in the lower elevations. The higher elevations provide a nice challenge. I went on a very hot day and saved the falls for the end. A very rewarding hike if you have the patience to get to the trailhead.
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3/10/2003
See my previous 12/2001 report for details on getting to the trail head. On this particular ride we had quite a bit of rain a few hours earlier. Quite a lot of water down the streams, making for more fun at the crossings. MTB shoes with cleats can be dicy on the wet rocks! Wet terrain is where disc brakes really rock. After getting by the various rocky uphill sections my friend and I started into the switchbacks. I managed to clear 5 of the 7 turns without dabbing. (yay!) Despite the cold and the wind at the higher trail elevations I was really amazed at all of the wildflowers and the riot of colors. I've been up in the Santa Ana mountains manyu times over the last 30 years and cannot remeber such a sight. Unfortunately the rain had not only spurred more trail overgrowth, but it was all dripping wet and soon so was I. I did bring a waterproof jacket but my gloves, shoes, and shorts were really soaked. We stopped about one mile short of the Main Divide Truck Trail and turned around. The downnhill piece of this ride is always the best! I even blitzed a few of the nasty wet rocky stream crossings. Next thing we knew we were back at the car and ready for a hot shower. Next time we'll go to the truck trail and come back down West Horsethief with its steep multi-switchback descent.
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Holy Jim Hiking Trail Photos

Trail Information

Cleveland National Forest
Nearby City
Cleveland National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Waterfalls
Features
Cleveland National Forest Trabuco Ranger District, 1147 E. Sixth St., Corona 92879; (951) 736-1811; fs.fed.us/r5/cleveland
Local Contacts
USGS Santiago Peak; Cleveland National Forest
Local Maps