This popular destination for mountain bikers and hikers is located in a remote mountain canyon in Orange County, California. The trail is open and gives a wild view of the surrounding area, and the history of this area makes the journey all the more interesting. An important archeological site, this canyon is the main source of artifacts from the Tongva Native American Tribe, which endured a long history of conflict with the Spanish explorers and American trappers and settlers. In one instance, an American fur trapper accused a Tongva man of stealing horses from a ranch; an unequal battle ensued, and most of the Tongva involved were slaughtered.
The 7-mile hike toward Beek's place involves a gradual and continuous climb on a fire road. There isn't any water or shade along the trail, so it is not ideal to be on the trail during a hot summer day. After rains and on a cool day, the hike is very pleasant. And for anyone who is not feeling up for the hike uphill, there is a short trail that leads to Black Star Falls. The turnoff to the waterfall hike is about 3 miles from the parking lot, and the route involves navigating around boulder and a possible stream crossing.
Staying on the fire road, it's still a long uphill road toward Beek's Place, a ruin of what used to be a weekend getaway built by Joseph Beek in the 1930s. From a distance you can see the water tower that marks the end of the hike. On the clear day, the view from Beek's Place is magnificent. You'll be able to see toward Corona, Santiago Peak, San Bernardino Peak, and also the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Enjoy this view before heading back following the same trail.