Holy Jim Falls

Los Angeles Metro Area, California

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Holy Jim Falls


  • During times of high flow, the road to the Holy Jim Trailhead is closed at a creek crossing. This adds an extra 1.5 miles of walking along a paved road to reach the trailhead.- Holy Jim Falls
  • From the parking area, the trail begins behind a sign, climbing immediately into Holy Jim Canyon.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Several cabins are nestled in Holy Jim Canyon.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Another sign adjacent to the final cabin marks the beginning of the foot trail 0.6 mile from the parking area.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Wildflowers along the hike.- Holy Jim Falls
  • The hike requires several creek crossings.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Wildflowers along the hike.- Holy Jim Falls
  • A final sign marks the last fork before reaching the falls.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Holy Jim Falls.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Holy Jim Creek just below the falls has its own beauty during high flow.- Holy Jim Falls
  • Holy Jim Creek.- Holy Jim Falls
Overview + Weather
Scenic falls. Shaded hike.
High water may complicate access.
Los Angeles Metro Area, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
640.00 ft (195.07 m)
Parking Pass: 
California Adventure Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
4.25 mi (6.84 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,728.00 ft (526.69 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Holy Jim Falls is a beautiful and popular hiking destination tucked back in Holy Jim Canyon in Orange County. 

Beginning in a parking area near the confluence of Holy Jim Creek and Trabuco Creek, the first half mile climbs a road passing a handful of old rustic cabins. These cabins are a vestige of the old outlying canyon communities that once dotted the area.

Upon reaching the final cabin, the foot trail is marked by a sign, the first of many designed and built by Eagle Scouts. The trail climbs through a shady canyon with several creek crossings that may require some careful navigation during periods of higher flow.

Upon approaching the falls the trail passes through scenic cascading pools and smaller falls. Set about 2 miles into a trail with about 650 feet of elevation gain, Holy Jim Falls is a squat 25 feet tall, but nestled in a grotto, which makes for a serene spot to stop and eat a snack before returning to the trailhead.

The hike to Holy Jim Falls has a tendency to get crowded, particularly during weekends. However, the hike is well shaded and worth enduring the crowds or starting early to avoid them.

Rattlesnakes may be present in the area, particularly during warmer months.

A California Forest Adventure Pass is required. Day passes can be purchased at the Trabuco General Store located at 31021 Trabuco Canyon in the city of Trabuco Canyon.

At times of high water flow, the road to the trailhead is closed about 1.5 miles before the parking area, forcing visitors to walk the additional distance.

Trash cans and a vault toilet are located at the parking area.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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(29 within a 30 mile radius)

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