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.