Directions from Orange or LA County.
This one can be a little tricky if you haven't been here before so I'll give very detailed directions:
Take Chapman Ave (City of Orange) heading East which will turn into Santiago Rd (S18). Turn Left onto Live Oak Canyon Rd at Cook's Corner (you most likely will see a lot of motorcycles parked here). Just past Trubucco Canyon store and Rose Canyon Rd on the left will be a large dry creekbed.
Here's the fun part: turn left into the creekbed, don't mind the private road sign. Follow this road for about 6 miles. It will be very bumpy, a truck is recommended. Don't try this in a car right after a rain, I sometimes have trouble in my truck and I've seen plenty of 4 wheel drives get stuck this year ('08)! You will pass a model airplane...place, then a sign stating you are entering Cleveland National Forest.
At this point you will start to see running creeks and nice scenery. There are several places you can stop along the way. You will see make shift "damns" built by Holy Jim years ago to create fishing holes. Once you start seeing these you are almost there. You will pass the old historic "Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Station" on the left and cross a small bridge, still under construction last time I was there.
This is the end of the public part of the road, park here. A parking National Forest Adventure Pass is required. They do patrol here and you will get a ticket if you don't display a pass in your window.
There is a map board in the parking area. The road kind of "forks" here in 2 directions, both ways are just small access roads to private cabins, no public parking. Walk up the road to the left. You will pass a number of cabins for about the next half mile or so. Just past the last cabin is the trail head. From here it is about 1.5 miles to the falls. When you are almost there you will see a sign pointing to the falls. From this point you can also continue up the mountain to Santiago Peak if you are up to walking about 5 or so more miles.
For more details including very recent hiker's comments section and directions from the 5 fwy click here.
A mountain biker's trail description and pictures, along with a little bit of history: http://www.mountainbikebill.com/HolyJim.htm
Holy Jim home videos posted on you tube:
On the way to Holy Jim you will most likely pass a "biker bar" called Cook's Corner, located at Live Oak Canyon Rd and Santiago Canyon Rd. This is actually a historical site. Old photos of Cook's (I remember when it actually looked this way) and some historical info can be found at:
Hike Description & Topo Map:
Franko's Map Of Santa Ana Mountains and Chino Hills State Park
Very detailed maps showing practically every trail in the Santa Ana Mountains can be purchased. Franko's website has a lot of good acts about the area too. See Franko's website at: http://www.frankosmaps.com/Santa_Ana_Mountains.htm
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