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Holy Jim Trail

From You7781.18 Mi
Local TipsHigh ground clearance vehicle strongly recommended for access on Trabuco Canyon Rd. This is part of Cleveland National Forest, which requires an Adenvutre Pass
Created (yyyy-mm-dd)2015-01-15
Created ByBen Bartley
  • Soft
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Hills
  • Out And Back
  • Single-Track
  • Technical
  • Family Friendly
  • Fee
  • Dog Friendly
Street Crossings
  • None
Max Distance15-39
Volume of Use
  • Steady
DescriptionHoly Jim Trail is truly unique compared to most Orange County trails because it encompasses technical single-track, tree-lined sections, and extended climbs averaging 10% grade above 5,000ft in elevation. There are exposed sections that can get very hot and there is no water access once you leave the parking lot. This is a mountain trail - advanced planning is recommended if the summit is your goal.

Just past the Holy Jim Fire Department is parking for access to the Holy Jim Trail. The first half mile is along a residential road, so please be quiet and courteous. About 1.5 miles in there is a turn off for the Holy Jim Falls (another .25mi), after which the trail becomes a lot less crowded as you make your way up towards Santiago Peak.

5 miles in you will 'T' the N Main Divide Rd (open to motorized 4x4 vehicles) - left will take you to the summit via the (dirt) road, right can take you to the final segment of Holy Jim (named Upper Holy Jim Trail). Be on the lookout though, this quick 150 degree left turn is easy to miss and continue on the N Main Divide Rd for miles away from your intended target! There is a sign and its abuot .4 miles after you get on the Main Divide Rd. A mile later (on Upper Holy Jim), you'll encounter the N Main Divide Rd again - taking a right will continue to the summit and left will take you back down to the Holy Jim Trail 'T'.

The summit is 7.5-8 miles from the parking lot depending on route choice (Upper Holy Jim is shorter and steeper option). There you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and Catalina Island on a clear day!

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