This scenic canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains acquired its name when the Black Star Coal Mining Co. opened a mine there in 1877. It closed in the early 1900s, but the name stuck. The canyon originally was called Cañada del los Indios, a nod to a native village. Pioneer J. E. Pleasants claimed that in 1831, a group of mountain men tracked a band of Native American horse thieves to this canyon, killed most of them, and returned the horses to their owners. Black Star also has generated more than its share of urban legends over the years. Today, visitors are more likely to run into mountain bikers and hikers than ghosts and crazed cults.
Chris Jepsen is the O.C. Answer Man. Have a question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.