News and Events

5/21/18 - The FS has been coming around to the cabins for inspections. Twice in the past month. Please make sure you are prepared!

5/10/18 - Many thanks to cabin owner Mike M. for supplying these historic photos of the flood of 1969. View them here.

4/13/18 - To bring back trout to Holy Jim Canyon, the U.S. Forest Service needs to blow it up. OC Register

3/7/18 - Bark beetle infestation meeting on Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 in Silverado Canyon. Details here.

1/7/18 - I had a fabulous email convo with one of the original residents of Holy Jim Cabin #15. Check out the photos on the Cabin History page. Select the Holy Jim Tract and scroll to cabin 15. Thanks for the information, Ron!

12/6/17 - Cabin Owners: Long time Holy Jim enthusiast is looking for a cabin to rent sometime in the Spring. Let me know if you are interested and I will connect you.

10/8/17 - Holy Jim Canyon Auction @ Cooks Corner. 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

5/10/17 - Cabin Owner's meeting is Sunday, May 21st at 1:00.

3/19/17 - Dams to be destroyed starting March 20. Gate to canyon will remain closed. Very sad news.

1/31/17 - The canyon is open to foot traffic. The gate is still closed to all but cabin owners. Thank you for your cooperation.


1/18/17 - Heavy rainfall expected for the next 6 days

The Forest Service has inferred that the canyon roads may fail due to heavy rains and/or flash flooding expected in the next several days. Please use caution if you plan to visit your cabin. It is not recommended, although cabin-owners will have access via the gate code. Gate will remain locked to non cabin-owners.

NOTE: The Forest Service will soon place a 'NO PARKING' sign on the gate. Once this sign has been placed, they will begin to write tickets to violating vehicles. The ticket must be dealt with in FEDERAL court, so please beware.

1/9/17 - Forest Gate Closed

Due to the impending storms, the gate to Holy Jim Canyon will be closed FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. You will not be able to get into the Cleveland National Forest. Please do NOT block the gate attempting to get in. Cabin owners who have access MAY have to move your vehicle out of the way if you block their way. By any means.

10/26/16 - New Vintage Article

A new article has been added, "Chronicling a County's Quirks". Thanks for the great find, Mark!

10/17/19 - New Fire Pictures

Several cabin owners contributed photos for this new slide show of the Holy (Jim) Fire.

9/30/16 - Beware the road!

We are all aware that the road has been graded. While the new, smooth road is great for full-time residents and flatlanders, it is very dangerous. We have been witness to extreme speed and almost head-on collisions. Please be very careful when traveling the road. It isn't good enough to drive slowly - you have to be aware of cars coming the opposite direction and prepare to quickly get out of the way. As soon as it rains the potholes will return.

8/31/16 - Holy Jim Fire Update 7:10 pm

As of 7:10 this evening, we can see helicopters still taking water from the Dove Canyon reservoir to dump on the fire. However, there is no visible smoke and the fire 'appears' to be under control. We cannot smell any smoke in Dove Canyon. They cannot perform the helicopter dumps in the evening and it is just beginning to get dark. Hopefully the winds will not act up and the fire will not spread overnight.

This fire was fought largely from the air with OCFA hand crews working in the canyons.

"Cleveland National Forest witnessed a historic event on 8/31 as Smoke Jumpers were dispatched to work on the remote areas of the fire, marking the first time in Cleveland National Forest history that such a event occurred. Before yesterday, Cleveland was the only forest in California that smoke jumpers had never jumped into." -- Iniciweb

8/5/16 - Holy Jim Canyon's 'Sage' is pictured in OC Weekly article regarding Dana Point Harbor Time Capsule

'Coastal Life 1966' Time Capsule to be Opened August 29 In Dana Point Harbor

Scroll down and you will see a photo of the late Jim Sleeper circa 1966.

7/3/16 - Drivers Beware!

There was another terrible accident on the dirt road last Friday. Drivers not experienced with the rugged canyon roads often underestimate the rate of speed that is safe for travel. The jaws of life were necessary to extract one of the victims and the road was closed for several hours. Hopefully, the driver and occupants are Ok. Thanks to the OCFD and Sheriff's department for their assistance.


7/2/16 - No Camp Fires in the Canyon

This is a reminder to visors to our canyons that there are no campfires allowed. This potentially risky bonfire was found last week near the fire barn.

4/30/16 - Vintage Newspaper Articles and Minutes

Please view the new sections under 'Documents'. I have added several vintages news articles. Mark Patton was able to provide the vintage meeting minutes. Enjoy!

4/2/16 - Latest Canyon Casualty

I heard the familiar partying sounds last night but didn't realize until this morning what had happened. I hope the occupants were in better shape than their Jeep. Slow down folks!

Jeep Crash

3/12/16 - 2016 Swallows Parade

Mike and I had the honor of riding with 8 other folks on the California Firefighters Association/California Fire Museum's Hose Wagon at the 2016 San Juan Capistrano Swallows parade. The California Fire Museum is the organization that we donated Gertrude to in 2009. The Hose Wagon was pulled by two horses and was flanked by the beautiful "Steamer 1" 1902 antique steamer engine, which was pulled by three horses. We had the pleasure of meeting Dave Hubert and his wife Barbara, who restored the engine. Please read the Steamer 1 website for more info. Sadly, the parade team is retiring this year. More parade photos on our Facebook page. We thank Don Forsyth (CFM/Ca. Firefighters Association) for making this possible.

Hose Wagon  steamer 1  Steamer in NYC - 1912. Steamer leaves station for last time   A hose wagon from 1896 in San Bernardino, CA.  Horses Prince and Dick

Dave Hubert (owner of Steamer 1) and Dottie at the Swallows Parade 2016


2/25/16 - New Website

The new websites 'cabin history' page has issues with the older Safari browser (MAC) stretching the cabin images. This is on my to-do list and hopefully will be fixed soon.

UPDATE: This problem should be fixed.

1/4/16 - HJVFD Engine from the 60's. There was an Engine before Gertrude!

Click here to see the photos.

12/10/15 - The bridge has been completed!

Bridge 1 Bridge 2

9/26/15 - Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Beetle

I recently attended a conference at UCI regarding the PSHB. This issue became 'real' to me after UCI recently began cutting down hundreds of majestic and iconic trees on campus that were infested with this beetle. I created a guide for cabin owners to become familiar with this pest that is making its way to our cabins. Please click here to read "A Layman's Guide to the PSHB".


Trabuco Creek road has been oiled and looks like blacktop. It is extremely dangerous. Drive slowly.

Oiled Road

8/23/15 - New Bridge Construction

Trabuco Creek road was recently graded to make way for the heavy equipment to facilitate work on the new bridge. This is quite an upgrade from the slab of concrete that existed previously.

Bridge 1 Bridge 2 Bridge 3 Bridge 4

Bridge 5 Bridge 6 Bridge 7

Did You Know?

  • Lont-time cabin owner Mark Patton's grandparents co-owned and operated the Live Oak Canyon Riding Stables, across from O'Neill Park, from about 1961-1974. For a photo of what Trabuco Mesa looked like in 1968 (before Rancho Santa Margarita), go to the 'Changing Canyon' page.
  • "Holy Jim" Smith had a wife, Hattie, and lived in Santa Ana for 30 years AFTER he left the canyon. His Santa Ana home on 5th Street was razed to make room for the Civic Center.
  • The Forest Service now requires a $1200.00 fee for the transfer of cabin ownership. This took affect in January 2016, per the Cabin Fee Act.