Explore to do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

to do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

THE FLAG IS BACK!

Thanks to whom ever did that!

For a more detailed review, see my review 29 days ago.
This is the third time I have been up this trail in 29 days and it is worth the strenuous (last part of the trail) hike.

On one of my hikes to Black Mountain, I used my Asolo boots to see how they would work on this trail and the stiffness began to give me friction issues so I had to slow down. While I had planned enough time for the hike, the friction issues took my hike into the night.

I had always taken a head lamp with me along with the 10 essentials (maps, compass [even though I use GPS], sun protection, extra food and water, protective clothing, matches, fire starting materials, a knife and first aid kit). I often questioned the need for some of the ten but that day my dedication to the ten paid off, for real.

Not only did I need my head lamp, it got cold and windy so I used my rain jacket as a wind breaker (rain is not always an issue in the dessert but the rain layer is intended to serve multiple uses).

I was never afraid during this unexpected night hike, but I began to get disorientated and thought I might need to stop and camp; I had an emergency bivy for extra warmth if I needed it.

I began to wonder why it was so hard to see the trail (it was only after doing some post hike research I found out that warm light would have been better for my situation for better color contrast. Part of this trail gets faint and hard to see at points; the cool white light washes out the faint contrast between the trail and surrounding gravel. From my research, the only warm light head lamp I found was from Zebra light).

I soon heard some voices ahead but I was still a good distance from the trailhead and was wondering what that was all about… soon, I saw lights bobbing up a head: must have been 5 or 6. When then lights got closer, I saw that the lights were on trail runners… trail running at night. About three groups of them passed me; all in all there must have been 15 of them. Cool!

After they left me, I was still having some difficulty orienting myself. Suddenly, it was like someone turned on a night light: moonrise; and it was a full moon! I turned down my headlamp and, once my eyes adjusted, I could better see the trail.

Morel of the story: always carry the ten basics.

today, trail was a bit muddy from last night's rain. well worth the time.

Great drive. Hiked calico trail

hiking
11 days ago

Very easy hike. Very packed on weekends. Plenty of shade. Bathrooms at trailhead were clean. Plenty of parking. The only reason for a three star rating was due to how many people were on the trail.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice hike, with much needed shade. Watch your step, don't be like me who talks more than pays attention to whats in front of him

loved the view

hiking
19 days ago

weird to see the graffiti and smokers but it's a good hike with kids.

For personal reasons this is my favorite hike. Lot of memories. It’s a great southern Indiana hike also.

We definitely were not in shape for this one. But we took our time and made it to the top and back out. We they say steep and gravely, they mean it. It is all desert, so not a lot to look at. But I highly recommend hiking it if you get a chance.

walking
23 days ago

Very nice hike, good view at the top of red rocks and vegas. Trails not well marked, so not always easy to figure out which way to go if not for gps on the phone. I would rate this easy/moderate. The very top of the trail involved minor scrambling, but even that wasn’t too challenging. I am a relatively experienced hiker. This took me about an hour and a half. I ran most of the way back.

WAY too crowded. Too many people. Dog crap everywhere and no one picks it up. Trash and crap graffiti. People on the trail don’t have etiquette and will block the whole trail and go slow. Won’t allow others to pass. Waterfall is unimpressive.

October 22: Solo’d to the waterfall and only one wrong turn.

hiking
26 days ago

Good Socal hike with great views of the mountains.

Did the whole hike in my record 2 hours and 14 minutes.Not a hard hike but if your out of shape you will have trouble.I'm not in a way a fit person,but I've done tons of hikes to able to pull something like this off.

hiking
29 days ago

This is a relatively easy hike but, as other reviewers have mentioned, it's very crowded on the weekends

I made a quick decision while in Las Vegas to hike this trail. I read over the description but not that carefully. Its steep and difficult. I made it to the second saddle and decided to turn back because I didn't plan on two more hours. The trail is a road believe it or not. (I would not want to be driving any vehicle on that road). I'll be back in March to hike the whole thing. The views are incredible and as hard as it is, its exhilarating to hike a steep trail. Even making it to the second saddle is worth it if you don't want to hike the whole thing. The gravel is loose and its almost harder going down. Be careful. Like any hike start early.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail BLM404 (Black Mountain) is an easy hike most of the way until the last ½ mile when you might have to engage in some scrambling (class 2). Because of the distance and last segment of the hike, it is considered strenuous by most accounts; it kicked my butt pretty good

You access the trail via the Shadow Canyon Trailhead and follow a paved portion of the Anthem East Trail. There is a reservoir and you want to keep right of it (SE). You know you are on the right track if you pass by a small brick structure with a trail sign on it: find BLM404: this is the trail to Black Mountain. Follow along the top of the spillway till you see a sign that reads “Black Mountain Trail”. The trail itself is well marked from there and soon follows a ridgeline to the top.

Warm weather hiking is difficult due to the lack of shade so bring plenty of water (3 liters when hot, 2-1 liters when cool). While the landscape is stark in the beginning, there are breathtaking views of the valleys below as you hike along a ridge line with some switch backs.

As you get to higher elevations, there are small windswept Joshua Trees and about three types of Barrel Cactus. As you approach 1/3 of a mile from the peak, there are nice clusters of Teddy Bear Cholla… but be careful: these cacti are painful to brush by and often have little clusters that have fallen off the mother plant scattered about.

You will know when you are getting close to the peak as the trail gets steeper and more rugged with loose rocks and a steeper assent. You might want to have your hands free to steady yourself at that point. I was so focused on the trail; I was stunned by the abrupt appearance of a nicely made 9 foot diameter rock wall build around the benchmark medallion when I reached the peak. The wall had an opening, was about 3 feet high and gave great protection against any wind.

I found three benchmark medallions from the US Coast & Geodetic Survey at the peak.

The view was amazing from the top and totally worth the hike!

scenic driving
1 month ago

If you visit Las Vegas, make sure you go to Red Rock and at least take the scenic drive. It is an amazing place to visit! The National Park America the Beautiful pass ($80/year for entrance to all national parks and monuments) gets you in for no additional cost. The visitors center is very helpful in suggesting trails to take if you are feeling like taking a hike. Nice areas to stop and take scenic photos.

1 month ago

It’s horrible here on the weekend... Lots of trash, dog poop, people making out and people smoking! Never on the weekend again!

Any waterfall because of the rain yesterday?

this was a really nice hike but it's a fire Road most of the way but the views from Inspiration Point are something special and it was 8 miles round-trip and we saw a bobcat

My first time on this trail was mid-October. The trail is mainly covered by trees which naturally created some wet areas to get around (but it was worth getting around them!) The trail ran alongside a river that had a lot of runoff- at the time. There were even rockwalls with trickling water dripping from the top.
Along the way were split trails. I took the path closest to the river, mainly taking lefts. After the first waterfall -about a mile(ish) or more in- the trail opened to a meadow of sunflowers. A little ways up, came another waterfall; much wider than the first. Lots of people swimming and playing in the sunshine. There were even kayakers paddling by at one point.
I was running and met up with a biker at the waterfall. I ended up passing them on the way back towards the end. It was well traveled and narrow. But the run way great! Enjoyed it and will most likely use it for another beautiful day!

If you want a adventures hike take the Castle Canyon trail up to inspiration point. It was challenging but a shaded trail with great views. We took the Sam Merrill trail down. It was a nice trail covered by trees at first but then it was switchbacks and full sun exposure until the end of the trail.

Fantastic view over LA.

hiking
1 month ago

Very cool trail that leads you through the old LA Zoo

Great hike, well marked and maintained. Make sure and take water if it’s warm out, you’ll need it. It is a good work out that rewards with great views.

1 month ago

About 2 hours hiking feels amazing loved Mother Nature

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice. Plenty of parking, well marked trail, friendly people, beautiful scenery, and nice waterfall at the end.

Good hike. But the first part (Sam Merrill Trail) to get to inspiration Pt is very highly trafficked. Inspiration Pt trail is super steep but a good workout. It was overcast so couldn’t really see much. Lots of rocks going up and down. Overall good one.

Load More