Explore the most popular birding trails in Black Mountain Open Space with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
15 days ago

- PROS -
1. Some of the most beautiful panoramic views of surrounding San Diego.
2. Much less foot traffic than other popular nearby hikes (Mt. Woodson, Iron Mountain). I saw maybe 10 other people on a Sunday morning.
3. Great workout, with plenty of climbs. Definitely a solid Moderate.
4. Very nice ample free parking and bathrooms at the start
5. Well maintained trail, albeit small rocks here and there.

- CONS -
1. The section between Secondary Summit and Black Mountain Peak is CLOSED. I noticed this was mentioned back in Feb. 2017, and apparently it is still under restoration now in Sep. 2018. This makes it a bit of a pain to hike a loop. I went counter-clockwise, following the posted route. Once I got to Secondary Summit, it should just be ~0.4mi uphill to Black Mountain Peak...but it's closed. So I needed to backtrack to the short nighthawk trail connector, at which point it joins Miner's Ridge Loop. From there, I went up to Black Mountain Peak, and then followed Miner's Ridge Loop all the way down.
2. The entirety of Miner's Ridge Loop is a wide service road from the antennas at the top. This was fine, just be aware that it isn't quite as "natural".
3. Not much clear signage. However, I just used a GPS map on my phone whenever the trail split and didn't get lost. I had cell service and 4G during the entire hike.

Great hike. Definitely on the difficult side of moderate. Lots of climbing. A great local hike. Good training hike for a bigger hike.

This was our first family hike and we absolutely loved it!! We live a few minutes away and now this will be one of our favorite hikes for sure. Edward (5) did increíble. Ashton (3) not too much but daddy was able to carry him they both very happy.

Beautiful hike! Good elevation and lovely views. We were hiking, but saw a mountain biker, a trail runner and a dog walker on our trip. Went with our 3 kids, ages 10, 8 and 3 - it was challenging enough to be fun, but doable enough that no one was whining.

trail running
4 months ago

This is a great trail to run. Decent dirt truck road that can become challenging when running at some points. Great workout if you're looking for a 1-2 hour run. Certainly not a hiking spot. This is basically just good for running. And maybe biking, but I don't have a mountain bike. Beautiful views at the top!

I’m not sure why this trail is rated easy. I think it’s more moderate because its almost all uphill for the first half of the loop. Very little shade but a great hike/view. Trails are wide but rocky.

trail running
5 months ago

good workout, able to jog throughout, tons of rocks most of the way if you are jogging it watch your ankles! Great incline and View at the top! no shade, bring water.

Short hike, not much elevation gain. Making it a good start for people who are well out of shape. Also just a nice stroll through some nature. Probably go back for some trail running

Beautiful views...moderately steep and rocky on the way up but nice downhill .

Great alternative to Cowels Mountain! A little less steep, quiet, less people, and wider trails.

Great views. Easy to moderate hike with many loose rocks. We explored a few off shoot trails that were poorly marked to the east.

8 months ago

It is not an "Easy" category. I'd equate this to Iron Mountain or Mt. Woodson hikes. quite a bit of good inclines.

trail running
8 months ago

What can I say? It’s a fairly steep boring maintenance road up to the towers. Their are much nicer trails up to this route. It is a fantastic view from the top.

Several sections/routes were closed on trail

Loved this hike!! It was the best!

Temp closed

hiking
Friday, September 22, 2017

Great hike and just long enough for an evening outing

mountain biking
Monday, September 11, 2017

As a novice mountain bike, this trail was not my favorite.

PRO'S
- Beautiful view
- Really cool marbles on the trail for some reason.

CONS
- Straight elevation climb all the way to the top, then straight downhill all the way... hard work recommended for experienced riders.
- I may not have taken the right or most efficient route but on the trail I chose there were very large, very loose rocks on a steep incline...All those factored together led to me doing s lot more walking than riding.

Overall this is a nice trail....for foot hikers. As a mountain biker I can think of several other trails that are more fun and accessible. If you do want to ride this one, I recommend taking the fire road up and down as it has a more gentle grade and is actually super fun to ride down.

hiking
Friday, August 25, 2017

First time hiking this trail to test the Garmin Etrex 20x. We bought the GPS in preparation for Zion and it's definitely worth the money. Nice quiet hike with city view. We started around 6pm and finished at 8:30pm. The city lights is actually kinda romantic. Reminds me of mt. soledad. The entrance to the trail is at Hilltop Park.

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Easy hike. Ok views from the top. Too many mountain bikers.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Challenging elevation changes. No shade, come early.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

pretty views. Also, good cell phone signal at the summit where all that radio equipment is...

I loved the hike.

Difficulty - based on the descriptions "good for all skill levels," I thought this was going to be easy. But I went in at the hilltop and went left, and it was a steady climb to the top, which took about 40 minutes. Halfway up there was a break ish, and by no means would I say I was huffing and puffing, but it definitely counts as a workout, and my friends who would be on the lower skill level would not have enjoyed it. I, who love hiking, loved it. It filled my activity bar on my Polar watch (like a FitBit) in 40 minutes, and I ended my 2 hours (wandered around) at 200% so definitely suggest and say it's a workout.

Foot Traffic - I went today (Saturday) at 1pm and while there were enough people that I felt safe, 95% of the time I was alone. A random person would go by in the other direction, but it was nice. I like being somewhere I can clear my head, but also know if I get lost, someone will find me. Which leads me to:

Bring Supplies - The signage isn't the best. I mean if you just want to follow one path, that's fine. But I tried doing Nighthawk and then Little Black Mountain (I think that's what it was called) and got lost. I ended up back on a path I'd already been on but didn't realize it until I ran out of water and found myself half way up the summit again. A group of people went by with extra bottles of water and more confidence on which way was back to the bottom, so we walked together, so I'm happy about the foot traffic and definitely will not go with just 2 bottles of water next time.

Definitely suggest it as a more peaceful alternative to Torrey Pines for someone who is active and looking for a workout, while also having others around you.

Loved the 360 view at the Summit

trail running
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

This is not easy!!! I consider easy as something that would work for all levels but there are tons of rocks and climbing. I pretty much guessed that by the vertical feet gain listed in the details. I still enjoyed the challenge and you definitely get some nice views. I couldn't figure out where to go to do the full on loop but I wasn't looking at the directions listed constantly so I just ended up exploring till I hit my desired mileage. I guess if you constantly paying attention to the directions you are good, but that can be difficult to do while running.

great hike

hiking
Saturday, March 25, 2017

The trail was temporarily closed

The trail is temporarily closed due to abnormal readings in the soil. It is unknown when it will be back open

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