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.

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
20 days 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
1 month 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.

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
4 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

Great hike and just long enough for an evening outing

mountain biking
8 months ago

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.

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
9 months ago

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

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

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

hiking
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

An average trail. Mountain bikes are allowed, and they're abundant. You have to watch your back so as not to be run over. Views at the top are nice. On a clear day you can see downtown, the ocean, and Big Bear.

hiking
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great trail. The recent rains have made the beginning of the trail, at hilltop park, a muddy mess, but hey, welcome to the great outdoors. While damp most of the rest of the way, the trail dried up considerably after the first 1/4 mile.

I hiked counter clockwise, nighthawk to miners ridge. The trail is in very good condition and easy to follow (mostly). The basic rule is, stay on the most obvious and well worn trail and you're far less likely to get lost.

As of the writing of this review, the section of trail from the secondary peak to Black Mountain peak IS CLOSED. There is no readily available bypass or alternative to reach Black Mountain from the N/NW. If you're looking at the map, the section I am referring to is from where the map says STUB (slightly NW of Black Mountain summit) to the Black Mountain summit. I do not know the duration of the closure but it is for restoration purposes, so my guess is some time. I tried one of the small goat paths down from the secondary summit to the draw between the peaks (this is not on the map but easy to locate from the secondary summit), but it led only to a stream and no path to the top, forcing me to backtrack to the secondary summit. Essentially, there is no way to the top of Black Mountain from the north without bushwacking and for naturue's sake, don't.

Your options are then to backtrack to Nighthawk and take the short, steep connection to the "thumbs up" on Miner's Ridge Loop to the summit or consider the secondary summit a success all it's own (it still has amazing views).

It's a good short Hike. A little over 3 miles; if you stop at view point and there is a trail that goes to the valley. There are signs & caution tape saying it's closed temporarily. Due the rain lately & need to dry up. The bummer is from that side the glider point which I believe goes to the summit; its wood fenced off. There were only a few people on the trail

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