Black Hill Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Morro Bay, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.5 miElevation gain551 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowers
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As of August 2020, hikers report that the campground is closed, so you will need to find alternate parking. Climb up to Black Hill with great views from the summit. Black Hill is the second to last of nine volcanic plugs that lie between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay (the last being Morro Rock itself). The hike to the top travels through Fleming's Forest--a hillside of Monterey Pine trees that were planted by John Fleming (a former park superintendent). It is rumored that Black Hill received its name due to the tar seep on the north side of the hill. This scenic and enjoyable hike is relatively easy and can be done in just a couple of hours.

This short and scenic trek requires just the usual hiking gear: good shoes, layered clothing (these coastal areas are about 30 degrees cooler in the summer than inland areas), a water bottle, and perhaps some snacks to enjoy on the summit. If there is chance you'll be caught in the dark, be sure to bring a headlamp. In addition, if you want to enjoy the views from the top but don't have time for the full hike, Black Mountain Rd./Upper State Park Rd. will take you three fourths the way to the top and there is a small parking lot from which you can hike rest of the way. However, although the road to the parking lot is supposed to open during the day, the opening and closing times are not always reliable.

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Reviews (376)
Photos (404)
Recordings (339)
Completed (826)
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Evita Liscum
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Hiking
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Bethany Faulkner
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Hiking

Uphill, but worth the view!

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Katelyn Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2021
HikingGreat!

Great trail, really defined. There are some other really defined trails that stem off of the main trail. Gorgeous view at the top!!

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Elaine Eselun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2021
HikingGreat!Off trail

Cool trail! I would advise to pay close attention to the trail and the path, as there are many off shoots. Be prepared to also walk in sand as you near Morro Bay Campground. Many gorgeous oak trees and views! No entrance fee and extra parking!

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Rachel Hommel
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Hiking

Fun!

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Hadley Sauers-Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 15, 2020
Hiking

Mostly uphill! Mix of sun and shade, so be preppy for both!

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Adam Alvarez
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Kelly Carpenter
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Hiking

Today I decided to start the Black Hill Trail from the upper parking lot which is almost to the summit. So instead of going up I went down. And then I took a left turn near the bottom to start the roundabout trail. This took me all the way around the bottom part of the mountain and back to the access road that I came in on. Then I went up to the top.

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Jackie Lockhart
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Hiking

Nice trail.

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Phil Ziegler
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Hiking

Nice views of Morro Bay at the top.

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Vincent Liao
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Hiking

Amazing trail and view

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Mia MaraJuana
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Kimberly Crouch
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HikingGreat!

Perfect small hike with a beautiful view of Morro Rock and the bay.

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Matija Trenkovic
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Hiking

Awesome view and a lot of eagles hovering around the hill. Saw some deers too, in the forest part of the trail

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Tamlin Matthews
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WalkingGreat!

Pretty views. The smell of the plants was intoxicating, very nice smelling hike. We did the loop and it was very steep and required scrambling.

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Roxanne Stickler
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HikingGreat!

great time and view

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Norma Sanchez
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Hiking

East to follow trail. It was a foggy day, so nothing to see at the top. However, I could still see Cerro Cabrillo on the way up. Loved the pillowy soft trail for part of the way. I went off trail as I descended that brought right back the trailhead. Will be back on a clear day!

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Scott Napier
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Hiking

Hoped fog would lift for the afternoon but nope. Still a pretty hike. Fun swing on the Grove trail option.

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Lauren N
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Hiking

Steeper near the top. You’re at the top of the mountain at the end!

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Ron Nelson
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Hiking

Short easy hike. Beautiful views of Morro Bay.

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Chris Benning
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Hiking

Great view of Morro Rock and Bay!

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Abbie Stack
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HikingGreat!

Not a lot of shade when you get toward the top but it is a beautiful view.

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Christopher Knapp
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Kelly Tallant
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Diana Tom
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Hiking

Beautiful walk through a forest to end up the mountain with a gorgeous view below!

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Rishi Kothari
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

Parked near the Inn at Morro Bay, there's a spot with 4 or 5 parking spots on the side of the road. Walked up towards and through the golf course and got onto the trail off the road. Way up to the trail was straightforward, couple challenging spots. At the top, we went clockwise around the loop available. To the top of the peak was fairly easy, some stepping stones. The way down, on the east and south side of the loop at the top was completely unmarked, barely a trail, and lots of sliding gravel and going down rocks. If I could do it again, I would avoid the east side of the loop at the top and go back down exactly the same way we came. Ultimately, our path took us down the paved road that goes almost to the top and walked back down through the golf course. Overall, a nice 3 mile outing!

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Bonnie Montgomery
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Hiking

Beautiful!

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Bryce Battershell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiked in September, about 1430, and seen more lizards than mosquitoes during this time of the year. Once you peak you will be high above the marine layer. Great trail for a nice walk or a nice trail run.

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stacey stout
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Definitely agree with everyone about mosquitos... anytime we stopped we had multiple land on us! We went early and sadly there was too much fog for much of a view but it was a nice morning workout. We did have the trail to ourself which was pleasant.

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