Black Mountain Trail

MODERATE 31 reviews

Black Mountain Trail is a 6.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from July until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.9 miles
2611 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly







Directions from Banning, CA: Travel southeast along Highway 243 into the Forest. The trailhead is located 1.3 miles south of the Vista Grande Fire Station. Trail begins on the uphill side of the road.

15 days ago

2 months ago

5 months ago

7 months ago

Hiked with my dog this morning. Well established trail, be prepared to climb and descend! The other reviews were right on, lots of shade, lots of bugs and varying terrain. Some sand, be careful of the rocks. Views are spectacular, bring lots of water. Parking is great, off the road up a little dirt trail. Enough for about 10 cars.

9 months ago

Nature's stairmaster! Definitely challenging at the beginning and at the switchbacks towards the end! I hiked it with my dog and really enjoyed most of it(minus the areas infested with bugs)
Pay attention because we lost the trail a couple of times, but were easily able to get back on track.
Be prepared with plenty of water for you and your dog and bring a snack to enjoy at the top!
Happy hiking:) PS-GPS clocked us at 9.75 miles and 2600 foot incline.

9 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

There is a ton of shade, and pretty much everywhere you stop to look there is a great view behind you. I would rate this as being difficult, as the trail is pretty relentlessly uphill. It's pretty dusty most of the way and slippery in some places. The small parking lot is easy to miss, as its up a little dirt driveway on the hill. We were coming from the Idyllwild direction so the driveway was in the right and took an awkward hairpin maneuver to get to on a blind corner. I would suggest either coming from Banning, or if you're coming from Idyllwild, pass the trail at first and make a u-turn at a safer place to approach with the driveway on the left. It looks like there was another way in at one time but it looks overgrown.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Ill start by saying it was a satisfying hike though incomplete. My wife and I, novice hikers, found this trail to be as described by others as Moderate-Difficult. I call it "challenging". We were unable to finish the hike because of some snow caps that covered the trail, making it difficult to find the trail. Several other groups of hikers were in the same predicament returning unfinished at the very end (we were all so close!).

I spoke to a guy who claimed he hiked all the way to the lookout station in the past. Some of the maps are vague to wether or not the trail truly does go all the way up or if they stop short and we were unable to verify this ourselves. Maybe we reached the end and it doesn't finish but that would be weird since your so close to the lookout tower.

The trail is well laid out for the most part. A small area of blown down trees covered some of the trail midway but nothing impassable. Its very steep going up and doesn't stop until your at the top. The first mile feels the worst and it does "level off" though, it never really does. Your mind and body will be happy for how "level" it feels later in the hike. ;)

There are no water sources, its very dry right now. Bring plenty of water for you and your pets! There is adequate canopy and shade for dogs, which are allowed. Parking is free (no adventure pass required) at the time of our visit. Check with the forrest service for current conditions.

The description above says its closed Jan-May but this may be conditional. Currently it was open (check FS website for current trail closures).

The entire trip took us 5 hrs with a stop for lunch midway. The first 4 hrs of the hike were all uphill. This including a lengthy lunch stop. Upon turning back, it took only 1 hour to hike down the hill just to give you an idea of how steep it is. Again, we are novice hikers so it may be shorter for some.

All in all, Its a pretty quiet trail. Ran into about a 14 people on a very pleasant Sunday. Id hazard to say that maybe 10 made it to the end. The last 4 I saw were starting the trail at 4pm and were ill equipped to go all the way, I suspect they turned around quickly.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

just an update to me last post. the rangers map rates this trail as strenuous. I knew my legs weren't deceiving me. lol. Great hike but pace yourself.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

wow, what a trail. today's hike was excellent. However, I would not rate it moderate; I would lean more towards difficult. hiked mt baldy two months ago and I found this more difficult. impressive views. take bug spray. take your walking sticks too. go for it and have fun- we did.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Nice hike! Not an easy climb, but there was plenty of shade! We did the hike with our three dogs so we had to take a couple long water breaks, so we made it up in a little under 3 hours. The views at the top (and on the way up) were spectacular!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

No way this hike should be rated as easy. Moderate-Difficult best. The first half mile breaks you in; thereafter, it's a steady climb to the lookout point. It's manned by the forest service from May to November. The views up there and throughout are amazing. It does run hot in June/July. Next time we'll try May. Insects are a pain. This 8 mile hike to the lookout point will make you earn your stripes. Loved it!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Did this Hike on Saturday 06/20/2015. Think we jumped the gun in doing this hike. We were not expecting it to be so difficult. And the bugs were horrible! Glad we took lots of bug spray! They were literally waiting for us to get out of the car! We are novice hikers and this kicked our butts. We wanted to turn around after the first mile. We kept pushing and finished it. Will definitely hike again.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Great hike. Alltrails app along with my wife's Map My Hike, both had this at 9.75 miles and 2900' elevation gain. In talking with the only hikers we saw on the trail, they also clocked this one in at a little further than stated. Take more water than you think you need and maybe start a little earlier. We started at 10am, had sandwiches at the top and were back to the truck just before 4pm.

As relatively new hikers this one was brutal. Pretty steep almost the whole way to the lookout, it never seemed to level out. But we knew that before we started and the views from the top were WELL WORTH the beating we took. Only issue with this trail is the car camp ground located 1/4 mile from the lookout. Pretty crowded and so was the lookout. Very friendly ranger up there who told us about other hikes in the area.

Would do again.