Black Mountain Trail

MODERATE 47 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.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2509 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

forest

views

bugs

rocky

snow

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.

hiking
20 days ago

Man I loved this hike.

I agree with Jesse Dunlap as far as this being on the more difficult side of moderate, but I wouldn't let that discourage anyone from attempting this hike. The amount of miles you're on the trail gaining elevation is what makes it strenuous, but the path is well structured with plenty of boulders to climb and stunning views of the Pacific and everything in between.

The main reason I did this hike, however, was to see the sequoias! They were planted by the U.S. Forest Service back in 1974 after a fire destroyed the surrounding area. It's remarkable that they're still thriving to this day, and while they haven't had centuries to grow like their cousins up north, they're still impressive in their own right. They should appear about a mile into the trail.

Keep in mind that there is poison oak and the flies can be annoying. Just be mindful and enjoy the hike!

hiking
1 month ago

This is more difficult than “moderate.” To actually arrive at the summit and fire tower, one must hike about half a mile extra uphill beyond the end of the trail as it is listed here. It is a great hike if you want to see few people. The trailhead is a quarter mile up a dirt road that runs almost parallel to the highway. There are lots of gnats on this trail even in late October!

hiking
1 month ago

Not sure if we misunderstood the directions or what, but we never found this trailhead. From the photos it appears to be at the Black Mountain campground, which apparently is 5 miles up a rutted dirt road. I had no idea about a dirt road based on the info here. GPS said we'd arrived about 5 minutes in, but there was nothing really there. We did venture up the road a good 15 minutes, but it had multiple turnoffs and no signage indicating which way to go so we turned around and went back. We love this area so it's a nice drive, luckily we don't live too far away so we may go back up another day to try it again.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

camping
3 months ago

Easy access to the PCT, absolutely stunning views of Palm Springs and Los Angeles, what's not to love about this trail??

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I absolutely love this hike!! I bring my two dogs with me.. lots of shade and also lots of bugs. Bring bug spray, and extra water even some snacks. Definitely wanna hit it early! You always have a nice breeze, but the sun rays are super strong! There are several parts where the trail disappears, pay close attention. Many of them can mislead you. You'll reach a water tower, follow around it up to the fire tower. Take the bars up to the fire tower that you can actually go in. Amazing views!! You can literally see everything.. even Catilina Island on a clear day.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

This hike is a butt kicker, literally! My legs were screaming by the end. I would call this more of a moderate/difficult hike due to the incline. But otherwise, it's very beautiful with good shade in the morning and no obstacles. The fire tower up on the top of black mountain was so worth it. You can see every mountain range of Southern California.

I would advise to go as early as possible to avoid the heat this time of year. It was a bit brutal on the way back down. And bring lots of water!

Also, an interesting fact. Keep your eyes open for trees you wouldn't expect to see in SoCal. The forestry dept planted some sequoias in this area in the 1970s. It's quite amazing that they actually have grown and survived!

hiking
4 months ago

We did this hike on a very hot day! Not much shade at times and a whole lot of bugs! Deceptively steep. No real summit and the "end" isn't well marked so you don't feel like you made it to they top. Lots of neat scenery changes as you get higher.

5 months ago

7 months ago

10 months ago

hiking
Thursday, November 10, 2016

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.