Black Mountain Trail

MODERATE 45 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
2611 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
3 days 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
8 days 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
22 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

camping
2 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
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 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
3 months ago

3 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
3 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.

4 months ago

6 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
11 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.

hiking
Friday, September 23, 2016

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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016