Black Mountain via Nighthawk Trail and Miner's Ridge Trail Loop

MODERATE 197 reviews
#2 of 11 trails in

Black Mountain via Nighthawk Trail and Miner's Ridge Trail Loop is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near San Diego, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,187 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

walking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

Free parking and a restroom at Hilltop Park

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

My favorite trail by far. It’s quiet and not to many people. And the view is beautiful when you get to the top. Nice incline in the beginning but tapers off when you get to top. What I love about it most is that it’s near my work.

hiking
3 months ago

Tons of spider webs on Manzanita Loop. Pretty tame hike. No need for poles.

Not a bad hike. Steep incline at the beginning but then really smooth afterwards with a very easy decent. We saw maybe 5 people along the way, which was nice and quiet.

4 months ago

My favorite hike! Tough first hill, and a couple of challenging hills on the way up, but a nice quiet and not crowded trail!

This trail is peaceful and quiet. I didn’t finish the trail because my dog got stung by a bee and I decided to head back instead of forcing her to complete the loop.

DOPE ASS TRAIL. Some parts are rocky but don't be little bitch about it. I ran and walked parts of it.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Not very crowded! Some parts pretty overgrown right now — pretty flowers though. Can be very steep, but rewards you with some great views.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this last weekend and it was pretty easy! Not crowded at all but some some of the trail is very rocky so make sure you have the proper hiking shoes.

hiking
9 months ago

Overall a well maintained trail. We got lucky with some colder San Diego weather so didn’t mind the lack of hiking in shade. We went on a Thursday morning and didn’t see hardly anyone except for the occasional mountain biker.

hiking
9 months ago

If you do all the loops and Summit- it’s 9miles. Great for a daily workout!

Great hike!

running
closed
10 months ago

I ran it February 2019 and the trail to the back side of the peak was closed. Scrubby landscape and exposed trail. Rocky in a lot of places.

11 months ago

Awesome!

11 months ago

A little steep and rocky for a mountain bike going up. The service road route is much easier. On a clear day you can see everything!

Sat Dec 08 2018

We hiked this trail at night. Beautiful views....not too difficult.

hiking
Sun Oct 07 2018

Great hike with a BEATIFUL view. I started from Hilltop Park and it took me about an hour and a half from start to finish. I lucked out and made the trip on a pretty overcast day, absolutely loved it.

hiking
Sat Oct 06 2018

We got trapped having to either backtrack or forge forward and urban hike back. I never turn back.

hiking
Wed Oct 03 2018

I wore my 14 month old in a back pack. Tried to take advantage of a cool day in San Diego and got a late start. The clouds broke and it was super hot and dry, I was prepared and he was more than fine in the back pack since he has a shade cover, but I was super hot. More on the hard/moderate side since I had an extra 30lbs on my back but agree with others that this is an under rated, excellent hike with significantly less people and stellar views at the top.

hiking
Sun Sep 09 2018

- PROS - 1. Some of the most beautiful panoramic views of surrounding San Diego. 2. Much less foot traffic than other popular nearby hikes (Mt. Woodson, Iron Mountain). I saw maybe 10 other people on a Sunday morning. 3. Great workout, with plenty of climbs. Definitely a solid Moderate. 4. Very nice ample free parking and bathrooms at the start 5. Well maintained trail, albeit small rocks here and there. - CONS - 1. The section between Secondary Summit and Black Mountain Peak is CLOSED. I noticed this was mentioned back in Feb. 2017, and apparently it is still under restoration now in Sep. 2018. This makes it a bit of a pain to hike a loop. I went counter-clockwise, following the posted route. Once I got to Secondary Summit, it should just be ~0.4mi uphill to Black Mountain Peak...but it's closed. So I needed to backtrack to the short nighthawk trail connector, at which point it joins Miner's Ridge Loop. From there, I went up to Black Mountain Peak, and then followed Miner's Ridge Loop all the way down. 2. The entirety of Miner's Ridge Loop is a wide service road from the antennas at the top. This was fine, just be aware that it isn't quite as "natural". 3. Not much clear signage. However, I just used a GPS map on my phone whenever the trail split and didn't get lost. I had cell service and 4G during the entire hike.

Sun Jun 03 2018

Great hike. Definitely on the difficult side of moderate. Lots of climbing. A great local hike. Good training hike for a bigger hike.

hiking
Mon May 21 2018

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.

Sat Apr 28 2018

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.

running
Sun Apr 08 2018

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.

hiking
Mon Mar 12 2018

Beautiful views...moderately steep and rocky on the way up but nice downhill .

hiking
Mon Feb 19 2018

Great alternative to Cowels Mountain! A little less steep, quiet, less people, and wider trails.

hiking
Sun Feb 04 2018

Great views. Easy to moderate hike with many loose rocks. We explored a few off shoot trails that were poorly marked to the east.

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