Black Mountain via Rhus Ridge

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Rancho San Antonio County Park

Black Mountain via Rhus Ridge is a 9.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Los Altos, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running.

Distance: 9.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,506 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

walking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Note: The Black Mountain Trails can be CLOSED due to mountain lion sightings and encounters. Please check with the park page for more information. Starting at the little-known Rhus Ridge parking lot, you can enjoy a healthy workout and a grand panoramic view of Silicon Valley.

hiking
1 day ago

Perfect for a workout - steep in the first and last mile, beautiful in any weather

hiking
bugs
7 days ago

running
14 days ago

Amazing trail for running although the very 1st and last stretches were a bit too steep.

hiking
19 days ago

Really nice trail with excellent views.

saw a coyote and a Mountain lion :)

Started at Montebello Road and Page Mill Road entrance to Montebello Open Space. A nice flat road with great Bay views to Black Mountain. Saw some turkeys. Then down Black Mountain Trail to Rhus Ridge Trailhead. Going down is hard on the knees. Overall a great experience. Some parts of the trail going down are narrow.

hiking
1 month ago

Very small lot with free parking, full by 7:30 AM on a Sunday. 1st mile and last mile before peak are steep, consistent gradual climb in between with good shade. Approximately 10 miles took me 3 1/2 hours.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Nic view short hike before work from home

hiking
2 months ago

The views are so clear now since the whole Bay Area has ground to a halt... Hard to keep six feet apart from others all the time, but people have been friendly and conscientious so far.

hiking
3 months ago

Really steep first 2 miles then flat for a while with gradual incline and steep last mile. Had to park at Foothill college and walk to trailhead. Well maintained trail. Nice views of the Bay Area

running
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Fragrant and quiet hike. Very well maintained trail. A little steep but not too bad. Alternating sections of sunlight and deep shade. Not a lot of wildlife except a few birds and rabbits. Nice occasional views of the valley and the bay bridges below. Had to turn back due to time before reaching black mountain summit, managed 8 miles in 2.5 hours. Saw only 4 other parties the whole time.

Steep but shady in the afternoon. Nice intermittent views. Great for a fall hike.

great hike. first and last mile are the most strenuous ones. it took me 2.5h round trip and it was not crowded during the evening (finish at dawn).

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike. Would do again. A couple of parts were a little narrow so it might not be ideal for a big party but otherwise it’s my new preferred 10 mile+ hike in this area.

hiking
8 months ago

Well maintained trail. The hike out and back to the Black Mountain peak (if you can call it a peak) takes 3 to 4.5 hours from Rhus Ridge parking lot depending on your fitness level. It is heavily used on weekends, and not so bad on weekdays. If it ever fills, trail is also accessible from Hidden Villa lot up Moody Road a bit. On a decent air quality day you’ll have views of both downtown San Francisco and San Jose and the new Apple and Google headquarters right below. On a weekday one cant help but have a little chuckle at all the smart hard working people plugging away in the buildings down below as you hike among the live oaks, fragrant bay trees, gorgeous madrones and manzanita. Wonderful hike.

hiking
bridge out
no shade
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

closed again on Aug 23 due to mountain lion sighting..

hiking
9 months ago

Trail was open Saturday 8/3. The views are wonderful! First mile and last 1.5 miles are steep but rest is gentle incline. Most challenging hill near the top--bring plenty of water if it's hot.

hiking
10 months ago

I attempted the Black Mountain trail today 7/21/19, but the trail was temporarily closed due to a recent Mountain Lion encounter. So I had to turn around.

hiking
10 months ago

Strenuous climb but enough shade that it's doable in summer with a couple liters of water. Clear trail in good condition with no cow presents and lots of

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

One of the most challenging and beautiful hikes I’ve done! I hiked/ran up and mostly ran down. My only regret is not spending more time at the top and soaking in the meadows and the views :) Excellent and gorgeous trail- pretty smooth and soft for the most part. The very beginning and very end are definitely the most challenging. Lots of wildlife- lizards, bunnies, vultures. Had a cloud of flies on me the whole time. Not more than an annoyance, but I might bring bug spray next time. Lots of vultures hanging out on the towers up top. Found a vulture feather!

hiking
no shade
rocky
11 months ago

Starting it was shady and little steep and later on it’s gets sunny .So preferred to do early morning’s and lot of mountain lizards on the route..Watchout

hiking
11 months ago

It’s a good hike for legs. And there’s a lot of “mountain lizards” on upper part of trail. I also saw baby snakes, but they were calm didn’t seem to get bothered by my footsteps. And lizards were running all over. It was fun to encounter wildlife.

hiking
Sun Apr 28 2019

4/28 : beautiful hike for workout, took it slow on the way up. Start early. : 6 am or earlier in summer.

hiking
Sun Apr 14 2019

Wildflowers are abloom all along the trails. It's pretty quiet up atop Black Mountain. The ascent's not too bad, and since the trail is like a smooth dirt road, the descent can make for a quick jog.

Sun Mar 31 2019

this is a good hiking and running trail which is continuously uphill. First mile is pretty steep and then it is a gradual ascent. after around 3.5 miles the steepness increases. try and go early to secure a parking spot. the views of the bay from the top are good.

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