Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit

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Black Mountain Open Space

Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back 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: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 846 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

walking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This trail can also be made into a loop by coming down the western side on the Black Mountain Service Road.

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

Good hike if you’re looking for a workout, most of the trail is an incline. If you’re looking for nice sights, this trail isn’t great. It’s in a residential area so you see a lot of houses. The hike felt pretty anticlimactic when you get to the top because of the HUGE towers taking up most of the peak.

hiking
no shade
rocky
14 days ago

mountain biking
rocky
18 days ago

19 days ago

watch out for snakes

hiking
no shade
25 days ago

Great hike for today-wasn’t too hot and had a nice breeze. Also, not too crowded. We did see two snakes on the trail(one of which was a rattler) which prompted me to create an account to post this review so I can give people a heads up to be on a look out when hiking there. Otherwise, enjoy!

27 days ago

I loved getting lost around all the smaller trails. wish I would have done it in cooler weather. no shade

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

I have done this hike many times in cooler weather and loved it. If you do this hike in summer just keep in mind that there is no shade and you will likely see a snake or two. Make sure to bring water!

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

A few steep inclines, but most are manageable. Scenery is good, summit has nice lookout by antennas.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This is a quick up and down route to the summit that omits several add-ons and possible loops that the park provides. Most of this section is very rocky and unshaded. Plus the summit is full of cell phone towers, killing the aesthetic.

Very rocky. Be cautious going up and back down. Beautiful views. Mountain starting to get purple Ceanothus blooms (California lilac) all over this time of year.

Nice wide open trail and views. No shade

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

nice hike up. view is great. you can keep going to other trails. no shade and rocky.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Not too steep but pretty steady incline the whole way up. Great view at the top. SUPER ROCKY. I recommend wearing hiking boots as I slipped a few times with my tennis shoes. Fun hike!

hiking
4 months ago

My fav trail close to home. Like the cardio workout I get walking up hill.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

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