Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit

MODERATE 361 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

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
1 day ago

Great, quick hike. Awesome steady incline the whole way up. Pretty gravelly at times, so definitely wear the right shoes. There are a couple of intersecting trails that connect to this - but caution to yield to mt bikers. Also, I love finding trails where I can let my well behaved dog off leash to roam at times - but this is not one of them. Way too heavily trafficked by hikers and groups of bikers. Respect the trails.

hiking
no shade
rocky
21 days ago

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Nice views. Lots of mountain bikers on the trail. Make sure you listen for them because they come down fast! Lots of little flies/bugs that wouldn’t leave you alone. Wish we had bug spray. Kinda sad there was no rocks to rest at the top. I like to just take it all in for a few minutes. We just sat on the ground.

Great place for hiking

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

Nice moderate hike, nothing much to look at on the way up but nice view and breeze from the top. Took me about 1.5 hours up and back (but stopped before the summit, I didn’t do the loop around the top). Nice workout, got me sweaty and would recommend!

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

Great trail from BMOSP/Nighthawk Trailhead. Steep ascent from the start, some nice switchbacks and a couple valleys to give your legs a little break. Very rocky! Proper footwear, poles and headlamp. Bring extra water. Great workout, if you start close to 5:30pm in the summer you’ll have plenty of shade once you drop down to the other side of the small mountain on your ascent back up you’ll be blinded by the sun so be extra careful. Beyond that blinding ascent you will have the sun to your back and more shade the rest of the way up. Enjoy!

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Good dog friendly family trail. Good burn on the way up, with nice panoramic views at the top. As mentioned elsewhere there are loose rock sections so take it slow in those areas with little ones.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

It was a good hike with lots of plant life to see even in the summer. There's no shade and the ground has a lot of loose rocks so make sure you come prepared.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Fairly straightforward evening hike. Steep and rocky in a few sections. Peak was covered in fog, so not much of a view, but I'm sure it is a great view of the city from up there. Only issue was a little stink from something rotting, all the way.

hiking
6 months ago

The view was alright. A lot of loose rocks, but a good workout! Definitely want to wear hiking boots.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

Great trail to get outdoors and have a fantastic view. Went on a day that was overcast, but be warned there is no shade. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, this is a very rocky hike. Also a great hike for dogs! They must be leashed on this one. Most of it isn't overgrown but there are a couple parts where brush hangs over trail. Would definitely recommend and will be doing again myself!

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