“This challenging trail takes you to one of the highest accessible summits in the Bay Area.”
— Miguel Vieira
Views · Wildflowers
This popular, strenuous hike take you through a mix of forest and chaparral and offers lots of views. And the small parking lot means the trail doesn't get too crowded.
Need to Know
The upper reaches of this trail get quite hot and sunny in the summer. Bring plenty of water.
From the small - and often packed - parking lot off Rhus Ridge Road, take the dirt road into the forest, past the caretaker's house and through a gate. You'll get your first view, overlooking Los Altos Hills, after about a half mile.
At about a mile, you reach a four-way intersection. Turn right onto the Black Mountain Trail
. Stay on the Black Mountain Trail
, passing the Hostel and Ewing Hill trails on your right.
At 3.5 miles, the Black Mountain Trail
switches from singletrack to dirt road and becomes quite steep. Pass the narrow Quarry Trail
on your left, and keep climbing toward the antenna garden near the summit.
Pass the antennas, and continue toward Monte Bello Road
, when you'll turn left to reach the rock formations at the summit.
Return the way you came.
Flora & Fauna
In the forests, look for California bay, coast live oak, and California buckeye. In the chaparral, you'll find chamise, manzanita, poison oak, coffeberry, sagebrush, and monkeyflower.