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Black Mountain via Black Mountain Trail

Intermediate
 4.4 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This challenging trail takes you to one of the highest accessible summits in the Bay Area.


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Map Key

10.0

Miles

16.0

KM

Out and Back

2,807' 856 m

High

476' 145 m

Low

2,383' 726 m

Up

2,381' 726 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Miguel Vieira

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 8 votes

#2242

Overall
  4.4 from 8 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#297

in California

#2,242

Overall
151 Views Last Month
4,671 Since Mar 12, 2017
Intermediate

0%
14%
57%
14%
14%
0%

Photos

The long descent back to Rogue Valley.
Oct 17, 2017 near Los Alt…, CA
Enjoy a panoramic view from the summit of Black Mountain.
Feb 19, 2017 near Los Alt…, CA
The Mary Davey Memorial is a good place to sit and enjoy the surrounding area.
Jan 27, 2017 near Los Alt…, CA
A view to look forward to on a steep ascent.
Nov 2, 2020 near Los Alt…, CA
Once at the top, you've got a choice in direction to make.
Nov 2, 2020 near Los Alt…, CA
A well maintained wide trail through the chaparral.
Nov 2, 2020 near Los Alt…, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 18 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2020
Mher Mnatsakanyan
10mi — 3h 20m
Mar 1, 2020
Mher Mnatsakanyan
10mi — 3h 30m
Jul 26, 2019
Arash Baratloo
Jul 4, 2019
j lee
Jun 13, 2019
Bryan Quevedo
10mi
May 17, 2019
Cathy M.
lots of flowers, good temp, in between unusually wet rain storms 10mi
Nov 22, 2018
Wei Liu
10mi
Sep 9, 2018
E Bright99
Steep but fantastic views 10mi