Black Mountain Road Professional Review and Guide
"Black Mountain Road really has something for everyone. Drivers of passenger vehicles will enjoy the easy graded dirt and paved road to the top of Black Mountain. Experienced drivers in high-clearance 4WDs will relish the challenge of the very steep and loose descent from the south side of the mountain. Really enthusiastic drivers might like to tackle the trail in reverse, climbing up to Black Mountain from the south on a loose and low-traction hill where the angle of the rutted slope reaches 35 degrees in places. The trail leaves California 78 at a marked intersection and follows a graded dirt road across undulating terrain to the base of Black Mountain. The road becomes a single-lane paved road as it starts to climb up the northern flank of the mountain. It travels through fields of black volcanic boulders and rocks that shine with the desert patina. Occasional ocotillos, chollas, and creosote bushes add splashes of green to the landscape. There are good views west over the Imperial Sand Dunes as you make your way up the mountain. Special Attractions: Panoramic view of the multihued Chocolate Mountains from Black Mountain; Challenging descent from Black Mountain for experienced drivers; Trail is suitable for passenger vehicles in the forward direction as far as the top of Black Mountain. Skilled, experienced four-wheel drivers only. This trail includes very challenging sections with extremely steep grades, loose surfaces, large rocks, deep ruts, and/or tight clearances. Mud or sand may necessitate winching."
--Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson, Backcountry Adventures: Southern California (Adler Publishing ).
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