Black Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The San Jacinto region is a favorite of many Southern Californians. Most who visit here enthusiastically proclaim its resemblance to the Sierra Nevada, and this hike shows off many of those endearing qualities. The area is strewn with large granite boulders and enormous lodgepole pines. The many open-air vistas offer magnificent views of the Inland Empire, the San Gorgonio Wilderness, the San Gabriels, the Palomars, the Santa Rosas, and Mount San Jacinto itself. This hike takes place outside the Mount San Jacinto State Park and the wilderness area, so no permit is necessary other than the Adventure Pass needed for parking."
--Allen Riedel, Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
"Black Mtn. (7772´) stands back from the bulk of San Jacinto on the northwest side. Not surprisingly, it offers fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and chaparral. The Forest Service takes advantage of these views with a fire lookout on the summit, staffed by volunteers. It is open to visitors 9 a.m.–5 p.m. when the access road is open (typically Memorial Day through Labor Day). The volunteers are happy to share their mountain knowledge with hikers. The vigorous hike to the lookout makes for an enjoyable excursion through the forest and granite boulders typical in this mountain range."
--David & Jennifer Money Harris, Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire (Wilderness Press).
"In recent years, development has crept forward in Garner Valley and around the fringes of the San Jacinto Wilderness and State Park. But fortunately, the high country has remained inviolate, and the desert side of the mountains is now protected by the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, established by Congress in 2000. The future of the San Jacinto Mountains requires constant vigilance.Black Mountain at 7,772 feet dominates the northern end of the San Jacintos. From the fire lookout on the summit, you are rewarded with a superb vista over miles of mountain, valley, and desert country, with the jagged ramparts of San Jacinto Peak looming in the southeast."
--John W. Robinson with David Money Harris, 100 Hikes in Southern California: San Bernardino Mountain Trails (Wilderness Press).
Beautiful trail. I loved it. Beautiful pines along the trail and a panoramic vista of the valley. There was snow on the ground and on the tops of the distant mountains. No one else was there. Our dog loved it. But it's a rather strenuous up hill climb. I needed to rest on occasion, but it's worth the view. A few trees have fallen on the trail, but it's easy to go around and pick up the trail.
PS Exit 10, then go south (away from the town of Banning) on 243.
Sometimes a trail is marked "difficult" and is not so difficult. This trail is actually difficult...they key word in the Trail Report is "up." I would like to meet the individual who did it in two hours, just to tell them how much a better person they are then I.
We used the full four...
The trail was well maintained. Only a couple of deadfalls to be circumvented which led to no more than a minute or two of wandering.
Finally - this was remote in the sense that no one was on the trail at all...probably because the initial one mile climb was probably enough to put most people off the trail and headed back down to their vehicles.
I would recommend this trail for anyone who wants to be out alone, wants great scenery, and is in above average phsyical condition...
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