(Cleveland National Forest)
- 3100 ft.
Max Elevation Reached
- 4050 ft.
Earth KML - Link
Download GPX - Link
This isn't about the other more famous Black
Mountain in San
Diego's Mira Mesa area. This Black Mountain is tucked well
Cleveland National Forest's Palomar District in the Pamo Valley area.
Getting to the trailhead can be tricky, if you rely on the directions
provided by Google Maps. The last time I tried it, I ended up in
someone's private property with two dogs chasing after my car. You are
better off following the directions provided by Jerry Schad in his classic book.
This is probably the only reference
that mentions this hike anyway!
Use the trailhead given above for directions
... but don't
follow them entirely. Take CA 78 towards Ramona (head east). Turn left
at W. Haverford Rd. Continue on this road till you get to Pamo Rd and
make a left on to Pamo Rd. Note that Pamo Rd. becomes unpaved (yet
quite drivable in a Sedan) after a short while. Drive to the
trailhead which is located about 1.3 miles beyond a stone bridge on
this unpaved stretch. The trail starts off on the right beyond a white
metal gate and heads due east on Black Mountain Truck Trail.
The hike is entirely on Black Mountain Truck
Trail. In fact
you can use Google Maps to get directions
on the trail and compute the
millage. The objective of this hike is to get to the Black Mt. summit
which is marked by a stone structure
with a small antenna installation on it.
This structure is operated and maintained by the National Forest. The
summit is marked by a large grove of pine trees
which are clearly visible right from
the trailhead. This is in fact the best distinguishing feature that
sets apart Black Mt. from other neighboring peaks.
The route is quite straightforward. Follow
the road which
first heads east before veering off south, clearly away from the
summit, only to turn back north and climb on to a ridge that leads to
the summit. Here on, the road meanders all over with a steady uphill
grade. There are really no downhill or entirely flat sections on the
way to the summit.
Once on the summit amidst the pine trees,
look for a faint
trail heading northward on the summit itself. It will lead you to the
structure (cistern, per Schad). From there, you get a 360 degree view
for several miles. A boulder near this structure seems to have what is
left of a survey marker.
Return the same way.
Started from Trailhead - 8:30 am
Reached Summit - 12:40 pm
Started back - 1:00 pm
Reached Trailhead - 4:00 pm
Photos - Link
I went on this hike with Sachin D and Sesh K. This was my
second time on this hike. It was cloudy pretty much throughout the day.
The sun did come out towards the end of our hike but the air war still
cool and comfortable. We did not meet any other hikers on the trail.
There ware a couple of groups of dirt bikers though.
We had lunch on the summit, right by the
cistern. There were
up there. I don't recall having seen them
the last time I was here. We also noticed several spent cartridges
... something that I am seeing more and
more on pretty much every hike within CNF!
We did not spot any Mountain Lions this
time. I (think I)
spotted one the last time I was here.