Hiking Black Mountain

Last Sunday Trisha and I hiked Black Mountain, the prominent dark cone just east of Rancho Penasquitos with all the antennas on top. This was my first time hiking Black Mountain. On a good day, you can see the ocean, Point Loma, the islands off  the coast, downtown San Diego, Cuyamaca Mountain in the east, Palomar Mountain to the north and all of North County.

Sunday was fogged in completely. When we started, we could see no further than a few hundred feet. The mountain, we knew, was there, but we could not see anything. So we started hiking up the trail from the Hilltop Community Park (red arrow) at 735 feet elevation. It was 2.05 miles and took 48 minutes to get to the top (blue arrow) at 1552 feet.

Here is our trail:

From a distance, Black Mountain looks like a smooth cone with “grass” cover. Hiking up, here is Trisha with the “grass,” which is actually impenetrable shrubbery of all kinds, sprinkled with Manzanita everywhere.

When we got to the top, as expected, we had a 360 degree view of absolutely nothing:

Finally, on the way down it cleared up a bit, and we actually saw the mountain we were just on, kind of:

Overall, a great hike of two hours or so, a good workout. The trail is half trail, rough and rocky, and then toward the top it’s a truck road. Not a pretty hike, but very quick to get to and a good workout right in the heart of San Diego County.

One thought on “Hiking Black Mountain

  1. Val Tigh

    Looks like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. The house we just sold was at 2000 feet. I should have hiked home more often.

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