Black Mountain is a relatively small yet scenic peak in the Rancho Penasquitos area. It’s antenna clad crest stands out prominently amid its lower lying surroundings, and can be easily seen and identified from other nearby San Diego peaks like Mt. Woodson and Iron Mountain.
There are several possible routes up Black Mountain. For this trip, we began at Hilltop Community Park and climbed the southern slope of the mountain along the Nighthawk trail. We arrived at the park and found the trailhead on the eastern side of the park. Recent rains had left a rather muddy mess at the base of the dirt road we were starting out on, but the rest of the trail was in much better shape.
Not much further beyond, we found an intersection with a path leading towards Sundevil Way, another possible starting point for our hike. There were a lot of junctions on this hike, but for the most part the trail was well marked and we rarely had any difficulties in deciding which way to go. With the exception of the service road almost at the top of the mountain, the correct path was always left. And it was always uphill.
We continued on up the rocky trail and just over.5 mile came to a junction with the Little Black Loop, leading to South Point View. It soon became apparent that we’d have to make another trip out here sometime to check out all these side trails, but for now we continued left along the Nighthawk trail up a rocky incline.
Man’s penchant for putting large quantities of antennae on top of perfectly nice mountain tops and fencing them in meant that we couldn’t actually stand atop the mountain and declare ourselves at the summit. We did, however, follow the road up and around the top of the mountain.
After exploring the mountain top, we returned the way we had come.
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From I-15, take 56 West to the Black Mountain Road exit. Go north on Black Mountain Road for approximately 1 mile and turn right on Oviedo Street. Continue on Oviedo Street for approximately .2 miles, then turn right onto Oviedo Way. Follow Oviedo Way to the end (.6 miles) to Hilltop Community Park. map
|Total Distance:||4 miles|
|Total Ascent:||750 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes allowed|
|Facilities:||Bathrooms and water available at park|