Black Mountain (7428') is located on the Greenhorn Summit near Lake Isabella, California. The hike is about 3.5 miles round trip if you also include a short trip to Black Mountain Point (which I recommend for the view). The elevation gain is 1300 feet (1200 to the summit of Black Mountain and 100 more for the Point (7334').
You start the hike at Black Mountain saddle heading due East on an old logging road that is visible from the parking area. The climb up the road is very steep, but it levels off. As you climb look to your left, and you will get a great view of the Greenhorn Summit. You continue to follow the road East after it levels off through a small valley until you start to climb up the other side. You come to an area with lots of ducks, and this is the beginning of the trail that leads to the summit. The unmaintained but clear trail winds Southeast up the side of Black Mountain. Sometimes it goes over trees, or through rocks, so be careful to watch for ducks as the way is clearly marked all the way up to the summit. Near the top you will come across a small valley that you cross through, and continue to follow the ducks over the log and up to the summit.
This is the summit block on Black Mountain. 08-09-2009.
Once you are on the top you will find the register on the small summit block.
If you look around from the summit you will notice that much of the spectacular view is blocked by trees. If you look Southeast through the trees you will see Black Mountain Point about 1/4 mile away. If you swing around to the right you will find an easy path down to the Point where the view is magnificent. You will be able to see Split Mountain, Cannell Peak, Lake Isabella, Bodfish, Wooford Heights, Cane Peak, Cook Peak, Alta Sierra (click here
), Unal Peak, Shirley Peak, Cooks Peak, the Piute Mountains, and more.
After that just return to the peak, and follow the trail back down.
The view from Black Mountain Point (7334') near the summit of Black Mountain. 08-09-2009.
This is a picture of Black Mountain on the Greenhorn Summit. This picture was taken from Split Mountain on 11-29-2008.
Some hikers do this hike as a Split Mountain, Black Mountain combination. Other hikers snow shoe in the winter to Black Mountain from the sand shed on the Greenhorn summit.
From Wofford Heights take SR 155, 7.7 miles to Greenhorn Summit.
~I-5 North to Bakersfield, exit 178 east. Go to Lake Isabella and exit on SR155, follow signs to Wofford Heights.
~From Ridgecrest, Hwy 14 to 178 west, follow signs to Kernville, then go west on 155 to Wofford Heights.
~From 99 southbound, take 155 east to Greenhorn Summit, turn left on 24S15.
~It is also possible to take Rancheria Road from Highway 178 in Rio Bravo near Bakersfield though it is a dirt road for much of the way.
Take FSR 24S15 past the sand shed for 3 miles. Here you will come to a junction where you turn right to follow the sign pointing to Black Mountain Saddle 2 miles. You drive 2 miles on road FSR 25S16 and park at the Black Mountain saddle where there is a junction of roads (25S16,26S20). You can see the slightly overgrown logging road to the East from the parking area.
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This is not a wilderness area, so permits are not required.
Greenhorn Ranger District
4875 Ponderosa Drive
P.O. Box 3810
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
Tule River Ranger District
32588 Highway 190
Springville, CA 93265
Evans Flat, Alder Creek, Rancheria Rd. & Cedar Creek.
Camping & other lodging is also available in nearby Lake Isabella, Kernville, and Wofford Heights.
External LinksWeather from the National Weather Service
Lake Isabella Online
Seasons & Conditions
Season: The normal route via road 21S15 is closed during winter, so access is normally limited to May through October. Many people also snow shoe to Black Mountain from the sand shed on the Greenhorn summit in the winter.