Mesquite Canyon

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.43774°N / 117.8159°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: cross-country
Sign the Climber's Log


Black Mountain #6 is on the list of the Hundred Peak Section of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. It’s the highpoint of the El Paso Mountains in the Mojave Desert south of Ridgecrest. The usual approach is from the south via the Mesquite Canyon. The hike up to the summit is trail-less over basaltic, sharp, volcanic rocks. Assuming you can drive your vehicle near the rain collector at 4,283 feet the total elevation gain is about 1,300 feet and 3.5 miles roundtrip.

Route Description

Black Mountain from Mesquite CanyonRoute from the trailhead to the summit of Black Mountain #6

From the trailhead near the rain collector the route leads north to bump P4283 and down to a saddle at about 4,130’. From there you go straight uphill through volcanic rubble towards P4546. From there the crater rim becomes visible and you basically pick the most feasible route up. Once you reach the crater rim at around 5,100’ it’s a short stroll east on the crater’s north side for 200 feet to the summit at 5,244’. You can also go straight through the crater which would require scrambling through loose, sharp volcanic rubble. From the summit the views are unobstructed over the vast Mojave Desert, the Panamint Mountain Range with Telescope Peak to the northeast, the close Randsburg Mountains to the south, the Southern Sierra and the Tehachapi Mountains to the northwest to southwest. This area was the site of intense mining activities last century. Today, it is used heavily by off-highway vehicles.

Getting There

Access to Black Mountain TrailheadAccess to the trailhead via Mesquite Canyon

The Mesquite Canyon dirt road (EP 100) is about 11 miles on the Randsburg Road from the turn off of the Highway 14. You drive on the dirt road about 4 miles to a junction with another dirt road designated EP 15/26. After about one mile another rough dirt road leads up a small ridge to a flat area with a rain collector. A high-clearance vehicle is certainly required to get this far.

Essential Gear

No essential gear is necessary. It will become very hot soon in the season.



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