Exploring Black Mountain Trail in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains

When most people think about Southern California, they think of the miles and miles of beaches and coastline to the west and the sun-washed deserts to the east. But in between, there is something more that makes this southwestern part of the country truly something special.   

In the midst of those beaches and deserts, you’ll find soaring mountain peaks dotted with pine, cedar, and Manzanita. Living in Southern California means having access to these three completely different types of terrain, usually within just a few hours from wherever you are. If you wanted, you could spend the morning at the beach, head to the mountains for lunch, and enjoy dinner in the desert under a blanket of glittering stars. 

For a family like mine that loves getting outside to off-road, overland, hike, and kayak this is truly a wonderful place to call home. With a bounty of trails and public lands all around, it’s easy to get outside and go adventuring. 

A few weeks ago, we did just that and explored Black Mountain Trail, an easy 12.5 mile “up and back” trail that reaches an elevation of about 7,700 feet. Along with my husband Brad and my son Jordan, I hit the trail in my two-door Jeep while Jordan drove our four-door rig with Brad riding shotgun.