Black Mountain Wilderness Route

Total Miles


1207.72 ft


3 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

This secluded route is perfect for a day trip or a dispersed overnighter. You'll explore lava flow regions, an opal mine, the Tuffa Cave House, and Inscription Canyon filled with petroglyphs. The route (clockwise) starts in the fast and flowy desert section, then traverses across Black Mountain, and lastly on a fire road bordering Fort Irwin. Be sure to visit Rainbow Basin to complete the loop. This route is great for beginners. Stock vehicles should have no problem completing the loop.


This is an easy trail that transitions from a sandy desert terrain to a rocky mountainous terrain. The sandy sections are fast and flowy, while the mountain terrain is slow going and a little harder to read since the trail is mainly rocks. The last descent (traveling clockwise) is a 3-4 story, slightly loose decline. It looks intimidating, but the first-timers in our group had no issues climbing down. Be cautious of lava rocks on the side of the trail, as they can slice your tires. After Inscription Canyon, two easy fire roads: Black Canyon Road and Copper City Road will take you back to the paved Irwin Road.

Technical Rating