Black Mountain Wilderness Route

Total Miles
42.3

Elevation

1,207.72 ft

Duration

3 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

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.

Photos of Black Mountain Wilderness Route

Black Mountain Wilderness Route
Black Mountain Wilderness Route
Black Mountain Wilderness Route

Difficulty

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

3

Status Reports

Mark Ratzlaff
Mar 16, 2024
2023 Toyota Tacoma
Open
Normal
Muddy/Wet
I’m new to offroading with 4x4. And we have a heavier rig. Short wheelbase tacoma, but a heavy camper. I am hesitant to do anything super off camber or rock crawling. We didn’t encounter any of that. A few fun climbs, a lot bumpy stuff, some minor rock obstacles. All very easy with 4wd. I think even a subaru would be fine, but might have slightly more challenging time with inclines without 4low. Great easy trail, we only saw a few people and they were all at the main event, the inscription canyon.
Eric H
Feb 11, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Mostly pretty easy sand washes. We took a left at the fork coming from Opal Mountain going to Scout'd cove, It was rocky, with some steep declines and inclines, but nothing too bad. A few larger rocks in the middle of the trail on the north western side of the mountain. You will need a spotter for these, if you have a lower clearance vehicle. Overall a super fun, varied and mostly easy trail.

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