11/19/17 Another obscure trail on San Jacinto. Though not as remote as Seven Pines, Black Mountain is a great little 8 mile trail with hardly anyone on it. With some of the best views in SoCal on top.
1 A little ways away from Idyllwild, the Black Mountain Trail is a lessor known trail on the South side of the mountain and one I had never done before.
2 Great singletrack right from the start.
3 Much easier to follow than Seven Pines but still plenty rugged.
4 I love that cushy pine needle ground cover!
5 Great views of Gorgonio on the way up.
6 Made it to the ridge. Only about 1/2 mile up to the watchtower from here.
7 There isn't much of a trail the rest of the way. Just remember to head right from the water tower.
8 Some really expansive views. Probably even more so than Tahquitz Peak. I can see why this is a good fire watchtower spot.
9 A panoramic version.
10 First sight of the tower.
11 Unfortunately, you can also get here via a fireroad. Booo.
12 Not quite as old and quaint as the Tahquitz watchtower but a little taller.
13 Noone was working the tower today, and I couldn't get onto the balcony, but I got as high as I could.
14 Only one other person on top.
15 The towers are kept rustic intentionally. I believe the Tahquitz tower is actually a historic landmark now.
16 7,772' summit.
17 A new view of San Jacinto for me.
18 And of San Gorgonio.
19 Santiago and Baldy.
20 Baldy and Gorgonio.
21 Lake Hemet.
22 I had a little extra time, so I went down the fireroad for a little ways and discovered Boulder Basin campground. A very remote feeling campground that looked very recently renovated and in immaculate condition. I'm guessing it's popular with the rock climbing and bouldering crowd, since this is prime bouldering territory.
23 Heading down. I always love the late afternoon light through the trees.
24 Late sunlight on Lake Hemet and the end to another great day on San Jacinto.