I awoke with the intent to revisit Red Rock Canyon but I searched "Best hikes around Vegas" and up popped Black Mountain. Finding the trailhead is a challenge as my initial effort placed me in front of a massive gate entering a private community. I rechecked descriptions and discovered the parking lot is on Shadow Canyon Drive off Anthem Parkway, Sun City, Henderson, NV. Odd to begin a hike on a paved walkway. Yes, that's Black Mountain in the distance.
Once you approach a small concrete building you'll see signage that directs you to Black Mountain. I cross over a large, manmade drainage at the base of a ravine and find the above sign so I am good to go.
Folks, this is barren. That any plant can emerge from this landscape is a minor miracle. Black, volcanic rocks, boulders and gravel everywhere.
Again, black rocks abound. The good news is there are 0 side trails where people sought to create their own routes. Even in your wrong mind, you won't want to venture off the official trail.
The trail is always climbing but not steeply. It parallels the above ridge before eventually emerging on top of the ridge.
Once you leave the pavement and begin the real climbing, it is 2.25 miles having an average grade of a measly 17% but don't be fooled because.....
….the final 1/2 mile is almost a 30% grade. There are a few places where route finding is a small challenge but overall, easy to follow. Some kind of nasty looking, white cacti plant can be seen so if you fall, don't reach for that thing for relief.
How about that? A Joshua Tree and there are a few others on this alien landscape. After 3.5 miles I reach.....
….the peak and discover a well maintained American flag. In the distance is Mount Charleston.
Great views in all directions.
So many mountain peaks to explore, so little time. Finished with 7.4 miles and 2100' of climbing. Well, back to Oro Valley and a new effort at The Cleaver!