Black Mountain (via Miner’s Ridge)

After taking a break for the 4th of July, I decided to test my foot with a bit more of a challenge—hiking Black Mountain. Since it was late afternoon, I opted to start from the Miner’s Ridge Trailhead. The trail would mostly be on the east side of the mountain, so I had some shadier sections to enjoy. I pulled into the empty parking lot, did some stretching, and then grabbed my gear. The trail starts off nice and mellow before beginning its climb toward the summit. The last time I did this route, I took a side trail, which I later discovered was closed, so I stayed on the main trail until it connected with the service road.

Some new emergency signage had been added along the way, and what caught my eye was they were using What Three Words ( to assist in the location finding. So far the foot was feeling ok as I made my way to the summit. Once there I felt good about the progress so far. A young couple sat together on one of the benches while a mountain biker sat alone on the other. I sat on the end, giving my foot a well-earned rest. He turned to me and asked, “So, how long did it take you to get up here, 30 minutes?” I decided to check my actual time, 2.2 miles in 1:03 (actually not too bad), and replied with my time, noting I started from the Miner’s Ridge Trailhead. Inside, I was like “WTF! 30 minutes? What fantasy land are you living in? Just shut up and go back to riding your e-bikes and leave us hikers alone”. He then decided he needed to play some tunes, so I took that as a cue to head back down.  I opted to try the steep trail that descends from the north and passes by the secondary summit. I had forgotten how steep it was. My foot also reminded me of this as I made my way down. 

I popped over to the top of the secondary summit before continuing down. Passing the trail I used last time, I continued until I reached the connector trail between the Glider Port and the Miner’s Ridge Trail. I tried to keep my pace a touch slower to be nicer to my foot, as I was feeling it a touch. Once back at the car, I spent some time stretching again before leaving. All told I hiked 3.5 miles in 1:58 with 779 feet of gain.

Update: My foot was feeling the effects of the effort, probably the descent, so I am giving it a couple of days of pampering before testing it again.

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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