** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: Ventura County, about 11 miles south-southwest of Gorman, 85 miles from Los Angeles
- Auto Club: Ventura County
- Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
- USGS Topo: Black Mountain 7½, Alamo Mountain 7½
explanation of usage
Nearby Peaks: Alamo Mountain, McDonald Peak, Sewart Mountain, Snowy Peak, Cobblestone Mountain, White Mountain #2
Printable version of this route
(USFS Adventure Pass required)
- Distance: 10 miles round trip on road and use trail
- Gain: 3900' total, 1800' out plus 2100' on return
- Time: 6-8 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, strenuous
- Navigation: Difficult
Original: Warren E. von Pertz
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Go north on I-5 to the town of Gorman. Get off on the signed Gorman
- Turn left at the bottom of the off-ramp and go under the freeway.
- Go 0.1 mile to Peace Valley Road. Turn right.
- Go 1 mile to the entrance to Hungry Valley Recreation Area on your
left (paved). Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
- At 0.2 miles, entrance station. If manned, you can
avoid payment of the fee by telling the State Park employee that you are
passing through to Alamo Mountain.
- At 5.2 miles, intersection. Turn right (west) toward "Piru Creek",
- At 11.4 miles, Piru Creek crossing. There is a seasonal gate just
before this stream crossing.
- At 13.4 miles, the pavement ends.
- At 17.8 miles, fork to the left. Keep right.
- At 17.9 miles, junction with the Alamo Mountain Road. Turn left.
Note your odometer again and go as follows:
- At 3.3 miles, fork immediately beyond a small road cut through the
ridge. Turn left.
- At 6.3 miles, the parking spot for McDonald Peak.
- At 7.2 miles, a dirt berm, a sign indicating no further motor vehicle
traffic, and a large parking area suitable for car camping.
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (6500'), pass the gate and hike east on the old
road for 1 mile to the obvious high point of the road. This is the
summit area of Sewart Mountain.
- Continue downhill
on the old road for about 0.5 mile to a fork with an obscure road on
the right, signed "Sespe Wilderness". This is the turnoff
for Cobblestone Mountain and White
- Keeping left, continue another 0.5 mile down the old
road until just east of the saddle between Sewart
Mountain and Snowy Peak, finding an obvious
short side trail trending straight but on the left.
- Climb this steep
trail, which meets the ridgeline and picks up an obvious brushed-out trail
that follows the ridgeline northeast to the summit of Snowy
- From the summit of Snowy Peak head 100'
southeast on the main ridge, staying left and passing the spot where
the use trail first joined up to this main ridgeline from the west.
carefully on your left (east) side for a break in the tree
undergrowth that marks the beginning of an obscure use trail that heads
down the slope through the trees.
- Descend this use trail east, soon passing
along the remains of an ancient road on the north side of some old mining
prospects. Beyond this spot take the southeast ridgeline branch at a ridge
fork (6150'), and then continue steeply down to the main Snowy-Black
Saddle at 5600'.
- From the saddle head east-northeast up the ridge for a
long mile on heavily overgrown firebreak, passing over many small bumps to
the final summit.
Snowy Peak and Sewart Mountain
are always included when climbing Black Mountain #2.
Black Mountain #2 is in the Sespe Wilderness, but permits are
not required at this time.
Twin Pines Campground has a toilet but no other facilities.
Contact the USFS at (661) 245-3731 for information about the status of
the seasonal gate at the Piru Creek crossing.
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.
Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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