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Black Mountain

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Boulder Basin 
OK Corral 
Summit, The 

Black Mountain  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 33.8263, -116.7591 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 178,574
Administrators: Euan Cameron, Colin Parker, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Obi on Jul 9, 2007  with updates from Bidimpata-Kerim Tshimanga






You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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A premier bouldering locale of southern california, the granite boulders call out to any climber who visits this area. A variety of boulder problems are found, both in terms of steepness and grades. Located at 7500 ft, bouldering here is in a beautiful mountain setting - pine trees are as plentiful as the boulders are.

Most newcomers to Black Mountain quickly notice two things: 1) the problems here are often tall and off-the-deck 2) the ratings are HARD for the grade. Fear not - many of the most visible problems are indeed tall (20+ feet in Boulder Basin), but shorter problems can be found if one looks close enough. As for the grades, I'd suggest leaving your egos at home...

The area is primarily a summer and fall destination site. The rangers lock the gates to Black Mtn during the winter and early spring months. Check this website (scroll down) or call the Idyllwild Ranger Station (909-382-2921) regarding questions about access to Boulder Basin campground if in doubt.

Weekends can be crowded, especially in Boulder Basin with many families (read: groups with kids) running around. Please be courteous and ask for permission before climbing on any problems that are in someone else's campsite.

Pit toilets are available in Boulder Basin. Although water (technically not drinkable...) can be piped into the campsite, spigots are shut off during drought seasons. Be sure to bring your own water just in case.

Camping: $10 dollars per night for a site in Boulder Basin Campground.

Parking outside of the campsites is extremely limited. Be Green and carpool if at all possible. In addition, cars parked outside of paid campsites may require an Adventure Pass - contact the rangers in Idyllwild for more information. (it appears that the adventure pass is no longer needed for Black Mtn)

Getting There 

From L.A., take Interstate 10 east. Get off at highway 243 and head south towards Idyllwild. After about 30 minutes, turn left onto Black Mountain Road (look for a sign that says "Boulder Basin Campground").

After about 5 miles, you will arrive at OK Corral. A little less than a mile up the road, take the left turn towards Boulder Basin.

  • Please note that the 6 miles of dirt road is rough. Each year the road is in varying states of "drivable conditions". Generally, although it is possible to make it up the dirt road, I would highly recommend a 4x4 vehicle. Please drive slowly on this road as it narrows in places.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.4 miles from here

148 Total Routes

['4 Stars',18],['3 Stars',40],['2 Stars',51],['1 Star',19],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Black Mountain:
Once Upon A Time   V1 5 X     Boulder, 15'   Once Upon A Time Area : Once Upon A Time Boulder
Gym Problem   V1 5     Boulder   Roadside Corral : G Boulder (aka Cosmos Bould...
Flower Pot Right   V1+ 5     Boulder, 8'   Central Basin : Flower Pot Boulders
Big Greeny   V2 5+ R     Boulder, 20'   South Basin : Big Greeny Boulder
Pink Crack   V2-3 5+     Boulder, 18'   Central Basin : Pink Boulder
Gypsy's Day Out   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   North Basin : Little Saigon Boulder
Hueco Wall   V3 6A R     Boulder, 18'   Lower Corral : Morphic Boulder
The Visor Lip   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   NRA : Visor Boulder
Saddle Traverse   V4 6B     Boulder, 20'   The Summit : Saddle Boulders
"Dead Bug"   V4 6B     Boulder, 5'   South Basin : Bug Boulder
OK Problem   V4 6B     Boulder   Roadside Corral : H Boulder (aka Reed's Bould...
Boulder Basin Dyno   V5 6C     Boulder, 12'   South Basin : The Tulip Boulder
Where Boneheads Dare   V5 6C R     Boulder, 25'   Central Basin : Daring Boulder
Center Visor   V6 7A     Boulder, 10'   NRA : Visor Boulder
Courier Flight (aka Bull Durham)   V6 7A     Boulder, 8'   King Kong : Courier Boulder
Dan Osman ArÍte   V6 7A     Boulder, 15'   Broken Heart : Dan Osman Boulder
NRA   V7 7A+     Boulder, 10'   NRA : NRA Boulder
Soul Snatch   V7 7A+     Boulder, 13'   4&5 North : Soul Snatch Boulder
Tour de France (aka Firewall)   V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   Boulder Basin : Tour De France Area
Cracker Boy   V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   Cracker Boy Area : Buttermilk Boulder
Browse More Classics in Black Mountain

Featured Route For Black Mountain
Black Mountain Railroad

Black Mountain Railroad V2-3 5+ PG13  CA : San Jacinto Mountains : ... : Railroad Boulder
Starting on top of a boulder in the middle of the face, left hand on a scoop/edge and right on a sloping edge then pop for the rail. Follow the rail up and left to the exciting mantle....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Black Mountain Slideshow Add Photo
Sunset from the Republic, Black Mountain
Sunset from the Republic, Black Mountain
Lyra determined not to be a dead bug (photo by A. ...
Lyra determined not to be a dead bug (photo by A. ...
Attempting to get out to the lip...
Attempting to get out to the lip...
Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), Black Mountain
Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), Black Mountain
Looking towards Desert Hot Springs, Black Mountain
Looking towards Desert Hot Springs, Black Mountain
The Chief (V4), Black Mountain
The Chief (V4), Black Mountain
Grandview Point, Black Mountain
Grandview Point, Black Mountain
Sunset, Black Mountain
Sunset, Black Mountain
The sign at the start of the trail, Black Mountain
The sign at the start of the trail, Black Mountain
Don't miss the view from the fire lookout, Black M...
Don't miss the view from the fire lookout, Black M...
The Jewel (5.12), Black Mountain
The Jewel (5.12), Black Mountain
Looking south from the Boulder Basin CG road, Blac...
Looking south from the Boulder Basin CG road, Blac...
The sign off of highway 243 showing that you're on...
The sign off of highway 243 showing that you're on...
Afternoon bouldering, Black Mountain
Afternoon bouldering, Black Mountain
Rock spire along the Fuller Ridge Trail, Black Mou...
Rock spire along the Fuller Ridge Trail, Black Mou...
Rock formations, Black Mountain
Rock formations, Black Mountain
The view from Grandview Point, Black Mountain
The view from Grandview Point, Black Mountain
Jessica on the Rainbow Arete (5.11+ R), Black Moun...
Jessica on the Rainbow Arete (5.11+ R), Black Moun...
Random Boulder, Black Mountain
Random Boulder, Black Mountain

Comments on Black Mountain Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 18, 2015
By C Miller
Jul 11, 2007
Selected topos of Black Mountain are available in PDF form online at DrTopo.com.
By C Miller
Apr 30, 2009
An interesting discussion on Supertopo about Black Mountain - supertopo.com/climbing/thread.....
By Adam Stackhouse
Jun 14, 2012
Tour de France V6

By Adam Stackhouse
Jun 14, 2012
Loh Roof

By Adam Stackhouse
Jun 14, 2012
Dan Osman Arete V6

By PrrdyLady
From: Riverside, CA
Sep 25, 2012
Anyone know anything about this climb? It's short but sweet!
By HunterCody
From: San Diego
Jul 31, 2013

CRUXMedia and HairlessMonkeyFilms bring you the first episode of "Crimpin' Aint Easy." Episode 1 features professional climbers Roland Wagner and Chris Lindner and was shot on location around several well known rock climbing havens in Southern California including: Mt. Woodson, Black Mountain and Tramway.
By Tom Allen
Aug 27, 2013
Parking beta: pay to park in the lot by the campground if you're not camping. On 8/24/13 I parked near the gate on the road that leads to the Rounded Boulders and fire lookout, and got a $125 ticket. There are no parking signs on the gate itself, but I was 80 feet from it, and completely off the road.

I spoke to the ranger who gave the the ticket. He was pretty unreasonable, claiming that no parking signs apply as far as you can see them, that the existence of a parking lot down the road implied that it was illegal to park anywhere else, that I should have read the campsite rules board even if I wasn't camping, etc. But then he called me a couple of days later to tell me that he revoked the ticket. He also said that they would put up clearer signs.

Also, the National Parks pass with hang tag that used to work as an Adventure Pass (which don't exist any more, apparently) is not an acceptable substitute for paying the $5 to park in the lot.
By Dennis
Sep 15, 2013
Hey folks, anyone been there recently? Thinking about going up to boulder and camp for the first time. Wondering if my camry will be able to handle the road.

By Nick Tunnicliffe
From: Costa Mesa
Jun 5, 2014
may have left a size small arcteryx atom lt here. if you find it that would be awesome to let me know.
By GoBoy
Sep 25, 2014
You are allowed up to 2 vehicles per camp site, 1 vehicle is free with the site. There is now an additional cost of 5$ for the 2nd vehicle.
By atp
From: Clairemont Mesa, CA
Jan 26, 2015
Thanks to Ian and Alan the new Black Mountain guidebook is out! this book can be bought at Mesa Rim climbing gym or online.
By Cole Gibson
Feb 12, 2015
Yeah! I just got the new guidebook by Alan Moore and Ian McIntosh and it has me psyched to get up there and do some exploring.

Does anyone know if the road is open? Guy at Nomad's Idyllwild didn't know for sure but said he would think it was open since there is no snow... Ranger station is apparently closed Thursdays...

Anyone have an idea?
By Colin Parker
From: Idyllwild, CA
Feb 27, 2015
The current conditions and gate information can be found at the black mountain bouldering website here: blackmountainbouldering.com/

You can also buy the amazing new guidebook here.
By Chairrison
Apr 16, 2015
Anyone (I know you are out there) have info about trad climbs around Black?
By Bidimpata-Kerim Tshimanga
From: Isla Vista, California
Apr 18, 2015
The closest trad climbing that I know of is Tahquitz & Suicide by Idyllwild. To my knowledge there isn't any trad climbing at black mountain itself. I am a boulderer though, and thus haven't really looked into it so perhaps someone more knowledgeable can add their two cents.
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