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Black Mountain #6


Location: Kern County, about 13 miles south of Inyokern, about 124 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubKern County
USGS TopoGarlock 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable PDF file - Approximately 5 megs
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Printable version of this route


Distance: 4 miles round trip cross-country
Gain: 1450' total, 1300' out plus 150' on return
Time: 4 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate

Original: Joe Young


  • From Mojave, go north on SR 14 for 20.7 miles to the Randsburg Road on the right. Turn right.
  • Go east on the Randsburg Road 11.1 miles to a dirt road on the left at some white drums. This is Mesquite Canyon Road (signed EP 100). Turn left (north). This junction is 1.1 miles west of the junction of the Garlock Road and the Randsburg Road. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 4.0 miles, junction. Go straight (downhill) continuing on EP 100.
  • At 4.2 miles, a fork, go right on EP 15/26.
  • At 5.3 miles, a parking area on the left were an old jeep road has been blocked. Park here. 2WD usually OK to this point.


  • The parking area is just east of Colorado Camp (3940').
  • Hike northwest up a broad ridge past a rainwater collector to high point 4283'.
  • From here descend to the saddle on the north side of this bump.
  • Hike up to the gully just west of elevation 4546'. Go up to the top of this gully and enter another gully above. Continue up this gully passing a field of boulders on the left and up to the saddle just southwest of the crater at elevation 4942'.
  • Hike northwest up to the top of the ridge.
  • Turn right and follow this ridge up to the summit. Alternatively, it is possible to hike down through the crater and up to the saddle on the northeast side. Turn left and follow a use trail up the ridge to the summit.

Printable version of this route


Distance: 9 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 2000'
Time: 4 hours round trip
Rating: Class 2, moderate

Original: Martin Feather, February 1991


  • From Mojave, go north on SR 14 for 44.2 miles to SR 178 on the right (Inyokern turnoff).
  • Go approximately 4 miles on SR 178 east to the four-way intersection in Inyokern.
  • From the four-way intersection in Inyokern, go south on the Randsburg Inyo-Kern Road (Brown Road) for 5.9 miles to a poor paved road on the right. Turn right. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 1.1 miles, pass some mining equipment. The road becomes well-graded dirt.
  • At 2.1 miles, pass a quarry visible on the left. The road degrades past this point.
  • At 5.5 miles, pass a parking area and campsite on the right with some trees.
  • At 5.7 miles, the road again crosses the wash. Sheep Spring and a tree are on the left side of the road. Park here. The wash crossings get worse beyond this point.


  • Continue south on the road for about 1 1/4 miles to a junction (3430').
  • Turn right (west) and follow this road, shown as a jeep trail on the map, about 3/4 mile to another junction. Take note of this junction for the return journey.
  • Turn right and proceed in a westerly direction about a mile to where the road makes a sharp left turn at 3760'+ and begins to go east-southeast along a wash. Two washes converge at this point.
  • Leave the road and go a short distance up the left (southern) wash. This is the wash that goes up to a saddle just south of the summit.
  • Ascend the left side of the wash onto the ridge at a small saddle (3800').
  • From here proceed westward up this ridge and into the saddle just south of the summit.
  • From here pick up a faint use trail which leads up to the peak.

Printable version of this route


Distance: 3 miles round trip cross-country
Gain: 1500'
Time: 2 1/2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy

Original: Dorothy Danziger and Byron Prinzmetal


  • From the parking point for Route 1, continue along EP 15/26.
  • At 6.1 miles junction, go left on EP 26. Shortly, the road crosses a wash. High clearance required from this point.
  • At 6.8 miles, park near "Wilderness" spade marker (about 3750').


  • Hike west about 600' along the base of a ridge, to where a white post may be observed.
  • Hike northwest, angling up the ridge to the right. From here continue along the ridge, going generally northwest, around the north side of the crater.
  • Turn right and follow a use trail to the summit.


The benchmark on the summit has the name "El Paso".

This area was the scene of intense mining activity. The famous Burro Schmidt Tunnel is located to the west of the Route 1 parking area. This tunnel was built for transporting copper ore but was never used.

According to Tony Seger, the current owner of the tunnel, at least four people have been buried on the slopes of Black Mountain. Only one of these graves can be found, on the southeast lip of the crater.


The El Paso Range, a scene of recent igneous activity, is an escarpment of the now dormant Garlock Fault. Black Mountain is located in the El Paso Mountain Wilderness.


Use caution when turning around on the Randsburg-Red Rock Road if you miss the turnoff for Routes 1 and 3. The traffic moves very fast, and the sight distances are compromised due to dips in the road. An HPS vehicle was totaled in a collision while turning around on this road.

This peak is in the El Paso Mountains Wilderness managed by BLM.

Learn more about Black Mountain #6.

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

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