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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.


Black Mountain #2


Location: Ventura County, about 11 miles south-southwest of Gorman, 85 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubVentura County
Forest ServiceLos Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
USGS ToposBlack Mountain 7½, Alamo Mountain 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable PDF file - Approximately 3.6 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)

Nearby Peaks: Alamo Mountain, McDonald Peak, Sewart Mountain, Snowy Peak, Cobblestone Mountain, White Mountain #2

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be 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


  • Go north on I-5 to the town of Gorman. Get off on the signed Gorman exit.
  • 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", signed.
  • 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. Go straight. Note your odometer again and go as follows:
  • At 3.3 miles, fork immediately beyond a small road cut through the ridge. To the right leads to Alamo Mountain Route 1. Turn left.
  • At 4.0 miles, the road forks at the Little Mutau trailhead. Turn left. Past this point the road can sometimes be poor but is usually passable.
  • 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. Park here.


  • 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 Mountain #2.
  • 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 Peak.
  • 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.
  • Search 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.

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