On the West Coast in the sunny state of California, you will find the Black Mountain Wilderness. It consists of nearly 21,000 acres and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. In the northwest corner of all these acres, you'll find a mountain. There will be able to see plenty of beautiful wildlife such as golden eagles.
Black Mountain Wilderness is considered a mesa that peers over a rocky field of lava that many travelers won't find anywhere else. Near the mountain, you'll see a soft, fine-grained dune area that sometimes is home to beautiful flowers. This area is many visitor's go-to camping spot. The Black Mountain Wilderness is open all year round, and there are no fees for visitors.
It may be important to note there are specific boundaries that are private land. These areas cannot be crossed by travelers and should be respected. There are also a handful of fun activities in the area that you and your family can take part in, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography. Whether you're on a solo adventure or taking a vacation with your loved ones, seeing the Black Mountain Wilderness can be a breathtaking activity to add to your itinerary.
Whether you are renting an RV or taking a day trip in your vehicle, Black Mountain Wilderness is quite easy to get to. You can either take the Opal Mountain Road or Black Canyon Road to get directly to Black Mountain Wilderness from Highway 58. The roads getting you there are paved and easy to travel on. However, the roads within Black Mountain Wilderness are gravel and can be rough in a few spots. If you're visiting between April and October, it may be important to pack extra water due to the heat in case anything happens along the drive there. Once you get here, if you're looking to view the actual mountain, you will have to travel to the northwest corner of the wilderness. You can get around Black Mountain Wilderness on foot, bicycle, or vehicle in certain areas. Whether you plan on getting in an intense hike or you're just looking to walk around and see the sights, it may be a good idea to bring proper hiking boots due to the terrain. There are no paved or gravel trails, so you can freely roam in all of the public areas.
One of the closer campgrounds to Black Mountain Wilderness is Afton Campgrounds. it is operated by the Bureau of Land Management. There you'll find 22 campsites that can be used for tent camping or RV camping. The campground provides a picnic table and a fire grill for every site. Though there is piped water available, you may want to bring your own.
There are pot toilets near each campsite for your convenience. This campground is open year-round and all campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each campsite is allowed to have up to eight guests and two vehicles. There is a maximum trailer and RV length of 30 feet.
Speaking of RVs, there are no hook-ups available, so plan accordingly. You are able to check-in and out at any time while visiting. When visiting, you will be able to view nearby mountains and rivers that are packed with an abundance of wildlife. If you enjoy stargazing, this is a campground for you!
Another beautiful BLM campground is the Fossil Falls Recreation Site. Here you'll find 11 campsites in total. The only amenities are a water pump and vault toilets. If you're looking for a relaxing place to get away from your busy life, this is a great option. The secluded campground has both tent and RV campsites.
Every site has its own picnic table and fire pit grill available. It's best to camp here during the winter, spring, or fall, due to the lack of shade and the excessive heat of California summers. There are no reservations available; each campsite is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The scenery around Fossil Falls Campground is breathtaking. You'll be able to see lakes, rivers, and mountains, just about everywhere you look. While you're there, you can check out fossil creek to see the unique land formations. Camping here will allow you to experience hiking in the wilderness, wildlife viewing, fishing, stargazing, and more.
Lastly, there is the Owl Canyon Campground. This BLM campground has a total of 22 campsites, none of which include hook-ups. Every campsite has a picnic table and a firing for your convenience. While there is a single tap for potable water available, you may want to pack your own. There are no showers, but there are vault toilets.
You will be surrounded by rolling hills, huge canyons, and a river. There are beautiful multicolored rock walls that make a great background for photos. It's important to note that you do need a permit to take any fossils with you. In addition to finding fossils, you are also allowed to hike, horseback ride, and view a plethora of wildlife at this campground.
There is an 85-foot max length for RVs and trailers. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the campground is open year-round. This is a great area to visit if you're looking to immerse yourself in nature.
While there aren't necessarily any man-made trails at Black Mountain Wilderness Area, hiking is easily one of the most popular activities that visitors enjoy. The mountain itself stands at just under 4,000 feet and can be climbed.
You can hike around the ledges of the mountains, or along the Pacific Crest Trail nearby. It is important to not only bring proper hiking gear but be sure to have plenty of water on your person while enjoying this activity.
In addition to hiking, climbing is another popular activity people take part in when visiting the Black Mountain Wilderness Area. You will have to bring your own climbing and safety gear. Many people enjoy summiting the mountain or just enjoying a casual climb on nearby rock formations.
You can also enjoy a bit of bouldering on the granite boulders in the area. It is important to note that these boulders are quite steep and are better suited for more experienced climbers
Surprisingly, Black Mountain Wilderness is known for the environmental education that takes place there. Many students, usually in higher education, will visit for a field trip. There are also plenty of study areas for research. Students can learn about geography, wildlife, plants, and weather while visiting.
If you're a teacher, professor, or administrator, your students may enjoy a trip to Black Mountain Wilderness. It's a great way to get out of the classroom and experience nature firsthand.
There is a plethora of amazing wildlife that you may be able to see when you visit Black Mountain Wilderness. Some of the more popular animals that are most often seen are black-tailed deer, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, and raccoons.
There are also plenty of different types of birds, amphibians, and reptiles. It may be a good idea to bring along a couple of pairs of binoculars on your trip to increase the chance of you seeing more wildlife.
This area makes for beautiful photos. Whether you consider yourself an expert or you just enjoy capturing moments of your vacation, you'll have plenty to photograph here. You can take photos of the mining shaft, petroglyphs, mountains, wildlife, and more.
The vast desert with cloudless blue skies makes for excellent landscape photography. No matter where you turn at Black Mountain Wilderness Area, you'll find a snapshot worth taking to remember your trip by.
Nearby you'll find Black Mountain Wild Horse Territory. There you'll find over 13,000 acres of forest land to enjoy while on horseback. Due to the hot summers, it is best to go horseback riding in spring, fall, or winter.
The territory is also home to approximately 20 wild horses. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this herd, but remember not to get too close. Seeing these animals, even from a distance, is a stunning reminder of just how wild this area remains.