Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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15442 Black Mountain Rd.
San Diego, CA 92127

32.990055, -117.125350

Hike: 4 miles roundtrip    Level: Moderate

Dog-Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes


About the Black Mountain Gliderport:

Black Mountain Open Space Park is currently 2,352 acres and brimming with stunning views, hiking trails and even old, forgotten mines. The highlight of the trip is the 1,554 foot summit of Black Mountain which offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.

The gliderport has actually been around since 1920!!  And Black Mountain is actually part of the Santiago Peak Volcanics which were a chain of volcanic islands formed 150 million years ago. Cowles mountain was also one of the islands.

If glider ports is something you’re into, there is also a stunning one located in the San Bernardino Mountains.

This area has sadly gone through a ton of development over the years. Entire towns have sprouted in areas that were open plains since the beginning of time and many of the views you see in these photos are now littered with homes.  I will have to do this hike again one of these days to get updated shots.

While you’re in the area, make sure to hike the Camino Ruiz Trail nearby!

Personal Experience: Boy did we get lucky. Right when we arrived two people were hang gliding down the mountain. Pretty cool! You will notice that the view is beautiful the moment you park. If you’re out of shape, disabled, etc. and don’t want to hike to the top, you could truly experience an enjoyable view just from the parking lot.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I found the hike exhilarating, meaning not too tough and not too easy. The top is so rewarding too with a stunning view that (as of early 2015) has not been ruined too much from bulldozing and construction. It does appear that this may change in the near-future though which is pretty heartbreaking.


We were lucky to see a hanglider landing right when we got there!

You’ve got a bit of a climb to get to the actual gliderport so pace yourself accordingly!

We made it!

These photos are from two different trips: one in 2015, one in 2017.  You may notice some differences with the view.  As of 2017, it looks like they are more than ready to begin building in this area:

It was super foggy the last time we went.  I loved it!

Back down!

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  • Anonymous
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    You should check out the are around black mountain park/glider port. Some friends and I found a couple of old structures and collapsed mines. It was pretty cool, but not a whole lot to see.

    November 13, 2016

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