Black Mountain Glider Port
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.
A few fun facts I was able to gather from the internet or friends:
* The glider port has been in use since the 1920's
* Before Black Mountain was called Black Mountain, it was called Cordero Mountain along with Carmel Valley which was Cordero Valley. The Cordero brothers were Spanish soldiers who accompanied Portola on his trek north which crossed the foot of the Valley July 16th 1769.
mountain is 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.
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.
The turn is easy to miss. Look out for this sign on your right side:
When you park you're immediately greeted with a beautiful view even before you begin the hike!
Look for this sign then head up:
We were lucky to get there right when a guy was floating down!
Let's head up!
The view is pretty the entire hike and only gets better:
This is not a traditional, nicely-groomed trail fyi:
We made it!
There were other trails to hike but we didn't take them. So anyway, heading back down!
Anza Borrego Desert
Cuyamaca State Park