Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit: A 4-mile hike with Amazing Views

Trail Stats

4.03 miles
Elevation Gain
860 feet
Total Time
1 hours 36 minutes
Moving Time
1 hours 28 minutes

Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit is a 4.03-mile trail with 860 feet of elevation gain and is part of Black Mountain Open Space located in Poway California. This trail rewards you at the top with some beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Nighthawk Trail Parking & Getting There

The parking is for Nighthawk Trail is located just off Oviedo Way, in San Diego, CA at Hilltop Park. This is easy to access and there are a lot of spots available. The park also has bathrooms available. If you bring your kids there is a playground and lots of space to run around before or after the hike to burn off some extra energy.

The Trail

Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit is a great hike if you are in the area. Once parked you will see the trailhead near the beginning of the parking entrance (the end of the cul-de-sac you drove in on). Head towards the hill and you should be able to find it.

As you head up the trail you will notice that it is very wide. For most of the trail, you will have a comfy several-foot wide trail to a fire road width trail. This makes it real easy to navigate up and down the mountain while watching out for any trail hazards like snakes.

Once you make it about halfway through Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit it gets very rocky. You will want to make sure that you have nice and supportive shoes, and possibly bring some hiking poles to help. Loose rock always makes the trail a little more difficult and tends to slow the place as you will need to be more careful with each step.

This trail does not provide any shade. It will be important to bring plenty of sun protection and water, especially on a hot day. When I went up the mountain it was overcast and still worked up a pretty good sweat.

You will know that you made it to the top of the mountain when you see all of the radio towers and antennas. Nighthawk Trail ends at this station and there will be a flat area that overlooks the surrounding area. There are panoramic views to be enjoyed, especially on a clear day!

Lookback at Nighthawk Trail to Black Mountain Summit

Looking back at Nighthawk Trail in San Diego, I really enjoyed this one. It’s always a good time when you are not stressed about where the trail goes and how to stay on it. With this being a nice and wide trail and being rewarded with beautiful views once at the top of Nighthawk Trail, this is a no-brainer to check out if you are in the area.

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