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Areas in Black Mountain

Boulder Basin 0 / 0 / 0 / 94 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 94
Groupsites 0 / 0 / 0 / 43 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 43
OK Corral 0 / 0 / 0 / 47 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 47
Summit, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 52 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 52
Access Issue: If you don't want to cause access issues please make it a point to be on your best behavior. Details

Description

A premier bouldering locale of Southern California, the granite boulders call out to any climber who visits this area. A variety of boulder problems are found, both in terms of steepness and grades. Located at 7500 ft, bouldering here is in a beautiful mountain setting - pine trees are as plentiful as the boulders are.

Most newcomers to Black Mountain quickly notice two things: 1) the problems here are often tall and off-the-deck 2) the ratings are HARD for the grade. Fear not - many of the most visible problems are indeed tall (20+ feet in Boulder Basin), but shorter problems can be found if one looks close enough. As for the grades, I'd suggest leaving your egos at home...

The area is primarily a summer and fall destination site. The rangers lock the gates to Black Mountain during the winter and early spring months. Check this website (scroll down) or call the Idyllwild Ranger Station (909-382-2921) regarding questions about access to Boulder Basin campground if in doubt.

Weekends can be crowded, especially in Boulder Basin with many families (read: groups with kids) running around. Please be courteous and ask for permission before climbing on any problems that are in someone else's campsite.

Pit toilets are available in Boulder Basin. Although water (technically not drinkable...) can be piped into the campsite, spigots are shut off during drought seasons. Be sure to bring your own water just in case.

Camping: $10 dollars per night for a site in Boulder Basin Campground.

Parking outside of the campsites is extremely limited. Be Green and carpool if at all possible. Contact the rangers in Idyllwild for more information.

Getting There

From L.A., take Interstate 10 east. Get off at highway 243 and head south towards Idyllwild. After about 30 minutes, turn left onto Black Mountain Road (look for a sign that says "Boulder Basin Campground").

After about 5 miles, you will arrive at OK Corral. A little less than a mile up the road, take the left turn towards Boulder Basin.

  • Please note that the 6 miles of dirt road is rough. Each year the road is in varying states of "drivable conditions". Generally, although it is possible to make it up the dirt road, I would highly recommend a 4x4 vehicle. Please drive slowly on this road as it narrows in places.

236 Total Climbs

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Location: Black Mountain Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Black Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5
 44
Gym Problem
Boulder
V1 5 R
 39
Once Upon A Time
Boulder
V1-2 5 R
 33
Big Greeny
Boulder
V2-3 5+
 61
Pink Crack
Boulder
V3 6A
 32
The Visor Lip
Boulder
V3 6A R
 17
Hueco Wall
Boulder
V3 6A
 44
Gypsy's Day Out
Boulder
V4 6B
 60
OK Problem
Boulder
V4 6B
 30
Saddle Traverse
Boulder
V5 6C R
 14
Where Boneheads Dare
Boulder
V6 7A
 64
Center Visor
Boulder
V6 7A
 33
NRA
Boulder
V6 7A
 9
Dan Osman ArĂȘte
Boulder
V7 7A+
 22
Cracker Boy
Boulder
V7 7A+
 38
Tour de France (aka Firewall)
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gym Problem OK Corral > Rdside Corral > G Boulder (aka Cosmos…
 44
V1 5 Boulder
Once Upon A Time Summit > Once Upon A Tim… > Once Upon A Time Boulder
 39
V1 5 R Boulder
Big Greeny Boulder Basin > S Basin > Big Greeny Boulder
 33
V1-2 5 R Boulder
Pink Crack Boulder Basin > Central Basin > Pink Boulder
 61
V2-3 5+ Boulder
The Visor Lip Summit > NRA > Visor Boulder
 32
V3 6A Boulder
Hueco Wall OK Corral > Lower Corral > Morphic Boulder
 17
V3 6A R Boulder
Gypsy's Day Out Boulder Basin > N Basin > Little Saigon Boulder
 44
V3 6A Boulder
OK Problem OK Corral > Rdside Corral > H Boulder (aka Reed's…
 60
V4 6B Boulder
Saddle Traverse Summit > Saddle Boulders
 30
V4 6B Boulder
Where Boneheads Dare Boulder Basin > Central Basin > Daring Boulder
 14
V5 6C R Boulder
Center Visor Summit > NRA > Visor Boulder
 64
V6 7A Boulder
NRA Summit > NRA > NRA Boulder
 33
V6 7A Boulder
Dan Osman ArĂȘte OK Corral > Broken Heart > Dan Osman Boulder
 9
V6 7A Boulder
Cracker Boy Summit > Cracker Boy Area > Buttermilk Boulder
 22
V7 7A+ Boulder
Tour de France (aka Firewall) Boulder Basin > Tour De France Area
 38
V7 7A+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Black Mountain »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
C Miller   CA  
Selected topos of Black Mountain are available in PDF form online at DrTopo.com. Jul 11, 2007
C Miller   CA  
An interesting discussion on Supertopo about Black Mountain - supertopo.com/climbing/thre…. Apr 30, 2009
Tour de France V6

youtube.com/watch?v=8DjR5CZ… Jun 14, 2012
Loh Roof


youtube.com/watch?v=cVhi3aR… Jun 14, 2012
Dan Osman Arete V6


youtube.com/watch?v=2B5k04B… Jun 14, 2012
J T
J T  
Anyone know anything about this climb? It's short but sweet!
youtube.com/watch?v=9iHez1p… Sep 25, 2012
HunterCody
San Diego
HunterCody   San Diego
youtube.com/watch?v=11XM3y9…

CRUXMedia and HairlessMonkeyFilms bring you the first episode of "Crimpin' Aint Easy." Episode 1 features professional climbers Roland Wagner and Chris Lindner and was shot on location around several well known rock climbing havens in Southern California including: Mt. Woodson, Black Mountain and Tramway. Jul 31, 2013
Parking beta: pay to park in the lot by the campground if you're not camping. On 8/24/13 I parked near the gate on the road that leads to the Rounded Boulders and fire lookout, and got a $125 ticket. There are no parking signs on the gate itself, but I was 80 feet from it, and completely off the road.

I spoke to the ranger who gave the the ticket. He was pretty unreasonable, claiming that no parking signs apply as far as you can see them, that the existence of a parking lot down the road implied that it was illegal to park anywhere else, that I should have read the campsite rules board even if I wasn't camping, etc. But then he called me a couple of days later to tell me that he revoked the ticket. He also said that they would put up clearer signs.

Also, the National Parks pass with hang tag that used to work as an Adventure Pass (which don't exist any more, apparently) is not an acceptable substitute for paying the $5 to park in the lot. Aug 27, 2013
Dennis
Boston, MA
Dennis   Boston, MA
Hey folks, anyone been there recently? Thinking about going up to boulder and camp for the first time. Wondering if my camry will be able to handle the road.

Thanks! Sep 15, 2013
Nick Tunnicliffe
Costa Mesa
Nick Tunnicliffe   Costa Mesa
may have left a size small arcteryx atom lt here. if you find it that would be awesome to let me know. Jun 5, 2014
You are allowed up to 2 vehicles per camp site, 1 vehicle is free with the site. There is now an additional cost of 5$ for the 2nd vehicle. Sep 25, 2014
atp
Clairemont Mesa, CA
atp   Clairemont Mesa, CA
Thanks to Ian and Alan the new Black Mountain guidebook is out! this book can be bought at Mesa Rim climbing gym or online. Jan 26, 2015
Yeah! I just got the new guidebook by Alan Moore and Ian McIntosh and it has me psyched to get up there and do some exploring.

Does anyone know if the road is open? Guy at Nomad's Idyllwild didn't know for sure but said he would think it was open since there is no snow... Ranger station is apparently closed Thursdays...

Anyone have an idea? Feb 12, 2015
Colin Parker
Idyllwild, CA
Colin Parker   Idyllwild, CA  
The current conditions and gate information can be found at the black mountain bouldering website here: blackmountainbouldering.com/

You can also buy the amazing new guidebook here. Feb 27, 2015
Anyone (I know you are out there) have info about trad climbs around Black? Apr 16, 2015
Bidimpata-Kerim Tshimanga
Isla Vista, California
Bidimpata-Kerim Tshimanga   Isla Vista, California
The closest trad climbing that I know of is Tahquitz & Suicide by Idyllwild. To my knowledge there isn't any trad climbing at black mountain itself. I am a boulderer though, and thus haven't really looked into it so perhaps someone more knowledgeable can add their two cents. Apr 18, 2015
The Ranger is getting angry about the recent habits & behavior of some of the visiting climbers / non climbers. I heard a rumor as of 9/7/15 he totally snapped & has had it. Though I don't think His assumptions about the climbing community are fair, I urge you to help keep our side of the street clean. If you don't want to cause access issues please make it a point to be on your best behavior. If you are coming up, note the following;

-There are no fires allowed anywhere, including the boulder basin & group campsites.
-Please carpool, parking is limited, so if you show up & there is nowhere reasonable for you to park, you must leave. (instead of parking somewhere unreasonable).
-Bring cash to park, lots of people showing up without cash.
-Don't climb boulders in/ around occupied camp sites (some say ask, personally I just go somewhere else).
-Spread out a bit.
In addition to all the other rules we should all already know. Sep 8, 2015
Eric H.  
Has anyone hiked in to any of the boulders this winter (or any winter, for that matter)? Just checking if my fantasy of snowshoeing to some boulders with a thermos of tea and a pint of whiskey can/should be realized. Jan 27, 2016
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
I have hiked the Black Mountain trail in winter. I did pack shoes and a chalk bag and managed a problem or two but the weather was cold - tips froze. Also the bases of many of the boulders held a lot of snow.

If you want to boulder drive to Josh. Jan 27, 2016
Nicholas Rondilone
Riverside, California
Nicholas Rondilone   Riverside, California
A few Black Mountain Classics. NRA, Pink Crack, and The 8th Dimension.

youtu.be/DW7p5yGmIbI Apr 21, 2017
RER
Southern California
RER   Southern California
Been overhearing words on the mountain and Black grades has sure been getting fluffy and bloated. What happened to the California sandbag tradition? Jun 14, 2017
Thrutch
Riverside, CA
Thrutch   Riverside, CA
I think part of the Black Mountain grade inflation is caused by modern gyms setting with super inflated grades, which translates to gym rats having an inaccurate sense of grades when they finally venture outside. Then add the ambiguity of the guidebook grade ranges, and many climbers now claim the highest grade in the given range for a problem. Jul 12, 2017
Car beta:
The dirt road is indeed *rough*. That being said, the road is not deeply rutted, sandy, or muddy (at least when it hasn't rained) - it's just super bumpy. I drove a Subaru Crosstrek up it last weekend and had a fun ride with no issues, but if you have a car with less ground clearance and no AWD or 4WD you should still be totally fine if you go slow and use your judgement -- I saw more than one Prius parked up top, so there's proof you'll be alright if you just avoid the big dips.

I would still recommend a car with at least 6-8" of ground clearance, but there's no need to put off your trip if you can't find one (maybe don't bring your Corvette, though). May 21, 2018

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