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Up on to the Black Mountain

Peak Summited2021 Black Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadRancho San Antonio Preserve
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

I was given a warning by my friends that I need to be at the Rancho San Antonio Preserve gate half an hour prior to sunrise otherwise I may have to play merry go round to get a parking space. Well, that’s something I guess the folks in the Bay Area are used to it and not a surprise. Even though I reached around 6.08 am the park gate was already open with few of the spots already gone. First 4 miles of the hike was pretty much along the PG&E power lines thus I know now, why that portion of the trail is named as the PG&E Trail. A left turn there after is the start of the Quarry trail that becomes a single pass track barely allowing 2 people to pass but there was hardly any traffic. Opposite to what I expected. A mile or so we hit the the Black Mountain trail, back again on a wider fire lane. We reached the summit in about 2 hours 20 minutes. The day being cloudy and mountain forecast was expecting rain the next day, we did not have the best of the views of the Bay but  still enjoyed the hanging clouds and the greenery including the not distant Santa Cruz mountains. Enjoyed a snack and clicked few photos before heading down. While on the trail I could notice the changing colors of flora but the only sore part is the environmental impact of the Quarry mines that is clearly visible when on the Quarry lane. Overall this hike is pretty much gradual but I would still rate it on little harder side. In all it took 4 hours to cover the 12 miles out and back trail. Great day hike and if you want to train for longer hikes !

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