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Black Mountain via Cherry Canyon Trail

Santa Barbara County, California



6.54 miles

Elevation Gain

1329 ft

Route Type



Added by Josiah Roe

Black Mountain on Santa Rosa Island provides unparalleled views of Bechers Bay, Carrington Point, Cherry Canyon, and Water Canyon on one of the most remote islands in the Channel Islands National Park.

Words fail in describing the beauty of the Channel Islands National Park and Santa Rosa Island, the second largest of the Channel Islands and perhaps the most diverse in terms of terrain, flora and fauna, and also the only to allow backcountry beach camping. While the opportunities for exploration are endless, Black Mountain at 1,298' provides for fantastic access to sweeping views all along the northern and eastern shores of the Island overlooking Bechers Bay.

Getting to the Island is the first step. Your first option by a 2-2.5 hr ferry ride from Island Packers which departs from Ventura Harbor. Your other option is a short plane trip via Channel Islands Aviation.

Your next step is to secure your National Park Pass and if camping, a permit from the National Park Service or by phone at (877) 444-6777.

The typical route to Black Mountain begins at Water Canyon Campground, proceeding out of the campground taking an immediate left and west up Cherry Canyon Trail. Eventually, Cherry Canyon Trail will intersect with Telephone Road marked with a sign for Black Mountain. Telephone Road will eventually intersect with Soledad Road. Cross over the road for about .1 miles to reach the summit.

There are numerous loops one can take from Black Mountain leading back to the campground but the most direct route is 6.5 miles out and back.

Note in the winter and spring the weather on the island can be quite unpredictable and oftentimes quite foggy making the trail (prior to Telephone Road) sometimes difficult to find. Be sure to bring a map. 

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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