Hike to Black Mountain and Stevens Creek Canyon

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Parking Lot

Witness spectacular views of valleys and the Bay Area in addition to exploring a tranquil canyon.

This hike can be done during any season, but for the creek to be running and for more comfortable temperatures, it is best to go on a cool winter or spring day.

Starting at the preserve parking lot, take the Stevens Creek nature trail, allowing you to witness spectacular views of a large, forested valley. Turn right at the first trail intersection, taking you down into a forested canyon with a beautiful creek. After about 1.5 miles, you will begin the ascent out of the canyon. At the intersection with the Canyon trail, turn right. Then at the intersection with the Indian Creek trail, turn left, which will begin a steep climb up the flanks of Black Mountain (2,812 ft). Continue on this until you reach Montebello Road. Follow this for 0.2 miles, bringing you to the top of the mountain and allowing you to see for miles. Turn around and retrace your steps until you reach the intersection for the Old Ranch trail. Follow the Old Ranch trail , and then continue along the Bella Vista trail. This section of the hike will continue to present spectacular views. The Bella Vista trail will merge with the Canyon trail. Continue until the first trail intersection (on an unnamed trail). Take this to the Stevens Creek Nature trail (again), which will bring you back to the parking lot. 

Pack List

Though this is not an advanced hike, remember to bring the basics:

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RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 950 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing views

Make sure you grab a trail map, while the trails are marked, some intersections are lacking enough signage as to which trails are in which direction. I made a turn not far from the parking lot and ended up at a dead end. I sorta wandered a little past that and luckily the trail picked up again, but I had a hard time deciphering where I was based on the signage. Definitely go to the top of Black Mountain, it's an amazing view.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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