Black Mountain
Looking for an easy outing on 27 January 2011, I decided to hike up Black Mountain on the southern outskirts of Henderson, Nevada.  Having read Bob Spirko's and's trip reports, I felt confident that I would have a trouble-free day.  I had no problems following's excellent directions for driving to the trailhead, and although I felt a little weird donning my hiking gear in the middle of a residential area, it did not take me long to hike into the wild beyond the last houses.  Admittedly, I took this trip a little too lightly and neglected to study the route descriptions more thoroughly (I'm still confused about the "shovel" mentioned by  As a result, I completely missed the signed trail for Black Mountain and ended up following another trail into no-man's land for about half an hour before I realized something was amiss.  Fortunately, it was just a simple matter of hiking cross-country to get back on track.  Oddly enough, I noticed someone else (local resident?) who was also hiking cross-country but in the opposite direction.

Once on the proper trail, I settled into an easy plod up to the summit and soon passed a couple of hikers on their way down.  I also noticed three other hikers behind me, and eventually two of them passed me on the way up.  The third hiker was not far behind me when I ran into the other two just as they were leaving the summit.  With the summit all to myself, I quickly did my usual chores expecting the third hiker to show up at any moment.  Strangely, the third hiker never arrived and must have turned around with the other two despite being so close to the summit.  That seemed weird, at least for a peak bagger like myself!  On descent, I met one more hiker further down who was still on his way up as the sun was setting.  Probably owing to Black Mountain's close proximity to the suburbs, I encountered more people on this diminutive peak than on all the other peaks combined during my week of hiking in the Las Vegas area.  All that was missing was an Elvis impersonator!
What? No biffy?? Black Mountain is readily visible from the trailhead.
Must be for those once-in-a-hundred-years flash floods. Near the trailhead is what appears to be a concrete dam or levee.
At this point, I mistakenly thought the dark peak left of centre was my objective. This is where Sonny took a wrong turn.  Note the correct trail to Black Mountain at far left.
I wanna say it's a Joshua tree, but I'm not so sure... This yucca plant towers above the trail.
Doh! It suddenly dawns on Sonny that he is heading for the wrong ridge.  Black Mountain is directly behind him.
Sigh. Will I ever do a trip WITHOUT any route-finding problems? This is the correct trail to Black Mountain.
Is it a Mojave yucca or Joshua tree or neither?? Sonny passes another impressive yucca plant on his way to the summit.
As usual, the summit is further away than it looks in this photo. The trail is mostly hidden among the rocks and bushes.
America, F**K YEAH!!! Sonny stands on the 1555-metre summit of Black Mountain.
Although the Las Vegas Strip is visible at far right, you're mostly looking down at Henderson and Enterprise. The Las Vegas metropolitan area is sprawled out to the northwest.  On the horizon are the Spring Mountains.
Il fait beau aujourd'hui! Frenchman Mountain is visible to the north.
For such a small bump on the ground, you sure notice it from lots of different places! Also visible to the north is Lava Butte.
Google "Nevada Solar One" for some interesting articles about the solar power plant. The view to the south includes the mirror arrays known as Nevada Solar One.  Over 78 kilometres away on the horizon at left is Spirit Mountain.
Trust me. It's all a facade... Here is a view of the hotels of the Las Vegas Strip stretching from Mandalay Bay and Luxor (black pyramid) at far left all the way to Stratosphere (tower) at far right.  Also visible is McCarran International Airport.
There's actually another Black Mountain (north of Boulder City) somewhere at far left although it may not be visible from this vantage point. Looking east, Boulder City is barely visible behind Black Hill.  Fortification Hill is at far left, and just right of centre on the horizon is Mount Wilson (Arizona).
I can still feel the sting from my last "run-in" with one of these! Here is one of the many barrel cacti found alongside the trail.
A bit boring, but it sure beats shovelling snow! Sonny descends the Black Mountain trail.
One of my favourite photos of the week! The late day sun shines through a yucca plant.
I've witnessed some beautiful sunsets in the past few days. The setting sun sets Black Mountain ablaze.
How would you like to have a mountain in your backyard? This is the route as viewed in Google Earth.
My GPS recorded a total elevation gain of only 610 metres which is LESS than the net elevation gain! Hmmm...

Total Distance:  10.7 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  4 hours 38 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  656 metres

GPX Data