Black Mountain Lookout
Black Mountain Fire Lookout (elev. 7,772 ft.) is located in the San Jacinto Mountains. The tower is staffed by volunteers and is usually open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm during fire season. Visitors are welcome to come up to the top and view and learn about the mountains, use the Fire Finder and learn about fire prevention. The tower season is from Memorial Day to November.
Built in 1926, Black Mountain was the third lookout built on the San Bernardino National Forest. In 1935 the original lookout was disassembled and rebuilt on Barton Peak. The lookout that sits on Black Mountain today was completed in 1962.
Black Mountain has spectacular views of the Santa Rosa Mountains, Mt. Palomar Observatory to the south, San Gorgonio Pass to the north, and on a clear day you can see as far as the ocean to west. Occasionally, hosts and guests are greeted by glider planes that come over San Jacinto Peak, riding the desert and mountain wind currents, wisping by silently.
The Black Mountain Lookout Leader is Ed Harrison.
Take Highway 243 north out our Idyllwild for 8.1 miles to the turn-off of Black Mountain Road (Forest Road 4S01). This dirt road climbs through a forest of oak and pine. After the Boulder Basin Campground, make a sharp left turn and drive a half-mile to the end of the road (5.8 miles from the highway). Walk the last quarter-mile and then take the paved walkway to the lookout.