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BLM 404 Trail - Black Mountain
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Sloan Canyon NCA
Black Mountain
Park Peak Trail
Shadow Canyon Trailhead (view SE)

Overview

The BLM 404 (Black Mountain) Trail provides a strenuous, 7.6-mile round-trip, hike in the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area that climbs to the summit of Black Mountain and provides grand views over the Las Vegas Valley to the northwest, much of Arizona to the east, and California to the southwest. Paved access to the trailhead makes this an easy getaway from town into the volcanic mountains that rim the south edge of Las Vegas.

This hike makes use of two trails: Anthem East Trail and the BLM 404 (Black Mountain) Trail.

Link to map. See also Black Mountain Summit Views and Hiking Down Black Mountain.

BLM 404 Trail

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is fairly safe with no unusual hazards. Be careful near the summit where the trail is steep and winds among boulder.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

 

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Sloan Canyon NCA, but it is accessed from urban neighborhoods in the Anthem area of Henderson, as described for the Shadow Canyon Trailhead.

BLM 404 Trail

The Hike

From the Shadow Canyon Trailhead, (Table 1, Waypoint 01), this hike starts by running southeast on the paved Anthem East Trail in a well landscaped gully bordered by houses. After about 0.28 miles, a paved trail crosses the Anthem East Trail (Wpt. 02), and by this time, hikers can look out in the distance and see a small cinder-block building on a hill. The hill will turn out to be a retention dam that catches floodwaters before they affect town.

The paved trail bends a bit left and then splits (Wpt. 03). Here, hikers can go either way, but it is probably easier to turn right on the Anthem East Trail and follow the pavement to the cinder-block building atop the dam (Wpt. 04).

From the cinder-block building (Wpt. 04), trails diverge. The Anthem East Trail turn east to cross the dam, the BLM 404 (Black Mountain) Trail continues straight (southeast) on the contour, and the BLM 403 (Park Peak Loop) Trail turns right (southwest) to climb the hillside.

Park Peak Trail
Road crosses paved trail (view SE)

Continuing on the BLM 404 (Black Mountain) Trail, the hike leaves the pavement following a dirt foot path that contours southeast around to the back of the retention basin (Wpt. 05). Continuing across the cement-covered slope above the retention basin, at about the middle of the concrete (Wpt. 06), the Black Mountain Trail (marked by a wooden sign) turns to the right, enters Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, and heads up into the wildlands.

The Black Mountain Trail climbs onto a low ridge and follows the ridgeline up to the southeast. This ridge is the West Ridge of Black Mountain. The trail starts up the toe of the ridge, but as the slope steepens, the trail begins to switchback up as it winds among rocky outcrops of black volcanic rock - a small taste of what lies ahead.

Eventually the grade eases and the trail drops gradually into a broad saddle and a trail junction (Wpt. 07). Here, the BLM 404 (Black Mountain) Trail continues east on the ridgeline while the BLM 402 (Connector) Trail turns southwest and drops off the south side of the ridge.

BLM 404 Trail
Anthem East Trail sign (view SE)

The trail continues climbing the ridge at ever steeper grades until finally reaching the summit (Wpt. 20). At just over 5,000 feet elevation, views from the summit are grand and virtually all of the mountain ranges in southern Nevada are visible. To the west are Mt. Potosi, the Red Rock Canyon cliffs, and Mt. Charleston. To the north lie the Sheep Range, the Las Vegas Range, and Frenchman Mountain. Views to the east include the Mormon, Muddy, and Virgin Mountains, plus many ranges stretching out over Arizona. To the south are several ranges, including the South McCullough Range and Clark Mountain in California.

Enjoy the summit views, then when rested, return to the trailhead by following your footprints back down the mountain.

Park Peak Trail
Approaching turn to climb atop dam (view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Approaching turn to climb atop dam (view SE)
Park Peak Trail
Cinder-block building atop dam (view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Hikers starting on Black Mountain Trail (view SE)
BLM 404 Trail - Black Mountain
Hikers starting on Black Mountain Trail (view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Trail sign on cinder-block building (view W)
Park Peak Trail
Dirt trail contours above retention basin (view SE)
Park Peak Trail
Trail runs atop cement-covered slope (view SE)
Park Peak Trail
Trail runs atop cement-covered slope (view NE)
Park Peak Trail
Dirt trail turns off at Black Mountain Trail sign (view NE)
Black Mountain
Dirt trail turns off at Black Mountain Trail sign (view NE)
Park Peak Trail
Jim at Black Mountain Trail sign (view NE)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail sign (view NE)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail with sign (view NE)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail sign (view NE)
BLM 404 Trail
Hiker starting up the Black Mountain Trail (BLM 404; view SE)
Black Mountain BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail (BLM 404; view E)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail (BLM 404; view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Hiker on Black Mountain Trail (BLM 404; view SE)
Park Peak Trail
Well defined trail runs along ridge (view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Hiker on Black Mountain Trail (BLM 404; view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail nearing trail junction (BLM 404; view SE)
BLM 404 Trail
Black Mountain Trail at Connector Trail (view E)
Park Peak Trail
BLM 404 (Black Mountain) and BLM 402 (Connector) trail junction
Park Peak Trail
BLM 402 Trail to Park Peak (view E)
BLM 404 Trail
BLM 402 Trail to Park Peak (view E)
Park Peak Trail
BLM 404 trail sign (view S towards Park Peak)
BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 trail sign (view S towards Park Peak)
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail
BLM 404 Trail BLM 404 Trail

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates and Distances based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 673133 3979357 2,966 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Trail Junction 673277 3979000 2,976 0.26 0.26 GPS
03 Trail Junction 673415 3978839 3,021 0.13 0.39 GPS
04 Trail Junction 673476 3978746 3,052 0.11 0.50 GPS
05 Trail Junction 673582 3978631 3,086 0.10 0.60 GPS
06 Top of Retention Basin 673680 3978654 3,055 0.06 0.66 GPS
07 Trail Junction 674316 3978158 3,398 0.70 1.36 GPS
20 Black Mtn. Summit 676531 3977866 5,030 2.42 3.78 GPS
01 Trailhead 673133 3979357 2,966 3.78 7.56 Map

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140318

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