|2,522 ft AEG|
|I headed out to hike the Blackjack Mountains highpoint and Jackson Butte, and figured that I would hike up to Black Mountain 4515 while I was out there. This was actually 2 separate hikes: 1) Blackjack and Black, and 2) Jackson.|
Black Mountain 4515
I drove in on FR 645 and parked outside the crumple gate to unsigned FR 986. Most any vehicle can drive on FR 645. I would have driven to the base of Black Mountain, but it was no more than 1/4 mile from the gate so I decided to walk it. Most any 4WD vehicle could make the short drive.
I was a short, but steep, climb up to the Black Mountain summit. There was some vegetation in the way, but it was fairly easy to dodge it. Views were great at the summit, and there are some cool ruins up there.
Blackjack Mountains HP
I descended Black Mountain the same way that I went up, and then continued hiking on FR 986. It would be challenging for a stock 4WD vehicle to continue past Black Mountain, and I was glad to be walking it rather than driving. I turned off of the road at the recommended point in the guide and it worked out well. It was a straight-forward ascent, and I'd say that the off-trail hiking was 95% open country and 5% easy bushwhacking.
Views were great at the summit, so I hung out there for a bit. There was a Lilley-MacLeod summit register log up there.
After driving back to Highway 60, I continued north to the "trailhead" for Jackson Butte. Any vehicle could get there.
I had drawn up a planned route on RouteScout which worked out well, although I was a bit north of my planned route on the way up. However, I pretty much followed the plan to a "T" on the descent. I thought that my descent route was better.
It was easy navigating: on the way up the summit was in view, and on the descent the parking area was in view.
There was a tad bit of bushwhacking and rock scrambling just below the summit, but there was nothing sketchy at all. There was a bit of vegetation at the summit, which blocked the views a little bit. There are some interesting ruins at the summit also.
I like this area and really enjoyed these hikes. I'll have to get back out there before long and hike up to the Sevenmile Mountains highpoint.
Distance and elevation gain for the hikes is below. Stats above are the sum of the two:
Black Mountain/Blackjack HP: 5.57 miles with 1,392 feet of elevation gain
Jackson Butte: 2.68 miles with 1,130 feet of elevation gain
|May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey|