Hi-View Nature Trail

Trek Date: March 25, 2016

The Hi-View Nature Trail is located up in the hills behind the Black Rock Campground, in the northwest corner of JTree. If you're looking for a family-friendly campground, Black Rock can't be beat. Numerous sites, each with a picnic table and fire ring. Restrooms and actual, real life WATER are available here, something most of the other campgrounds in JTree do not provide. Tents, campers, RVs, even an area for horse owners to camp or stage a ride. There is also a nature center located in the middle of the campground.

I was here to hike the Hi-View Nature Trail, along with the intrepid 3D photographer, Murbachi. The trail is a 1-1/3 mile loop trail with an elevation gain of 325 feet. Benches are placed along the trail at strategic viewpoints, giving time for rest and contemplation. An interpretive trail guide is available on loan from the Black Rock Visitor Center. It identifies the vegetation along the route, corresponding with twenty-one numbered markers along the trail. The trail is laid out to be hiked clockwise; being contrarians, Murbachi and I hike counter-clockwise.

Checkout Murbachi's Black Rock post by clicking HERE.

Here are some of the sights I found on the trail.

The Trailhead for the Hi-View Nature Trail and also the West Side Loop Trail.

It was Spring, and there were a lot of wildflowers in bloom. This post probably could have also been called the "Low-View Nature Trail."

Scale Bud (Anisocoma acaulis). All my wildflower identifications should be taken with a grain of skepticism. 

A fantastic day for a hike. The trail is rated as moderate; for the most part it is an easy hike, but there are a few portions with some climbing that will make you glad you BROUGHT SOME WATER WITH YOU. 

Some nice-sized Nolinas scattered along the trail.

The most impressive Joshua Tree along the way. Can you say "Superbloom?" Well, 2016 certainly qualifies as the year of one. If you like Joshua Trees, be sure to checkout my trip report from this same day of Covington Flats.

A Joshua Tree bloom.

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua). 

A view of Mount San Gorgonio, "Old Greyback," Southern California's highest peak at 11,503 feet. There are a lot of great views along this trail.

Better than the stair climbing machine at the gym.

Can you spot the hiker?

A quick look back at the trail.

At a saddle on the ridge, sitting on a bench, looking down at Black Rock Campground and some Yucca Valley residential areas in the distance.

Just a little bit farther to the high point of the trail.

There's a notebook inside, look for "1849" in the register. Great view down the canyon we had just hiked up. Elevation here is about 4,300 feet.

A couple fire-fighters out on the trail. Thanks, Tanner and Jason!

Heading down the trail, there were a lot of wildflowers. White, blue, yellow, orange.

A fallen tree trunk. I believe those patterns in the wood were created by beetles while the tree was alive.

I'm going with Interior Goldenbush on this one.

The Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata).

All too soon we were nearing the parking area. My tracker claims 1.66 miles in 1h:27m:33s, with a 456 foot elevation gain. Felt steeper, but that's probably just me. I definitely recommend the Black Rock Campground for folks looking for a nice, easy camping place. And the Hi-View Nature Trail is well worth the time. I don't think I'd try it on a hot day, as there isn't much shade along the way. Springtime is a great time, especially after a wet winter. Everything's green, even the blackbush was green(ish). And if you like wildflowers, there's a bunch along this trail. Go see what you can find.

Hopefully you've enjoyed the pictures, if there's any you take a fancy to, feel free to download them and use they for whatever purpose you like. Credit back to Cali49.com would be nice if you use any online or in print, but it's not required. Hiking time is too short to worry about pixels.