3.0 miles, 1-3 hours
Black Hill is the second to last of nine volcanic plugs that lie between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay (the last being Morro Rock itself). The hike to the top travels through Fleming's Forest--a hillside of Monterey Pine trees that were planted by John Fleming (a former park superintendent). It is rumored that Black Hill received its name due to the tar seep on the north side of the hill. The distance from the Morro Bay State Park campground to the top and back to the campgrounds is approximately 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 600 feet. This scenic and enjoyable hike is relatively easy and can be done in just a couple of hours.
This short and scenic trek requires just the usual hiking gear: good shoes, layered clothing (these coastal areas are about 30 degrees cooler in the summer than inland areas), a water bottle, and perhaps some snacks to enjoy on the summit. If there is chance you'll be caught in the dark, be sure to bring a headlamp. In addition, if you want to enjoy the views from the top but don't have time for the full hike, Black Mountain Rd./Upper State Park Rd. will take you three fourths the way to the top and there is a small parking lot from which you can hike rest of the way. However, although the road to the parking lot is supposed to open during the day, the opening and closing times are not always reliable.