A popular out and back run to the summit of Black Mountain with a leg-burning climb and breathtaking views.
The 404 gets progressively steeper as you get higher up the mountain, with the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile being at a VERY steep grade, requiring hands to climb up some rockier sections.
After the first 1/2 mile or so down the mountain, the really technical trail fades away and more advanced runners are able to really open it up and pick up some speed.
The 404 trail is most commonly taken as an up-and-down route, starting at the Shadow Canyon Access Point and ascending the full height of the mountain before reversing course back down. However, the 404 trail itself doesn't start until nearly 3/4 mile down Anthem East, behind the detention basin at the southern end of the Anthem East trail. To get to the start of the trail, head past the shed next to the detention basin and take the short singletrack trail leading around to the back of the detention basin, then look for the sign marking the trail.
Once on the trail, it starts out very runable and will get progressively steeper with a lot of switchbacks until you get near the top, at which point climbing up and over rocks will be required to reach the ultimate peak.
The lower sections of the trail are typical of the desert, with some rock obstacles that aren't overly challenging (but still demand your attention), while the upper sections can be very difficult at times. Once at the top of the mountain, care must be taken coming back down as it's easy to slip and fall on the steeper sections at the top.
Shared By: Rob Erekson