Saturday, March 28, 2020
Trail 404 is indicated as a loop that starts at the Shadow Canyon Trailhead in Henderson, and runs over Black Mountain. From the trailhead, the south end of the loop is the more frequently traveled. From the top of the detention basin near the trailhead, it's the first indication for Trail 404. I have hiked that trail twice.
trail map at the detention basin and other BLM documents indicate that there is supposed to (or at least, is proposed that) this trail be a loop.
On my last trip up to the top, I did see one Trail 404 indicator on the "other" side of Black Mountain, but I did not see much evidence of an actual trail heading back down. With darkness encroaching, I elected not to try the unexplored way back down in the dark, and returned the way I came.
This time around, I had a bit more time, though I was still starting in late afternoon, after my drive up from the Los Angeles area. Still, I thought I'd have enough time to make it to the top, if the trail did exist. This turned out to be overly optimistic.
Good views to your west and south, but your view to the east and west is largely blocked by the mountain your are climbing.
After two hours of hiking, I was still what I assumed to be at least half an hour from the top. The sun was getting low, and I was going to be late getting back to my wife, so I turned around, well short of the top.
One of these days, I may again try this approach, when I'm sure I have the time. But I'm in no hurry to repeat this hike. The southern loop is definitely preferable.