Latino Outdoors members holding banner at Monte Bello Preserve

Outdoors for All

(Latino Outdoors)

It’s not every day in the Bay Area that you can enjoy a vivid sunset followed by the moonrise from a mountaintop. Midpen’s one-and-only backpacking camp atop Black Mountain in Monte Bello Open Space Preserve above Palo Alto makes those experiences accessible to anyone willing and able to hike a couple of miles. For some, this site also provides an opportunity to learn how to backpack, which is camping on foot carrying everything you need in a pack.

On a recent weekend, more than a dozen people participated in a beginner-friendly backpacking trip to Black Mountain. They hiked a couple of miles each day, with our community outreach partner Latino Outdoors, providing all the gear and food for the excursion. The hike leaders taught basic backpacking skills and shared information about local wildlife, trees and plants along the way.

For experienced backpackers looking for more local trips, Midpen’s Black Mountain backpack camp can serve as the first stop on longer trips utilizing our trail network to reach other established backpacking camps in neighboring state parks, providing even more close-to-home opportunities for skygazing, connecting with nature and building community. 

Learn more and make a reservation at Midpen’s Black Mountain backpack camp online at

“It was an awesome weekend spent playing games, building community and experiencing the outdoors together,” Latino Outdoors San Francisco Bay Area Regional Coordinator Aurora Perez said.

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