How to get to New Vegas early using the Black Mountain Shortcut in Fallout: New Vegas
How to get to New Vegas early using the Black Mountain Shortcut in Fallout: New Vegas

The Black Mountain Shortcut is a community-given name for a route that you can take at level 1 to get to New Vegas.

Unlike the other path (guide for that one here), it does not require you to use Stealth Boys, on the other hand, it doesn’t finish any quests along the way, which may or may not be a downside depending on the reasoning for going to New Vegas early. This route is also quite a bit more complicated and slightly slower than the alternative.

Quick tips before we get to the route:

  • Supermutants in the area. Unlike the other route, this one does not have Deathclaws in the area, but it does have heavily armored and well-armed Supermutants. Be careful to not get spotted.
  • Save often. If an enemy sees you, it’s very unlikely that you’ll survive. Save very often and if you get seen, reload your last save.

Full Walkthrough of the Route

First, make your way to Sloan, a settlement located northeast of Goodsprings on the highway.

Sloan on the World Map | Fallout: New Vegas
Sloan on the World Map

Once there, look for the Lucky 38 billboard just past the settlement. Walk to it and turn to the right as you walk past it, just about far enough to lose sight of the road. This will ensure that no Deathclaws spot you.

Lucky 38 billboard | Fallout: New Vegas
Lucky 38 billboard

Next, you’ll have to reach an area located behind a large yellow crane. Follow the image below.

Far away view of the area behind the crane | Fallout: New Vegas
Far away view of the area behind the crane

From this point onwards, it’s recommended that you always remain in a crouched state. This will decrease the chances of you being seen substantially.

You should see a dark boulder in the distance. This boulder can be climbed and will serve as a way to get around the Supermutants that patrol the roads in this area. Refer to the image below for the correct path.

Elevated view of the dark boulder from the area behind the crane | Fallout: New Vegas
Elevated view of the dark boulder from the area behind the crane

Once you climb the boulder, you should find yourself on a ridge overlooking an asphalt road, which is often patrolled by Supermutants. Keep as far away from the road as you can and follow the ridge. Following the ridge will get you to a dirt path littered with bear traps. The path also has the corpse of an NCR soldier below it.

Elevated view of the ride that overlooks the Supermutant-patrolled road | Fallout: New Vegas
Elevated view of the ride that overlooks the Supermutant-patrolled road

This is the correct way forward, but don’t just rush up. Once you’re about halfway up the hill, a boulder will roll down the hill and if it hits you, you will die. To avoid it, you can either run back down the hill and to one of the two sides of the path as soon as you hear the sound of the boulder.

Once the boulder rolls away, you can safely walk up the hill. Make sure to either disarm or avoid the bear traps. Walk past the broken radio tower. From here, you can walk directly to Vegas.

Path past the broken radio tower | Fallout: New Vegas
Path past the broken radio tower