Summary: This is a very easy, yet rewarding hike. There are a few steep drops in some places, and it isn't all flat, although the uphill shouldn't give anyone any trouble.
It is a relatively short jaunt; it's but a couple of miles to the old stamp mill. We had lunch and I went a little way into each of the shafts. I didn't bring my headlamp, so I couldn't explore further. I would say to be very careful, but if this is your type of thing, and you know what you are doing, enjoy.
Interestingly enough, the mines smell much the same as the simulated ones at Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland.
The only real bummer is the graffiti, well and the trash. Next time I go, I am bringing a trash bag along, please do the same if you should decide to go.
All along the way you get great vistas of Baldy, Pine, Wright and Iron Mountain. This is a great hike.
Trailhead: Take Highway 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) through the Angeles Forest to the Vincent Gap. It is signed as Vincent Gulch/PCT parking. Here you can catch 3 trails - the Vincent Gulch Trail, The PCT to Baden Powell or back towards San Bernardino, and the trail/road to Big Horn Mine.
Park on the South Side
The trail is very easy to find - just look for the road closed sign - follow the old wagon road the entire way. There are spots where the road is washed out, and you will come across the trail to Vincent Gulch behind the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Sign, but you should just follow the road. NOTE THAT AS OF 10-31-08 HWY 2 IS CLOSED AT ISLIP SADDLE. COME IN FROM THE EAST! (Lat:34.35695 Lon:-117.74504)
Trail Guides for Big Horn Mine:
Best Hikes With Dogs - Southern California
by Allen Riedel (Mountaineers books)
Trails of the Angeles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Grassy Hollow Visitor Center (626) 821-6737
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 10 Submit your own review
Reviewed by cm on 5/6/2011
It's not an easy hike. My son and I hike up to the big mine and it's kind of a steep hike. There ar two parts of the trail that are completely eroded away and you literally have to scale across the mountain. Always go with a buddy. No cell phone coverage at all up there. So quite up there all you hear is a couple of song birds. It's so beautiful up there.
Reviewed by Sabrina J on 9/1/2010
If any of you want more information regarding the history of the mine and some more of our local hikes come into the Grassy Hollow visitor Center just east of trail head on hwy 2. Thanks! tell them Sabrina sent you! We have alot of summer programs starting Memorial day through Labor Day.
Reviewed by RK on 8/15/2010
The squeeze is no longer doable. An extra rung was added to the bat cage.
Reviewed by mdf on 7/1/2010
went this past saturday have done the hike before and loved it back when the mine shafts were open and all shafts were arrowed as to exit and dead ends but this past weekend like alot of the other post alot of vandalism has led the owners to put vent pipes in the entry ways and cement them in so there is no longer axcess to the shafts on the main entrance on the east side of the mine on the west side there is room to get in but is a tight squeeze. would hike it again just for the views.
Reviewed by Scott on 6/16/2010
Went here today via the Pearblossom Hwy, as Highway 2 is still closed at Mount Wilson. Great views of Baldy too (still with snow patches). Shafts are closed - gated shut. It looks like the stamp mill is closed as well, or in the process of being closed, as there is lots of chicken wire fencing nearby. Strange that some are saying it's still open. Also strange that the trailhead sign says 4.5 miles. I'd say maybe roundtrip, but as far as I could tell, the trail ends at the stamp mill. Nice hike, but with the mine being closed you should ask yourself, is it worth a 2-hour drive?
Reviewed by VH on 6/13/2010
We went today and much of the mine has been cemented and boarded up. You cannot go inside any of the mine shafts anymore. Still, it's very interesting to visit and I highly recommend the trip!
Reviewed by td on 5/24/2010
Please stay out of the mines... this is largely why it will likely be destroyed is because people continually try to gain access, and therefore, becomes a liability for the owners, and now the USFS. btw, this hike is not really a full 4 miles.. it's about 3.25 RT.
Reviewed by Rogelio on 4/29/2010
Pretty cool. Kinda bummed about all the graffiti. Would be cool if you could go in the mines, understand why you can't though.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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