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 3 of 10 Submit your own review
Reviewed by open ! on 3/12/2010
mine is open . you can go inside once again !
Reviewed by Robert on 3/9/2010
My favorite mine in the world. Felt like I had lost a great friend when I heard this was closed. Now, I have to go 4-5 hrs. out of downtown to find the same sense of adventure. Someone will tourch it open, if it hasn't been done yet. Heard rumors.
Reviewed by ch on 2/22/2010
I am with a company that was in charge of closing the mines. It was a real bummer because I have loved hiking there in years past but according to the WLT there had been to many vandals and accidents up there recently. Still a great day hike with a wonderful view of history :)
Reviewed by Mike on 12/6/2009
I just took some of my Boy Scouts to the mine again yesterday. The Big Horn Mine complex is currently held in conservency by the Wilderness Land Trust before it is turned over to the Forest Service. Not much has changed except that the mine enterences are closed and some of the mountainside has been blown up in an attempt to block the old wagon road to the mine. The part that has been blown onto the road is between the old miners' camp and the mine. It is not difficult to pass. Hopefully the Forest Service will not remove this historic mine from the mountain so all we will have left is memories and a few pictures to share with our kids. This is a great hike for a quick getaway.
Reviewed by Ed on 11/28/2009
The hike is an easy one. It is important to know the mine is on private property. I spoke with folks at the mine and they requested no one go past the flat terraced areas where the camp was and that no one go to the mine itself or try to gain entry. It seems only reasonable to honor thier wishes. They did mention prosecution for those found to be trespassing. There are a ton of trails in the area, lets be good citizens and respect the landowners wishes.
Reviewed by Natasha on 11/22/2009
We did this with a 5-year-old and another little one on a backpack. It didn't feel like 4 miles, it was very pleasant. The mine shafts are sealed, probably for a good reason, it wouldn't be safe for kids anyways. The Big Horn Mine is very cool-looking and it certainly looks like an adventure for children to go find this place.
Reviewed by Nick on 11/8/2009
Good, hike but the mines are closed. Easy to walk when you get to the mine their is a little hurtle to cross right before the mine house. I went with my boys(12 &14), and dog very nice walk. My 14 year old thought it was cool and definetly worth the walk. We came from the city (Santa Fe Springs) took about two hours to get their in the car, the hike itself is 4 miles round trip (2 miles to get their & 2 miles to get back).
Reviewed by Jordan on 10/25/2009
Did this hike last weekend, 10/17. Easily one of the most rewarding hikes I've ever taken. The trail is washed out in a couple of places but nothing a little careful stepping can't easily traverse. Going into the mine is an experience I'll remember forever. I plan on going again in the next couple of weeks, but according to an older gentleman and his wife that we passed on the way back down, the mine shafts are in the process of being permanently closed. It's too bad because the people that see this as an opportunity for careful, fun exploration won't have much more time to enjoy this truly unique experience. The Mill and the view are still well worth the easy hike.
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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