Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hike #4 - Big Horn Mine Hike

It was a short drive (30 minutes from Rancho Cucamonga) to get there and I had to get a wilderness pass so I can park within Angeles National Forest but it was worth it.  Kids and I spend Father's Day hiking to Big Horn Mine, a 4-mile roundtrip with a total elevation gain of 1000 feet.  Not much total climbing except, the trailhead started at 6565 feet at Vincent Gap.  But the views are definitely worth it.
Several parts of the trail were washed away from rockslides but there was enough to get us through.  Some of the drops were pretty dramatic, which I estimated to be around 500 feet in the worst part, just a quarter mile from the first mineshaft.  Although it was around 95F in Rancho, it felt no more than 70 up here, given the elevation and the mountain breeze.
 Our reward at the end of the trail was this abandoned mining structure which took us 30 minutes to fully explore.  The majority of the steel structured building was gone but there was enough to allow us to climb up to the second mineshaft.  The views were even more stunning once we got there, where the mountain drops about a couple thousand feet below.
Below is Sam climbing up from the structure to get to the platform entrance to the mines.  In contrast to last week's hike to Eaton Canyon where we ran into hundreds of people, the trail to Big Horn Mine had less that a dozen people on it during the 2 hours we were on it.  I'm really hoping to use this high elevation hike as a primer for the kids taking on Mt. Baden-Powell.  We'll see.

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