The Big Horn Mine near Wrightwood has been closed off for a long time but in the early 1900s, it used to be a profitable gold mine. Now, this abandoned mine is a popular hiking destination for SoCal hikers.
I planned to meet up with Katherine super early at the trailhead because we wanted to see the sunrise as we drove up the mountain. The sunrise was stunning that morning as we hoped. I had to pull over to take some photos.
We hoped to run into each other on the way but that didn’t happen. We met up at the Vincent Gap trailhead as planned. We were shocked to see a big group already getting ready in the parking lot. We began the hike following the sign for Mine Gulch.
When you see the sign below, stay on the Big Horn Mine road on the right.
We think the big group was hiking the Mt Baden-Powell (on my next year’s wishlist) because we never ran into them again. We pretty much had the Big Horn Mine fire road to ourselves. The fire road started out wide but it became narrow at times and the terrain changed to very rocky.
After two miles, we reached the ruins of the old mine building. You can even explore the mine if you feel adventurous. I opted out though.
We set up our hammocks and two pups hung out with me. It was raining lightly on and off and the wind picked up but these two kept me warm while Katherine was walking around and being busy as usual.
The view of San Gabriel Mountains was stunning along the trail but it was especially spectacular from the mine. I am looking forward to going back next year and summit Mt Baden-Powell (9,407 ft/2,867 m) with my favorite trail buddy.
Good to Know:
- Hike date: 10.23.16
- Total distance: 4 miles
- Elevation gain: 650 ft
- Big Horn Mine sits just shy of 7000 ft
- Trailhead: Vincent Gap parking lot (34.373351, -117.752030)
- National Forest Adventure Pass required for parking
- Vault toilet available at the trailhead
Happy Hiking and Happy New Year!