Obscura Society LA: Abandoned Gold Mine - Atlas Obscura

La Cañada

Obscura Society LA: Abandoned Gold Mine

Hike to Big Horn Mine, an abandoned gold mine in the San Gabriel Mountains

Once upon a time, the deserts, hills, and mountains surrounding LA were filled mines. Most have been sealed off, their locations erased from modern day maps. In fact, there is only one maintained trail in the San Gabriel Mountains that leads to a former gold mine — Big Horn Mine Trail. 

Join the Obscura Society LA and Field Agent Robert Hemedes on a guided field trip to Big Horn Mine led by Ercole Rabottini. Ercole has been exploring local mines for many years and has slowly pieced together their past through his extensive research. Learn about the discovery of the Big Horn's gold-bearing quartz vein in the 1890s by Charles Tom Vincent, a Civil War veteran and fugitive, and explore the remains of the mine, his cabin, and stamp mill.

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Notes for this adventure:

- CARPOOLING STRONGLY ENCOURAGED: Due to limited parking, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

- ADVENTURE PASS REQUIRED: An Adventure Pass is required for each vehicle and must be purchased prior to the event. Click here for a list of vendors (Daily Pass is $5 and Annual Pass is $30). 

- We will meet at 7:00 am in La Cañada and caravan to the trail-head in Wrightwood, approximately 60 miles away. Prior to the event you will receive an email with the carpool meet-up location and detailed driving directions.

- We will not be entering ANY off-limits property including the mine and all buildings. We will only be hiking on public trails and viewing the exterior remains. Entering the mine tunnel is considered trespassing and will NOT be allowed on the tour.

- Bring sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. 

- This is a moderately difficult, five mile hike. Be prepared for steep and unsteady terrain and very warm weather.

- Please wear jeans and sturdy, closed-toed shoes with firm gripping. High heels, sandals, and flip flops are not allowed.

- Photography and video are encouraged!

- This event is weather dependent. If we are expecting significant rain on this date, we will cancel the event via email. Tickets will be refunded or transferred to a rescheduled date, depending on your availability.

- A liability waiver is required for this event.

Advance ticket sales only. All sales are final.