A carefree hike through the Angeles National Forest that showcases the best views of the surrounding mountains along with a pleasant ending at an abandon gold mine dating back to 1895.
- There is a large selection of coffee shops in La Cañada Flintridge (the city before entering the Angeles Forest via Angeles Crest Highway) off Foothill Boulevard. While taking the off ramp to the Angeles Crest Highway, instead of taking the left to the mountains you can go right and Foothill Boulevard is the next light down. Depending on what you're looking for, here are a few I enjoy before my adventures:
- Consider taking the 134 East to the CA 2 North in order to avoid any and all congestion that occurs downtown. Once you're on the CA 2 North, you'll merge onto 210 East / CA 2 and take the first exit directing towards the Angeles Crest Highway. After passing the Angeles Forest entrance, you'll pass the Mount Wilson Red Box Road and continue driving along CA 2 and you'll be passing Newcombs Ranch Restaurant and Bar (feel free to stop for a meal before or after your hike). After passing Newcombs Ranch, the parking lot and trailhead for Big Horn Mine will be another 23 miles up the road. The parking situation is incredibly easy with two parking lots available and a turnoff adjacent to the Big Horn Mine main parking lot. Be sure to check the weather prior to driving (e.g. winter months) because there's a slight possibility the road may be closed due to heavy snow fall.
- NOTE: You need a Southern California "Adventure Pass" to park. If you do not have one, you can purchase a pass for $5 at Newcombs Ranch Restaurant and Bar. If you're planning to hike in the Angeles Forest quite a bit, consider purchasing the annual pass for $30. Either works depending on the amount of activity you plan to do within the year. However, be sure to check the Angeles Designated Recreation Sites list in case the parking requirements change at a later date.
- Begin the hike at the Big Horn Mine Trailhead across from Vincent Gap. On the west side of the parking lot there is a trail leading in two different directions. The one to the right leads up the Pacific Crest Trail toward Mount Baden-Powell and the other trail to the left is the one we'll take for this hike to Big Horn Mine.
- Follow this path until you reach the next trail split between Big Horn Mine trail and Vincent Gulch Trail. When you reach the split, veer right and the the trail will end at Big Horn Mine approximately 1.7 miles ahead.
- Elevation at Big Horn Mine: 6,888 feet