Allison Mine – Cross Country Exploration

The Allison Mine is one of those local mines we may never see. It is stuck in the upper reaches of Allison Gulch on the steep southwest side of Iron Mountain #1, aka Big Bad Iron. Allegedly three of six tunnels are still open with hundreds to a thousand feet of clearance. One wonders how in the world miners brought all the equipment up here!

The mine can be reached in a few ‘practical’ ways: 1) Take the Heaton Flat trail to Coldwater Saddle, where the old Allison Mine trail starts 2) Head up the East Fork, veer east up Allison Gulch, and ascend an old use-trail to the mine.

Both options will require about 6-7 miles one-way to the mine. Option #1 will deal with a lot of brush and unmaintained ‘trail’ especially on Allison Mine trail, while option #2 deals with hiking along the east fork of the San Gabriel river for some miles and up the gulch, then taking a steep ascent up to the mine.

My preference is to take option #2 up, and option #1 down.

Expected Stats:

Gain: 3000 ft
Distance: 13 miles
Steepness: 883 ft/mile
Terrain: Cross-country = Water crossings, steep unstable use-trails, brush
Estimated time: 8 hrs
Difficulty: 8/10 for intensity, 9/10 for terrain

Trail Descriptions:


Professor Brennan’s Trip Report

This is a tough hike so you must absolutely be in great shape to do it. It won’t be as strenuous like 5000 ft + elevation gain hikes, but the varied and difficult terrain will provide a workout and is only advised for those comfortable with cross-country hiking.


This hike starts at the East Fork Ranger Station parking area. The first few miles will cover the same hike as the Bridge to Nowhere. Each car will need an Adventure Pass for parking.

Related posts:

Live Mountain Cameras
Nonstop Up Big Iron
East Fork - Iron Mt - NW ridge - Stanley Miller Mine Loop

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 9:03 pm and is filed under Trail Information. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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