Exploring the Allison Mine

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On our wayAnother fun hike off of the list but not a one and done. The route follows a couple of miles upstream towards the Bridge to Nowhere. Along this route are a series of water crossings. Some can be navigated, but others require you to just take step through them. It wasn’t too much of a problem for me because I came with sandals and shorts, but by the 4th crossing, my feet were freezing each time.

This route though was very scenic all the way. After the recent rains, the water level was a little higher and the current flowing somewhat swift. This made crossing the river at certain points a little bit more exciting.

Before feet wetEveryone changing their shoesShoes in the tree?

After several crossings, we finally made it to the gulch. The incline at this point became more substantial. There were at times some visible portions of a trail, but mostly it was covered in fallen leaves. Also, the way up involved some rock hopping which slowed the pace a bit.

The trail up to the mine starts at the northern slope. There was a tree with some plastic ribbon tied to it. This marks the start of a trail, but we couldn’t find it at this point. So we continued up the gulch for about 50 yards until a trail became more visible. This was the start of the serious climb. From here it’s just switchbacks that follow the steep mountain up. This part is pretty serious. It’s about a 1500′ gain in about a mile and a half.

Rita on the way upMichael at the switchbackPassing some Yucca

Just follow this trail until you get to the mine. From here, the exploring begins. Be sure to have a flashlight or candle handy as it is dark. When the lights go out, you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

Into the abyssMineral deposits?15" exposure
Red lightsGood times insideThe way out

The pics above are from the first cave. We went about 40 feet west along the trail until we got to this old wooden structure and had lunch beside it. This was the only really flat portion that gave us enough room to sit and eat.

ThoughtYams!Eating fresh

After lunch, we continued along the trail to finish the loop. About 20 feet though from the lunch spot, there’s a fork in the trail. Going right will take you home along Allison trail. Go left to head into another cave. This cave was built heading in all directions. Going right into the cave, there’s a hole which looks as they tried to mine downwards. Peering down into the hole, there’s a multilevel chamber. The first level is about 10′ down, and then lower level from what I can tell is about 20′. Who knows how far it goes beyond that. Climbing equipment would be required for further exploration.

Heading left and up in the cave takes you further. I didn’t go all the way up, but it eventually loops back outside to the trail again. This was loose with rocks. I didn’t head up, rather I stayed below and took pictures of people going up and down.

Up the left sideBlue glowGhosts
Coming downLight trailLast one down

With the cave exploration ended, we made our way along Allison trail towards Heaton Saddle. This part of the trail was pretty even with nary any gain. Just stick to the path, and chances are you’ll be okay. Unless you stop to take pictures and end up going the wrong way like Ofir.

Slowly......but surely......he emerges!

This trail seemed to continue on for an eternity. I would have much preferred to head back the way we had come since the fog obscured any views anyhow. But we continued along the trail getting rained on at times, and at others, being mindful of where we stepped. There are some good drops at portions of this trail.

Traffic jamSome sceneryA little break
I'm scaredRitaBack at the beginning

Finally we made it back to Heaton Saddle. From here we would take the Heaton Flats trail back to the cars. All of this was well so there wasn’t anything really difficult here. The only bad experiences that were conjured up were the memories of Iron Mountain. That was the only real negative.

But all together, this was a great hike. The river crossings and mine exploration made this hike. If you want to give this a shot, then remember to bring a flashlight, or else you’re not going very far.

You can view all of my pictures from this hike here.

Elevation Profile
Speed Profile

# Latitude Longitude Elevation Distance Time Avg
1 N 34° 14' 13.61" W 117° 45' 54.82" 620 m 0.000 mi 0s -
2 N 34° 14' 50.23" W 117° 45' 37.73" 626 m 1.006 mi 28m 50s 2.09 mph
3 N 34° 15' 26.94" W 117° 45' 22.16" 676 m 0.997 mi 44m 00s 1.36 mph
4 N 34° 15' 44.19" W 117° 44' 48.64" 724 m 0.997 mi 25m 00s 2.39 mph
5 N 34° 16' 00.31" W 117° 44' 13.88" 902 m 1.001 mi 49m 21s 1.22 mph
6 N 34° 16' 16.19" W 117° 43' 46.22" 1263 m 1.000 mi 48m 50s 1.23 mph
7 N 34° 16' 12.07" W 117° 43' 43.69" 1260 m 0.999 mi 1h 40m 00s 0.60 mph
8 N 34° 15' 47.17" W 117° 43' 55.01" 1283 m 1.003 mi 48m 30s 1.24 mph
9 N 34° 15' 34.67" W 117° 43' 31.24" 1377 m 1.000 mi 35m 51s 1.67 mph
10 N 34° 15' 11.12" W 117° 43' 54.36" 1288 m 1.004 mi 35m 11s 1.71 mph
11 N 34° 15' 04.35" W 117° 44' 33.70" 1219 m 0.996 mi 22m 50s 2.62 mph
12 N 34° 14' 36.59" W 117° 44' 53.54" 945 m 1.003 mi 23m 00s 2.62 mph
13 N 34° 14' 34.11" W 117° 45' 34.32" 677 m 0.994 mi 22m 21s 2.67 mph
14 N 34° 14' 12.48" W 117° 45' 55.13" 617 m 0.843 mi 20m 20s 2.49 mph
      Summary 5482 ft 12.843 mi 8h 24m 04s 1.53 mph

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 3:54 pm and is filed under Trail Information, Trip Report. 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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