Baldora Mine Hunt

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What a hike this was…

Starting at East Fork and taking the Heaton Flats trail up to Heaton Saddle, we then cut east at the saddle and followed an old trail to get to our destination. Withing 50′ of taking this trail from the saddle, you quickly realize what you’re in store for. Brush, overgrowth, and yucca. But it’s all negotiable if you don’t mind getting pricked along the way.

There are some spots along the trail that are washed out and it’s a scramble across. The video below is the first of three such areas. This was probably the worst of it since the dropoff is a little steeper and more menacing than the others.

Past this, you can follow the old remnants of the trail as it snakes along the mountain. This trail is pretty flat and there’s hardly any gain along the way. We followed this trail until we got to the creek where a downhill scramble is required.

That video is from the creek bed looking at back at the trail. It’s not as bad as it looks.

We followed the creek bed for a good ways, doing some bouldering and rock hopping along the way.

We then cut north and found some old remnants of car which that was pretty rusted over. It also had wooden spokes! So that’s gotta be pretty old.

Just the frontWooden spokesFront quarter

We continued along this path just north of the creek. The canyon here starts to narrow a bit, so you’re pretty much forced to do some bushwhacking and route finding. After path finding for about a mile, we finally got to an old shack. This was a pretty cool place to have lunch and just check out.

Not quite a love shackFarmer Joeimg_0290

After having lunch here, we continued up the creek a little ways just to explore a little more and hopefully come across another mine. We did find some other machinery there. But I was more preoccupied taking pictures of the creek.

Mini-fall3-mini'sSome other machinery

This was pretty much the end of the exploration. We did go up about 200′ along the mountain and discussed an alternate loop route involving Iron, Baldy, and Eagle mine. But that’s for another hike and discussion.

The way back was the same as the way there. Yucca is always annoying, but there are ways around it.

Check out my pictures from the day here.

Meetup Description here.

Read Ze’s report here.


Mileage: 14 miles
Gain: ~5200′

Elevation Profile
Speed Profile

# Latitude Longitude Elevation Distance Time Avg
1 N 34° 14' 13.58" W 117° 45' 54.83" 620 m 0.000 mi 0s -
2 N 34° 14' 34.57" W 117° 45' 24.39" 720 m 1.004 mi 29m 10s 2.06 mph
3 N 34° 14' 38.72" W 117° 44' 46.07" 992 m 0.999 mi 25m 50s 2.32 mph
4 N 34° 15' 05.66" W 117° 44' 19.03" 1203 m 1.004 mi 24m 50s 2.42 mph
5 N 34° 15' 23.69" W 117° 43' 24.17" 1437 m 1.000 mi 27m 41s 2.17 mph
6 N 34° 15' 49.16" W 117° 42' 56.58" 1317 m 1.001 mi 52m 40s 1.14 mph
7 N 34° 16' 09.28" W 117° 42' 18.57" 1293 m 0.997 mi 35m 41s 1.68 mph
8 N 34° 16' 30.58" W 117° 42' 08.55" 1445 m 0.998 mi 41m 00s 1.46 mph
9 N 34° 16' 28.89" W 117° 42' 09.55" 1427 m 0.998 mi 58m 10s 1.03 mph
10 N 34° 15' 56.03" W 117° 42' 30.58" 1268 m 1.005 mi 45m 30s 1.33 mph
11 N 34° 15' 39.89" W 117° 43' 13.78" 1368 m 0.997 mi 32m 40s 1.83 mph
12 N 34° 15' 12.16" W 117° 43' 49.98" 1298 m 1.004 mi 40m 50s 1.48 mph
13 N 34° 14' 54.66" W 117° 44' 41.58" 1162 m 0.996 mi 20m 00s 2.99 mph
14 N 34° 14' 36.59" W 117° 45' 01.11" 880 m 1.000 mi 22m 20s 2.69 mph
15 N 34° 14' 29.65" W 117° 45' 40.94" 621 m 1.003 mi 20m 20s 2.96 mph
16 N 34° 14' 13.54" W 117° 45' 54.92" 625 m 0.511 mi 9m 28s 3.24 mph
      Summary 5974 ft 14.515 mi 8h 06m 10s 1.79 mph

Related posts:

Mt. Lawlor to Vetter Mtn. Lookout
Attack of the Cholla - Ascent of Villager & Rabbit Peaks
East Fork - Iron Mt - NW ridge - Stanley Miller Mine Loop

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 5:03 pm and is filed under 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.

2 Responses to “Baldora Mine Hunt”

Robert Elliott

Robert Elliott August 27th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

The chronical of your hike into upper reaches of Dry Gulch and the Widco and Baldora was most enjoyable. You are to be admired for your persistance as it is surprisingly wild and rough country.

I was there 41 years ago as in 18 yr old just a few weeks into my first USFS summer season for a lightning set fire. It was like visiting another planet. We came down the Coldwater Truck Trail in a USFS dualie tanker. One wild trip. The road then went just past Widman Ranch. BTW the Widco mine was right behind where you were standing in the first video. Apparently the shafts has been blown up to seal it and the ore railway which ran along side the old road
dismantled and hauled off. Went in there 2 or 3 times never to go again. I regret that.
Now 2000 miles away. Would love to buy the Widman, Walker to Thompson ranches one day. Thanks again for your efforts chronicling your hikes.


August 31st, 2009 at 6:09 am

Nice story Robert. I believe those private property holdings prevent hiking up Coldwater Canyon nowadays. If you buy them, it would be nice if you let us hike through them :)

The railways was definitely gone; I think the shaft was sealed but also we should have checked higher up; I don’t think I reached the upper end of the railway.

Did you ever happen to go to the Eagle and Gold Dollar mines?

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