Getting to Baldora (Widco) Mine
There are mines all over the San Gabriel mountains, but no peak may have more tucked into its sides than Iron Mountain #1 in the Sheep Mountain wilderness. For a while my interest has been caught into checking out some of these mines, especially as they have been labeled as Mines We Will Never See.
Click on this link to interact with a topo map with the mines marked.
The marker on the bottom left, “E”, indicates Allison Mine, which we had an extremely successful and fun journey up to in January. Stanley Miller mine “F” certainly has my attention, but being so far from a trailhead I will wait until good night temperatures to do it has an overnighter up the East Fork. Marker “A” indicates the Baldora Mine. It can be accessed from the same Heaton Flat trail that is used for access to Allison mine, as well as link up to the strenuously climb up the south ridge of Iron Mountain. From the end of the trail at the Coldwater/Allison saddle, there is a Coldwater Canyon trail that leads down to – you guessed it – Coldwater Canyon.
From there, any trails on the topo map will be nonexistent. Those trails are so old that they have totally been overgrown by now. However, I have heard access to Baldora mine up Dry Gulch is not too bad of a cross country expedition. I cannot say the same for the two abandoned mines further up.
So for now, we’ll stick with trying to get to Baldora mine. The Heaton Flat trail is tough but not ridiculous, ~ 3000 ft gain in 4.5 miles. We’ll then descend 500 ft or so, and then end up climbing about 1000 ft to get to the mine.
One the way back, there will be some elevation gain but it should be less than 1000 ft. So in total, I estimate
Distance: 14 miles
Gain:4500-5000 ft gain
Terrain: use trail, cross-country, BRUSH (wear pants)
I imagine the most difficult portions of this hike being the end exploring around the mine…which people do not have to do. And I have no idea how much of the old machinery is left – likely much less than what we saw at Allison Mine. But remember, it is the journey not the destination!
Tentative elevation profile from the saddle to the mine:
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 1:01 pm and is filed under Scouting 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.