Big Horn Mine in the Angeles National Forest

Big Horn Mine is an abandoned gold mine from the late 1800s near the Vincent Gap parking lot in Angeles National Forest, a reasonably short drive north of Los Angeles. This is a pretty easy but rewarding hike, whether you hoist yourself up into the mine itself or not. The trailhead listed this as a 4 mile roundtrip hike but it felt shorter and offered a lot to look at on the way to the endpoint of the mine, including a smaller initial mine that’s been spray painted with the words “free candy” and an arrow pointing toward the entrance; skip this mine as it’s usually full of water. If you plan on climbing into the mine your hike will be longer and you’ll absolutely need to bring a flashlight and pay attention to your surroundings as you could get very lost inside. The mine is pretty easily navigable in terms of terrain but pitch black and fairly large. It’s also not maintained and has unsurprisingly fallen into disrepair over the hundred years or so since it was active and in regular use. When my friend and I got to the entrance we were met by three people smoking weed (insert eye roll) who told us about how they once got lost, only finding their way out thanks to a candle left in one of the tunnels. Luckily if reading this is already giving you anxiety you can still enjoy the gorgeous view framed by the remnants of the mine’s building skeleton without going in the mine itself.fullsizeoutput_1509

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Tons of chaparral yucca on the trail.
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Big Horn Mine.

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While it looks a little crazy it’s fairly easy to climb up to the mine unless you’re super out of shape (in which case you’re unlikely to be able to slip through the small opening anyway). 
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Entrance to the mine with a conveniently cut out bar of metal. You don’t have to be slim to slip through but have to be in somewhat decent shape.

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This is a joke but the weed smokers said there are pretty good signs ahead of the mineshaft to help wanders avoid falling to their death. 

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