Quartzville/Aho Gold Mine History Hike & (Late) Lunch at The Point

Description

PLEASE NOTE I HAVE EDITED THE DESCRIPTION -- This is a fairly short hike and followed by lunch at The Point Restaurant at Foster Lake. If the weather is decent we'll eat on the patio.

---

This is one you won't find in the books or on the maps, and it's a fun and interesting hike. East of Sweet Home is the gold mining region of Quartzville. After major mining efforts ceased, the three Aho brothers from Gresham continued to dig their mine tunnels and extract gold. In 1976 all three brothers were killed in one of the tunnels when their dynamite went off prematurely. At least that's the official story.

Two of their mine tunnels are accessible via a reasonably maintained trail. There is a third tunnel but I have not been able to find it. It is not a long hike, about 2 miles round trip, but has about 850 feet elevation gain. In addition, we will hike down to the ruins of their cabin site, for which there is only the faint shadow of a trail. When you see what all they did, it's fairly impressive. Also when you see the mess they left behind.

At the trail head there is crumpled and tossed concrete bridge that was washed out in the 1969 flood. It is also impressive.

On the way back we will take a short detour and drive around to the site of Quartzville, and witness the results of a modern-day con man. It is a short walk on level ground.


Difficulty

Not very difficult, a little steep in places, especially dropping down to the cabin site. Think of it as a 2 mile hike on a Stairmaster. No, it's not that bad. There is very minor rock hopping as we have to climb up the creek bed for the first 100 feet or so.


Directions

  • Get to Sweet Home any way you can. Continue through town on Hwy 20.
  • East of Sweet Home, turn left on the scenic Quartzville Hwy to Green Peter Lake.
  • Drive exactly 29 miles until you see the washed-out concrete bridge to the left across the creek (the last 3 miles are single lane so drive carefully).
  • Cross the good bridge and park. There is a nook immediately left after the bridge which is the trail head of the unmarked and difficult-to-find trail. It is also a designated campsite, so if it is occupied there is ample space on the right shoulder of the road as it bends to the right after the bridge.

Time

Leave Fred Meyer ~9am. From Albany, Sweet Home is about 35 minutes. From Sweet Home, the trail head is about an hour, depending on how many pontoon boats you're following up the Quartzville Hwy. The goal is to begin hiking no later than 11am. We should be back to the cars by 2pm.


Fees

None


Carpooling

Due to the limited parking at the trail head, carpooling is highly recommended. We will meet at Fred Meyer in Albany for carpooling. We can also pick up add'l folks in Sweet Home at Safeway. As usual, tip your driver with gas money if you can.


Kids & Dogs

Not a dog-friendly hike, parts of the trail are steep and narrow. Kids 10-up would do OK, but the cabin site has exposed nails and probably some broken glass.


What you need

Mostly decent shoes.

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  • Carl

    I'm glad folks enjoyed it. I think I will hold off a return trip until Spring. By then I should have located the 3rd mine (anyone up for an add'l 800 ft elevation?) and will try to get more historical details.

    1 · September 10, 2013

    • Cindi

      I would love to find it too! And see any others up there! I'll work on my physical fitness in the meantime so I can do it!

      September 10, 2013

    • Chad T.

      I would love to go I am sorry I missed this trip, darn responsibilities getting in the way of recreation. ;)

      September 11, 2013

  • Don

    Carl, my brother said he would like to go with you when you go to look for the third mine. I will look for a day and time from you. Thank you for your great leadership.

    September 11, 2013

  • irene b.

    I have been reading all your comments. Hopefully I can join you next time.

    1 · September 9, 2013

  • Carl

    Even without the added adventure at the end of the hike, this took a little longer than I expected. I therefore change my "not very difficult" to "somewhat difficult" but, in fairness, I did say it was like 2 miles on a Stairmaster! Sorry we didn't have time to run around to Quartzville, not a lot to see but it caps off the story nicely. Lunch at The Point was great, I've never been disappointed with their food.

    1 · September 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great fun everyone. Love the pictures too. Carl you must be great on a Stairmaster.

      2 · September 8, 2013

    • Jim S.

      Hi Carl, I would so love to hear all your stories about this place! I will keep watch and hope you do this again soon, i will drop everything and go next time. Sounds like you lead a great trip.

      September 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was an amazing hike. Perhaps a little more of a hike than first presented, but I'm thankful for that. I might not have joined this hike had I known what I was in for :). I appreciate you all for your acceptance and your tolerance of those of us less.....fit. I love hiking with you and I treasure these moments in time that I've been blessed to share with each of you. Thank You Chuck for opening my life up to all of these amazing opportunities to experience life. I can not express my appreciation for such an opportunity to experience such a unique view of life :). For some of you this is just another adventure, but for me it was a risk wisely taken. I hope others dare to take the risks I have, they will be grateful.

    3 · September 8, 2013

    • Linda

      Best review ever. Thanks, Kathy! I'm so very glad you're one of us!

      2 · September 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This weather was fantastic, the hike at times was challenging going up and over rocks and boulders. it was steep at times (and sweaty.. LOL) but enjoyed the final destination to the cabin. Even though the cabin was pretty much in shambles, it was amazing to see all the stuff left behind. It is amazing how these brothers got all that stuff up this hill. I enjoyed Carl's historical aspect of this mine... Also a great bunch of people to make this journey up the mountain to the mine. Also had a great late lunch at the point. The Stout and shrimp fettuccine was excellent... Would like sometime to visit Quartzville and its remains...

    1 · September 8, 2013

  • Chris

    I had a lot of fun. It was great getting out and meeting new people that love the outdoors as much as I do. Thanks Carl for the neat info and stories about where we were. Thank you Wayne very much for taking us back to Albany and forgoing lunch, very much appreciated. Looking forward to the next one.

    September 8, 2013

  • Linda

    Now, THAT'S what an adventure looks like! Thanks, Carl, for sharing such a great destination with us -- one we likely never would have otherwise even heard about, let alone visited.

    5 · September 7, 2013

    • Cindi

      That's what adventure meetups are all about!! Yes, thanks Carl!!

      2 · September 8, 2013

  • Sally L.

    Great group! Was impressed by the group spirit and grateful for the help I got from Ray and Carl and others. Thanks, Carl, for a great adventure. I second everything Linda just said.

    2 · September 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yup, I agree. This one was one of our better adventures. Great turn out, spectacular weather, and wonderful members made for one memorable day. Thanks again Carl!

    1 · September 7, 2013

  • Ray

    Fun...great company!

    2 · September 7, 2013

  • Carl

    If anyone still needs picking up in Sweet Home or needs to call otherwise my number is[masked]

    1 · September 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will need a pickup along with Kathy tolman

      September 7, 2013

  • Mike A.

    I have last min. emerg,and have to withdraw myself and family,Sorry I was so looking forward tomit.

    September 6, 2013

  • Marianne

    I was the first one on the waiting list. So I can go now????

    September 6, 2013

    • Linda

      Go for it, Marianne! (I have absolutely no authority, but I'm completely certain it will be fine. I'm sure someone will "no show" anyway.)

      September 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be coming from Eugene with Kathy Tolman and would like to carpool from the safeway in Sweet Home

    September 6, 2013

    • Don

      We are coming from Brownsville and can take another rider. Pick up at Safeway parking lot about 9:30.

      September 6, 2013

  • irene b.

    Hi All, I am going to cancel for the 7th, so someone can have my spot.....have a great time.

    September 5, 2013

    • Don

      Hi Irene, Are you canceling?

      September 5, 2013

    • irene b.

      Yes,Don, sorry, but it will also let others go that are wanting to.

      September 6, 2013

  • Jim S.

    I want to do this sometime!!

    September 5, 2013

  • Sally L.

    Would like to carpool from the Sweet Home Safeway. Will be coming 228 from Brownsville.

    September 2, 2013

    • irene b.

      Yes.

      September 4, 2013

    • Don

      Irene, do you want to meet at Safeway?

      September 5, 2013

  • Don

    Is the road all paved? If not how much gravel road is there?

    September 5, 2013

    • Carl

      The road to the Aho site is all paved. The road to Quartzville is 2 miles of gravel but is in very good shape... even my Del Sol can easily get there.

      September 5, 2013

    • Don

      Thanks Carl.

      September 5, 2013

  • Barbara

    I hate to miss this, but I'll be camping at Crater Lake. I hope someone schedules this trip another time. Obviously a lot of people are interested. Hey Chuck - I know I asked you for a ride, but obviously that won't be necessary now. Thanks for the offer.

    August 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      No problem.. enjoy your camping trip to Crater Lake.. love that area..

      August 30, 2013

    • Carl

      Take your kayak and paddle out to Wizard Island!

      September 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I
    I am. Attending lunch

    September 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Not 100% sure I was going to make this, so since there is a wait list, decided to give my spot to someone waiting! Have a great time :-)

    September 5, 2013

  • Lisa

    What? I was just there a week and a half ago looking for those mines and could not find them at all. It was a nice drive up there though :)

    September 1, 2013

    • Carl

      You have to know EXACTLY where to look!

      September 5, 2013

  • Linda K.

    The Albany and Corvallis groups go on fascinating trips, but living in eugene they are not practical for me. Maybe one day I will get up at 4:00 or whatever to join you. Enjoy!!

    September 3, 2013

    • Lisa

      Hey, I live in Eugene too. Maybe we can get up at 4/5 and carpool together! Lol

      September 3, 2013

    • Carl

      We'll try to add some trips up 126 and 58. At the very least, we'll do a couple of ski trips to Willamette Pass and maybe some snowshoeing at Gold Lake. Diamond Peak is on my short list but will likely be Spring. Suggestions welcomed!

      September 5, 2013

  • Linda

    I am next on the wait list. Do I just wait to be notified?

    September 5, 2013

    • Darlene W.

      hi Linda,,, do you know where the waitlist shows? I could have sworn it told me I was the first one... but I could be wrong. it has happened before :-) thanks !

      September 5, 2013

    • Carl

      Darlene, please see my post above... you were passed over because you have a guest. I suspect we can make room if you still want to attend.

      September 5, 2013

  • Linda

    I am not interested in competing with fellow adventurers for a place on the trip. There are other choices. If others want a spot so desperately that they will jump ahead of others who were on the wait list before them, they want it more than I

    September 5, 2013

    • Darlene W.

      I was jus inquiring if anyone has cancelled and Angela replied she did so I sent carl a msg to see if I was confirmed but by all means if you were ahead of me then i will continue to wait thanks

      September 5, 2013

    • Carl

      Linda, I'm pretty new to how the sign-ups work, but here is what's supposed to happen:

      "If a member is first in line on an automatic waiting list, they're moved into a spot automatically as soon as one opens up, and are notified by email.

      The only exception is if the member on the Waiting List wants to bring guests: that member and their guests will be skipped over until enough spots open up at the same time for them all."

      If you got unfairly passed over please let me know. Actually, my limit of 28 is pretty arbitrary, and I assume a few people won't show up anyway, so we can certainly make room for 1 or 2 more. Let me know.

      - Carl

      September 5, 2013

  • Darlene W.

    I am still interested in going. has anyone changed there plans? :-) Looks like I'm still on the waitlist
    thanks

    September 4, 2013

    • Angela

      I just changed plans this evening so unless someone else grabbed it you're a go!

      September 4, 2013

    • Linda

      I thought we were in order on a wait list. I didn't know we are competing for a spot

      September 5, 2013

  • rob n.

    I hope somebody does this hike again , I would like to attend . :0)
    I am going to Sisters for the folk fest and probably meet up with tall hiker Paul lol

    September 2, 2013

  • Chad T.

    I am thinking yes I will bring my gold pans and sluice. Possibly my kids also. If I can convince them it will be fun, wish me luck. If my kids don't come I may call it a camping weekend and stay the night. Any other adventurers want to consider join?

    August 24, 2013

  • Julie P.

    Going to be gone. Darn, have fun!

    August 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the length of this hike?

    June 22, 2013

    • Julie P.

      Good response...your last sentence made me smile....funny! Thanks for a quick reply Carl.

      July 25, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Another option its you could always try your hand at gold panning. I have 2 and a small 2ft sluice box if there is any interest. But then again the social aspect with a new group sons appealing.

      August 13, 2013

  • Jyoti N.

    No wait list ?

    August 12, 2013

    • Carl

      Sorry, yes.

      1 · August 12, 2013

  • Joe N.

    My daughter is moving and has invited me down to see her new place.
    If you are interested in looking at some native peoples petroglyphs they are at Cascadia Camp Grounds which is the area of this hike
    See Sullivans book. They are easy to find.

    August 12, 2013

  • Bryan A.

    This sounds like fun!

    August 12, 2013

  • Chad T.

    I am thinking yes I wool bring my gold pans and sluice. Possibly my kids also.

    July 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Decided too far to drive, sorry.

    July 22, 2013

  • richard

    do u have any events recently ( i will be there in OR on 27th June)?

    im from LA CA ... Rich=)

    June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope to make this one.

    June 24, 2013

16 went

  • Carl
    Organizer
    Event Host
  • Don +1
  • Linda
    Co-Organizer
  • Ray
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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