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Hike Millard Canyon to Dawn Mine in the San Gabriel Mountains

  • Millard Canyon Campground

    Chaney Trail Trailhead, Altadena, CA (map)

    34.213596 -118.147800

  • ABOUT THE HIKE: This is a strenuous five mile, up and back, hike with approximately 1,200 feet of elevation gain/loss. From the trailhead above Pasadena, we take the Sunset Ridge Fire Road that turns into the single track Sunset Ridge Trail with an aerial view of Millard Canyon Falls. The trail follows the stream bed up canyon with numerous stream crossing with some rock and log hopping. The mine itself is open to view inside, although not advisable to explore. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the mine before returning the same route to the trail head. 

    ABOUT MILLARD CANYON: "Woodsy Millard Canyon ranks as one of the more pleasant retreats in the front range of the San Gabriels. Nestled deep between Sunset Ridge and Brown Mountain, the canyon seldom suffers the full glare of the sunlight. Beneath overarching oaks and sycamores, the small stream glides and dances over water tempered boulders, finally to tumble over Millard Falls." John W. Robinson

    ABOUT DAWN MINE: Over its 50 plus years, Dawn Mine produced more stories than gold. Enough gold was recovered to keep operators looking for bonanza that never came. Some unknown prospectors discovered gold in Millard Canyon in 1895, with small claims started and worked with marginal results. Bradford Peck named the mine for Dawn Ehrenfeld, daughter of a friend from Randsburg Mines. Michael Ryan bought Dawn Mine in 1902 and built a trail to the Mt. Lowe Railroad carrying the ore by rail car to the Valley for processing. Legend has Ryan using his mules, Jack and Jill, to carry the ore to the Dawn Station on the rail line. Following Ryan's death in 1929, Ryan's widow leased the mine to Hunger, Comstock, and Hilton who bored a new 1,200 foot tunnel and built a small mill, with the venture closed down within a few years.

    DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From Orange County, take the 57 freeway north.... take the 210 Freeway west toward Pasadena.... exit Lake Avenue and head north 3.5 miles... turn left at the T onto Loma Alta Drive.... after one mile, make a right on Chaney Trail Road.... after 1.5 mile, the road ends at the parking area for the Millard Falls trail head.  An Adventure Pass is required for parking at this trail head.

    DISCLAIMER:  Group organizer and assistant organizers assume no liability; hike at your own risk.  By being a member of this group you hereby agree to assume all risks and liability related to or resulting from any group functions.  You agree that neither you nor any third party will hold any of the group's leaders, officers, or representatives liable for any injury, loss, or damage to your own person or any members of your family, friends, acquaintances, children, pets, or property, arising directly or as a consequence from a group activity.  You also agree that your membership of this group is based on an "at will" basis.

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