Dawn Mine Hike / Millard Canyon

THE GOODS:  Looking for an ADVENTUROUS hike to occupy your Saturday?  The Dawn Mine Hike in the San Gabriel Valley will definitely fit the bill.

Dawn Mine map, courtesy of LAGoldmines.com

The Dawn Mine was dug and operational as recently as 1954.  Maps of the mine itself are readily available via google search.  Half of the fun of this hike is exploring the mine, but the hike out to the mine entrance is a challenging and fun test in and of itself.

The hike is in the San Gabriel Valley, where else but in Altadena!

From your starting point, you’ll take about a 2 mile trail through dense overgrowth, multiple  stream crossings, fallen trees, small boulder scrambling, and in total about a 1200′ elevation gain.


It is definitely not a trail for beginners!  I even managed to fall into the little creek at one point.  (Sorry no pictures…)


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When I did this hike my friend Eddie led it, and he knew the markings to follow. I understand that it’s now marked off by neon ribbons and spraypainted arrows on the way up.

The mine itself is marked with an X and an arrow, and you’ll also see some old mining equipment.

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There’s a second entrance up higher, but it is way too sketchy to try to climb up there.  You can go inside the lower entrance, though, hopefully you will have brought flashlights/headlamps because it is PITCH BLACK!   When we went, there was a lot of water, but planks you can walk on (don’t fall!)


Someone else’s camera, they smartly used the flash to show the inside of the caves…

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Super fun hike!  If you’re lucky you may even see some wildlife because there’s not usually a lot of other hikers on this trail.  Bring water, bring food, wear sturdy shoes, don’t bring kids or dogs, and let someone know where you’re going.  Be safe out there!


More info:

Hikespeak.com Trail Report (note: see comments regarding closures due to the Station Fire – read this for alternate routes to the trailhead)
Yelp Reviews

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