(24 September 2015)
^ ^ ^ The hike to the Silverville Mine is an easy 500 yard stroll (third of a mile) along a pleasant little valley. You can park your car in front of the main gate to the abandoned youth camp on Mil Potrero Hwy. at the bottom of the climb up to the "Y" junction (on the PMC side). The GPS coordinates for the parking spot in the turnout in front of the gate is latitude 34o 50' 53" North and longitude 119o 05' 34" West.
^ ^ ^ The easiest way to get to the other side of the road is to use this tunnel under the roadway thus avoiding fast moving traffic and also a scramble over the guard rail and embankment on the other side. The tunnel is high and wide so you can walk through easily (no crouching). It is also a safe way to get your pets, such as dogs, across the road safely.
^ ^ ^ You enter this pleasant valley which was the original route of the El Camino Viejo (The Old Highway) used in the late 1700s and early 1800s as a wagon trail. Remarkably, this ancient roadway provided a continuous route all the way from San Diego to San Francisco.
^ ^ ^ Strolling along an old road bed that has possibly evolved from the the original El Camino Viejo (The Old Highway) route. In other words, it might be the original wagon trail that was later upgraded by miners or ranchers over the years.
^ ^ ^ There is no defined trail to follow but the going is pretty easy apart from stepping over (or going around) several fallen trees like this one.
You can walk along sections of an old road, you can walk in the creek bed, or you can follow faint animal or human trails. Most likely you will follow a combination of all three as you make your way down the gently sloping valley.
^ ^ ^ When you encounter this steel cable stretched between the trees, you are very near the mine.
Start looking for the mine entrance near the foot of the slope on your right-hand side. It is easy to spot if you keep an eye out for it.
^ ^ ^ There are two cables spanning the width of the valley with a gate (that is now missing) in between.
^ ^ ^ The mine entrance comes into view as you go around a large tree just past the steel cables.
The GPS coordinates are latitude: 34o 51' 00" North and longitude: 119o 05' 48" West.
^ ^ ^ Apparently it is called the Silverville Mine although I could not find any historical information to confirm this.
^ ^ ^ I don't recommend going into old mine shafts.
^ ^ ^ The mine only tunnels in about eight feet or so. It is not clear if it is an exploratory mine, or the seam they were following ran out, of if there was some other reason for abandoning the mine.
^ ^ ^ This cross member is deteriorating badly suggesting the mine was abandoned a long time ago.
^ ^ ^ The log structure that shores up the mine shaft inside.
^ ^ ^ This piece of shaped metal sheeting was possibly a painted sign naming the mine or maybe discouraging trespassers.
^ ^ ^ This majestic pine has the scent of "vanilla" which is a way to help indentify the species of tree.
You can continue hiking down the valley for several miles. It eventually joins the trail going through San Emigdio Canyon although an efficient route to get there can be a little tricky to navigate. The valley eventually opens out into meadow-like area that can be swampy in parts. Bare to the right-hand side (north) of this open area to get through to San Emigdio.
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