The hike to the Abandoned Milpas Highlands Gold Mine (34.395885, -117.100021) proved to be a great cardio workout overlooking Milpas Highlands, Victor Valley, Apple Valley, Lucerne Valley and Stoddard Valley. I wish the camera on my cell phone could give justice to the view. When the air is clear we could see not only the Tehachapi Mountains, but also Peaks near the Nevada State Line.
We didn’t follow an officially recognized trail, but the now closed old mine trail to the mine was still intact and easy to follow.
Maps in the following slide show provide location information on regional and local scales.
The following maps provide balloons attached to mountain peaks using Google Earth online software. The view of the Google Earth Maps were then tilted to provide an elevation profile of surrounding terrain. These maps should assist with identifying landmarks seen in landscape photos and from the trail.
As of when this blog has been posted, Powerline Rd is impassable by four wheeled vehicles from Arrastre Canyon. The best approach is from Highway 18 in Apple Valley.
From Highway 18, turn south on Milpas Dr. Milpas Dr. will become Milpas Rd. at the intersection between Milpas Dr. and Desert View Rd. Continue along Milpas Rd until it terminates at the Gate on the border of BLM property. The gate may be locked. If so, park nearby and walk from here.
A local property owner may have a detour open for public use. If so, his gate will be open. Check his website, http://www.juniperflatsrider2rider.com/ for current information. If the gate is open, continue along the detour road past Milpas Water Tank to the intersection between Milpas Rd and Powerline Rd. Park in the disturbed area surrounding the power pole.
The hike starts at the locked gate south of the parking area. The fence is to keep cows safe on the Round Mountain Cattle Allotment so please climb carefully over the gate or under the fence.
Hike south (up hill) until you get to the old gate to the mine area. Unless you are proficient with navigating with topographical maps – and have one – it is best to return by the same route.