Gold Mine Hike | Cardiovascular Workout with a View

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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.

Borrow Pit

Abandoned Borrow Pit.  Town of Apple Valley with Quartzite Mountain, Bell Mountain, and Fairview Mountains in the Background.


Cholla Cactus Catching Sunlight.  Note Arrastre Falls in the Background.

From Gold Mine to Magestic Rocks

Hikers Going Off Trail to Arrastre Falls – Where Golden Willows are in Center of Photo. Round Mountain is in the Center of the Background.

Tailings & Lucerne Valley

Mine Tailings Pile. Stoddard Valley With White Horse Mountain and Ord Mountains in the Background.


Road Maps

Maps in the following slide show provide location information on regional and local scales.

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Panorama Maps

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.

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Driving Directions

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.

img_2922-eric-englemans-signA local property owner may have a detour open for public use.  If so, his gate will be open.  Check his website, 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.

Gold Mine Hike Parking

Park in the disturbed area near the power poles.


Hike Directions

Gold Mine Hike Start

Hike Starts at Cow Gate South of Parking Area

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.


Gate to Historic Mine Area.


4 thoughts on “Gold Mine Hike | Cardiovascular Workout with a View

  1. Wished you were hear when the off road event of 400. Motorcycles that ran through deep Creek and juniper flats! The EPA didn’t know what to do so he did nothing… Glad to know someone knows what ACEC is! Thanks for your help!


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