“An incredible section of the PCT that includes side trips to a spring among mature oaks and an abandoned gold mine.”
— James Nuce
Views · Wildlife
This mostly out and back trail takes you through the chaparral and up to the desert divide. From the PCT, a 2-mile side-trip drops to Live Oak Spring. Back on the PCT, another loop descends past Tunnel Spring to the Gold Shot Mine. Rejoining the PCT leads you back to the parking lot next to Highway 74.
Need to Know
Although the starting elevation is nearly 5,000 feet, summer temperatures can be in the 90's. Bring sunscreen and at least two liters of water. There is water at the spring, but be prepared to treat it before drinking. The trail is in the sun for nearly its entire length. Some sections of the trail take you on and around granite outcrops.
Begin in the PCT: Warner Springs to Highway 10 (Cabazon)
parking lot off of Highway 74 near the town of Anza. Heading north, you wind through redshank and pine groves until you swing around into Penrod Canyon. Penrod Dome is the large slab of granite on your right as you continue up the trail. As the trail approaches the divide, you'll pass through a metal gate and see a trail coming in from your left/south. This is the trail that you'll take to the mine after you visit the spring.
Continue on the divide/PCT a short distance before you branch off to the right on Live Oak Trail #4e03
and descend to the spring over the course of a mile. You enter the groves of oak trees where you'll find the spring. The trail continues down to Palm Canyon, yet beyond this point the trail is overgrown and not maintained or traveled regularly. Backtrack up to the divide to the previously mentioned trail (Forest Road 6S10
) that drops steeply down to both an abandoned corral and the now defunct gold mine. In addition to the tools and building, there are both vertical and horizontal mine shafts in the hill side.
Rejoin the road, heading south, until a side road coming in from the left (Campsite Connector
) connects you to the PCT once again. This side road climbs gradually to the PCT. Once on the PCT, go right/south to return to the parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
The chaparral landscape includes ribbonwood, manzanita and chamise. Pine groves are scattered along the way. Live Oaks are thriving at the spring, some of which are very old and mature.
History & Background
The Gold Shot Mine began operations around 1910 and was active until the 1970s. A stamp mill is a type of mill machine that crushes material by pounding rather than grinding for extraction of metallic ores.