Hike Dawn Mine

2 minute read

An abandoned gold mine in the San Gabriel Mountains! Dawn Mine trail offers rocks climbing, stream crossing, and panoramic view over the Valley and mountains.


– Distance: 5.9 miles out and back.

– Difficulty: Moderate (mile 3 was more challenging)

– Time: 2:30 hours

– Elevation gain: 1,023 feet

The trail starts at the end of the parking lot at the top of Chaney road. Engage on the paved fire road for ~0.5 mile. Then, don’t miss the junction turning left onto Sunset Ridge Trail (it’s the second junction, the first one leads to Millard Falls).

Junction to Sunset Ridge Trail

The next 0.5 mile is a narrow mountainside path with a panoramic view over the San Gabriel Mountains.

Be cautious as the trail is also used by riders.

As soon as you see the private cabin, the trail descends to the canyon.

Private Cabin
The trail descends to the canyon.

The trail follows the watercourse so there are numerous creeks crossing. It was easy but plan accordingly if you’re hiking after rainy days. This part of the hike is flat, pleasant, and shady. There are some swimming holes if you’re up for a vivifying bath.

For the last stretch, start to ascend gradually to the canyon. There are numerous steps and a few (easy) rocks climbing before reaching the mine.

About the Dawn Mine: From 1895 to 1950, the different owners worked hard for modest yields. The mine was abandoned, then closed in 1954. Today, you can’t access it as the entrance remains locked, but you will see some old equipment like the old water pump.

The Dawn Mine
Water Pump

Did you know?

Dawn mine was one of the larger gold mines in the San Gabriel Mountains

Finally, retrace your steps to access the parking lot.

Article based on my hike in March 2022.

*COVID-19 update as of July 2022*

  • Please wear a mask and practice a physical distance of 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Please check L.A. County’s health and safety protocols before your hike.

Address:  Dawn Mine Trail, Altadena Dr., 4041 Chaney Trail, Pasadena, CA 91001


– I recommend hiking early morning to avoid heat

– Park open from 7 AM to dusk

– Parking is limited but you can park alongside the road

– Parking: Adventure Pass required or unmetered street parking (add 2 miles to your hike)


– Grab water, hiking shoes, and sun cream

Ready to hike Dawn Mine?

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