I’m a little late on posting this! We did this hike Saturday July 22, 2017. Present company was Curtis, Ryan, Sheldon, Chris, Nick, Paula, Chris (two Chris’!), and myself.
the trailhead is a bit obscured. It’s directly north of the abandoned Protection Mountain campground off of 1A. Head to the campground and then keep going north for about 2-3 minutes. There is a small turnout on the left hand side of the highway. Park here as the trailhead is across the road by the creek. Follow the trail and flagging tape to get the proper hike.
The first 2km or so is through a forest of sorts. It’s not as dense as you would initially think and there’s lots of boggy areas. It follows the creek pretty much all the way; but don’t stop too long as the mosquitoes could carry you away.
After about 2km through this, you begin a gentle uphill which turns into a steep uphill within 1 switchback. It’s not as steep as some other hikes, but fairly steep grade. About halfway up, our group had slowed because none of us were really prepared for the incline!
As you follow the trail, you come along an abandoned and quite dilapidated log cabin. The story behind this hike was quite interesting. In the early 1900’s, prospectors had heard there were minerals in the mountain so they hiked up the same trail we were on and developed a tiny (tiny tiny) mining operation. This became known as Eldon Showing. The cabin looked like it could house 4 people max. Further up the mountain, you come across more signs of an encampment. There’s torn down or worn down frameworks from buildings (it looked like rockets were purposefully piled along the base of a house which is pretty much all gone). A it further up and you come across the old mine. It goes back about 100 ft and the roof slopes slightly (watch your head!). You can walk the entire length with no issues. There is only the one tunnel and it doesn’t go down. I read that they found lead, copper, sulphur, and other trace minerals. There was nothing of substance and what was there, was mixed with sulphur so process it would be a hard and expensive task. The mine was abandoned shortly after 1910-1920.
Four of us went to the mine (Ryan, Sheldon, Curtis and I) and only 2 came back (kidding! All of us came back). The slog down was just as hard as up. My legs were definitely feeling this one.
By the time we reached the flat part, we were done (and itchy from the mosquitoes!). I would like to do it again but I would like to attempt the summit (which was called TV Mountain).
A great hike with interesting history. I would recommend this hike for someone who doesn’t like exposure as there is none. The hike was about 6 hours and was 8 miles round trip.