"In the 1920s, there was a short-lived boom in white arsenic because it was an ingredient in a pesticide that attacked boll weevils, which were infesting Southern cotton crops. Frank Hopkins, an Escondido rancher, rodeo cowboy and actor, used his Hollywood contacts to fund an arsenic mine on the north slope of Black Mountain. Several years of cold winters and dry summers in the South effectively eliminated the boll weevils, so demand for white arsenic fell. The mine was abandoned in 1927, but its concrete dust chamber, shafts and oven remain."
I would definitely have to say that this was one of the crazier adventures I’ve been on. Thanks to iphones and GPS we were able to track our progression during the hike to ensure that we were going the correct way. There is a slight path, although it is just enough to let you know that you’re going the right way. Make sure to wear pants and bring proper equipment during this hike. The brush is pretty thick and there ARE TICKS. I know this because I got bit by one! If that doesn’t scare you away, then happy exploring!
These types of hikes are my favorite because they are off the beaten path. It’s fun knowing not too many people have done this adventure and yet the slightly trampled ground tells you it has been explored before and to keep walking. We went the long way and later learned that there was a much quicker way to get to the flume. This is not a kid-friendly hike and these are old ruins that could potentially be very dangerous. Be smart, which I’d say we were not. Don’t go inside the flume and don’t go on top of it (both of which we did, ugh).
Lake Hodges Waterfall (Rancho Bernardo)
Rancho de Los Penasquitos (Rancho Penasquitos)
Please share your experiences with this location!
This is one of the signs you will come across before hitting the main trail leading to the mine:
You will eventually see a trail off the main trail. Head that way. We took the trail to the left. For a much quicker hike, go to the hidden trail to the right.
There is a black ribbon tied at the entrance of the correct trail so look out for it!
The beginning of the (correct) trail:
And here's our journey on the longer path:
This is the bottom of the flume. If you take the path we took you will end up here first. If you take the correct path you will end up on the top.
The side of the flume:
At the top of a crazy, (mostly) undocumented journey: