Forest due west of Blue Ledge Mine

Blue Ledge Mine hiking: California via Oregon

Blue Ledge Mine is an early 1900s copper mine at far north California, a few miles over the border: enter from Southern Oregon, through Applegate Valley. A nice hilltop retreat for a day. GPS coordinates below may be useful. My album Blue Ledge Mine includes some images area and video if space permits: see captions. This is one of several favorites on my Oregon Hiking page.

Blue Ledge Mine trail near Oregon

Here is a very basic map of the vicinity around Applegate Lake nearby: MAP. It shows Road 1055 mentioned below, but not road 1060. The area is nice for hiking and exploring with excellent views from the mountaintop. There are two ways to get up the mountain using old uninproved road trail. The road trail from Road 1060 is moderate hiking with some difficult stretches. The upper trail segment for those who can find it, is an experienced hikers trail. It is worn and easy to follow. The road trail using Road 1055 and unimproved 700 is easy to moderate.

GPS coordinates:

41.959238, -123.107510

Those coordinates should display mid-hill where mine tailings appear. The mine adits start from about 1/3 up the hill to almost the top of the mountain. If you come up road #1060 at 4,030 feet elevation, you will park within a hundred feet or so, of coordinates: 41.962322, -123.105221 and walk south uphill - look for old road near hairpin curve.

This abandoned mine area is few miles north of Applegate Lake, near Jacksonville and Medford, Oregon. There are mountain views, trees, natural rock gardens and animals. We saw a bear, toad, deer and various birds. You can get maps in Medford from the forest service office, or the Star Ranger Station on the road going there. The mine is on the forest map as a strip of private holding inside national forest. This is not on any national forest maps as a trail.

Blue Ledge Mine in Northern California

Directions: from Medford, Oregon, go west through Jacksonville, take Hy. 238 to Ruch. Go left on Upper Applegate Rd. to the south end of Applegate Lake. Left on 859, pass Seattle Bar picnic area. 859 should become Road 1050 along Eliott Creek. Soon, road 1055 appears on the right. Pass it unless you want to explore the hill above the mine. After another 1/2 mile or so, go right on Road 1060. Cross a bridge over Elliott Creek and cross a second bridge. Road 1060 will continue uphill along Joe Creek all the way to the mine area. Go up 1060 for about 4 miles. The mine is on the right across the creekl at a sharp hair-pin corner. At that sharp turn, park and look for an old road crossing Joe Creek toward the hill. It's about 1/4 mile walk to the first adit.

First, you may find a small adit if not covered over with branch growth. Keep going uphill by about 150 paces and there is another higher trail. It's very inconspicuous and goes up a steep soil embankment at a switch-back turn in the old dirt road. Look closely for slight wear and tear on the bank. Its almost like a out of the way deer path going up the side. Then go up into the brush and the trail becomes more established looking like a worn hiking trail. The higher pathl is an experienced hiker trail. At the very top of this hidden route is a level ledge area. There is an adit and shaft hidden behind a corner, besides the obvious one in plain sight that is out of reach. The hidden adit around the blind corner is a fine access point if someone were to explore the adits for spelunking or caving.

There is another route via road 1055 to the top of the mountain. Go 6 miles up 1055 to a worn 6 mile marker on road 1055. Veer left on an unimproved road shown on the forest map as 700, 741 & 740

Approximate GPS: 41.963374, -123.123878

Drive the 700 as far as you can, then park and hike. On top, the rock outcroppings, trees and scenery were excellent. I did not try to reach adits from the top. Maybe you will find some. Up the 740 is a parking area, level ledge turnout great for a tent and mountain view. If you want to hike to lower adits and shafts, use road 1066 from below. If you want to explore above the mine from the top of the hill, use 1055. Satellite images will help you visualize this area.

Blue Ledge was a booming copper mine. A bustling mining camp sprang up there, built on terraces cut into the mountainside. The mine operated from 1906 to 1919. The mine later lent name to a small community called Copper which was situated underneath what is now Applegate Lake.