4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Poke around the ruins of old mines along Old Banner Grade east of Julian

Tread carefully around Warlock Mine.

Warlock Mine, c. 1975. First worked in 1870, suspended operations in 1957.
Warlock Mine, c. 1975. First worked in 1870, suspended operations in 1957.

Honeycombed hillsides and bits and pieces of rusted equipment -- that is the legacy left behind by Julian's gold-mining heyday over a century ago. Although a few mines continue to be worked sporadically even today, most have long been abandoned. For a look at the Warlock Mine -- one of the first mines to be discovered (1870) and one of the last to be extensively worked -- try this short hike down the Old Banner Grade.

Old Banner Grade trail. The "skid road" was so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon.

To get to the starting point for the walk, drive one mile east from Julian on Highway 78, and turn right at Whispering Pines Road. Immediately after, make a sharp right, then a left to connect with Woodland Road. After 0.5 mile on Woodland Road, the pavement ends and an old dirt road continues on a sharply curving descent. Park your car where you can find space to do so.

On foot (or by mountain bike), follow the dirt road as it descends generally eastward. The old road, now essentially a trail, was built as a wagon road around the turn of the 19th century. Below you is its modern equivalent -- Banner Grade, or Highway 78. The highway appears only slightly less twisting than the road you are on but offers a more gradual, if longer, descent to the town of Banner. Below the level of Highway 78, near the very bottom of the canyon, there once existed even earlier routes of travel between Julian and Banner. The earliest was a "skid road" so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon to provide enough braking power.

The linear shape of Banner Canyon is due to repeated ruptures along the Elsinore Fault. This splinter fault of the San Andreas is the most extensive fault system in San Diego County and is believed capable of causing a major earthquake. Look across the canyon to see the fault's surface trace, which cuts low across the canyon's north slope, and also notice how some of the ravines on the slope exhibit a dogleg, or offset, pattern due to horizontal movements.

Old mine shafts pierce the earth on the steep slopes above and below you. Much of the surrounding area was swept by the flames during the Pines Fire of 2002, so some of these mines are easier to spot than before when thick chaparral grew over them. It is patently unsafe to enter any mine tunnel, especially the ones in this area, which have not been maintained for many decades or a century or more.

After about one mile of travel, the Warlock Mine, first worked in 1870, comes into view below and to the left. The mine suspended operations in 1957, and you can still see remnants of its processing mill. Tread carefully among the ruins.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tom Morey – the Boogie Board's early years

"I don't think it's just a fad"
Next Article

The conspicuous Floss Silk Tree has flowers like hibiscuses

The black oak is the only deciduous oak native to San Diego
Warlock Mine, c. 1975. First worked in 1870, suspended operations in 1957.
Warlock Mine, c. 1975. First worked in 1870, suspended operations in 1957.

Honeycombed hillsides and bits and pieces of rusted equipment -- that is the legacy left behind by Julian's gold-mining heyday over a century ago. Although a few mines continue to be worked sporadically even today, most have long been abandoned. For a look at the Warlock Mine -- one of the first mines to be discovered (1870) and one of the last to be extensively worked -- try this short hike down the Old Banner Grade.

Old Banner Grade trail. The "skid road" was so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon.

To get to the starting point for the walk, drive one mile east from Julian on Highway 78, and turn right at Whispering Pines Road. Immediately after, make a sharp right, then a left to connect with Woodland Road. After 0.5 mile on Woodland Road, the pavement ends and an old dirt road continues on a sharply curving descent. Park your car where you can find space to do so.

On foot (or by mountain bike), follow the dirt road as it descends generally eastward. The old road, now essentially a trail, was built as a wagon road around the turn of the 19th century. Below you is its modern equivalent -- Banner Grade, or Highway 78. The highway appears only slightly less twisting than the road you are on but offers a more gradual, if longer, descent to the town of Banner. Below the level of Highway 78, near the very bottom of the canyon, there once existed even earlier routes of travel between Julian and Banner. The earliest was a "skid road" so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon to provide enough braking power.

The linear shape of Banner Canyon is due to repeated ruptures along the Elsinore Fault. This splinter fault of the San Andreas is the most extensive fault system in San Diego County and is believed capable of causing a major earthquake. Look across the canyon to see the fault's surface trace, which cuts low across the canyon's north slope, and also notice how some of the ravines on the slope exhibit a dogleg, or offset, pattern due to horizontal movements.

Old mine shafts pierce the earth on the steep slopes above and below you. Much of the surrounding area was swept by the flames during the Pines Fire of 2002, so some of these mines are easier to spot than before when thick chaparral grew over them. It is patently unsafe to enter any mine tunnel, especially the ones in this area, which have not been maintained for many decades or a century or more.

After about one mile of travel, the Warlock Mine, first worked in 1870, comes into view below and to the left. The mine suspended operations in 1957, and you can still see remnants of its processing mill. Tread carefully among the ruins.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego in books - Henry Miller, Rick DeMarinis, Max Miller, Alfred Alcorn

Don Bauder, World Almanac, Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission
Next Article

Macbeth At Saville Theatre, Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World, Leftover Salmon

Events October 21-October 22, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close