Birding · Fall Colors · Historical Significance · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Inclines Moderate and accesible.
The trail is best used from June through October.
This hike will take you through meadows, steep canyons, creeks, and eventually to a waterfall and abandoned mine.
Need to Know
This trail is off Cisneros Trail #1314
inside Lake Isabel Picnic and Day Use Area (Southside) and requires a fee for day use.
Starting from the Cisneros Trailhead across from Spruce and Ponderosa group campgrounds, follow the Cisneros Trail as it makes a steady climb up steep terrain. Eventually, the trail reaches a junction with the Marion Mine Route
. Use the Hiking Project mobile app
to make sure you don't miss it! Make a right here and follow this unmaintained route up Amethyst Creek to reach Marion Mine
Along the way, you'll come across a cabin by a creek. That was an old cabin used by someone in the mining era, however as you can see, someone purchased it. It is now in good shape and inhabited. The trail will be pretty steep for most of the hike, but it is well worth it. If you come in the right season, there will be lots of wild raspberries and strawberries growing just off the trail.
The trail begins at the Cisneros Trailhead in Lake Isabel Recreation Area. If you don't feel like camping there are nice cabins at The Pine Lodge ( thepinelodge.net/
), and you can get a good bite to eat at the Lodge (not to be confused with the cabins) across the street from San Isabel Lake.
Flora & Fauna
Aspens, columbines, lupines, raspberries, strawberries, grass, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, deer, chipmunks, and raccoons can be found here.
History & Background
The Marion became operational in 1907. In 1908, George Kindle was hired as mine engineer while his wife ran the boarding house for workers. The ore concentrates were hauled to the smelter at Florence. Three levels were driven out from the tunnel, which went to an inclined depth of 165 feet. More than 2,500 feet of ore was exposed.
Unfortunately, the mine was not profitable and in 1915 work at the Marion stopped. The Kindles remained as caretakers for many years. Finally, the property was abandoned and the machinery, pipelines and equipment were sold to the Bernstein Brothers for junk.
The mine shaft still stands, with the remains of the log buildings. They stand testament to the determination and skills of many. In this case though, the only gold at the Marion Mine
glitters on the aspens in the fall.
Shared By: Isaac Bozeman