Stanislaus River and Parrotts Ferry Bridge

The Mineshaft trail, aka Parrots Ferry Downhill in the mountain bike community, is an old mining access road turned recreational trail. The trail is named for the several mines that were worked in this area 100 or so years ago. One of which is the Dutchess Mine, a hard rock gold mine and remnants can be seen about a mile into the hike.

Parking is available just north of Parrotts Ferry Bridge on the west side. To reach the trailhead, cross over Parrotts Ferry Rd. and head northwest for about 500 ft. You will see a marker for the property boundary which is managed by the US Bureau of Reclamation. In a counter-clockwise direction the trail starts out as a moderate hike and continues for about 1.25 miles in this fashion. The terrain is rocky and steep in some places so make sure you are wearing good hiking boots. This section is also dubbed the Parrotts Ferry Downhill so be alert for mountain bikers. As you begin to head west up the hill the climb gradually gets steeper and steeper until suddenly you are at the top. Although it’s not obvious from below, the top of this hill is an enormous plateau spanning 500 ft wide by 1/2 mile long (north to south). The views up here are spectacular and definitely worth the climb up. Take some time to explore this vast plateau and maybe have a little snack. Since this plateau is likely a lava cap there is not much shade up here, much like the top of Table Mountain. Keep an eye out for the Navy sonar thingy that looks like the tail of an airplane. A small amount of research has not yielded any info on how it got here so if you have any information regarding this object please leave it in the comments below.

When you’re ready to leave head to the south end of the plateau to begin your short but steep decent. Total distance for this route is 2.7 miles.

Mineshaft Trail Photos

Leave a Reply