Sunday, January 08, 2012

"There's Gold in Them There Hills:" Proposed Route #5

Got out again yesterday and rode the Sundew Gate to Weigles Rd standard route.  It was quite wet but it was fantastic to get out on the bike again if only for a short spell.  I'm amazed at the continued change in conditions on some of the local logging roads:  There are many spots where streams have chewed up the hard packed gravel road surface.  This is nothing new to a seasoned trail bike rider from this area, I'm sure, but it's sure catching my attention lately.  The tank traps really make me laugh lately.  There's a six inch wide route that I like to take through the quagmire... If I mess with my six inch strip, I'm stuck in the goo.  Anyway, I thought I'd post another proposed route today.  Here's another climb up Mt DeCosmos planned for after the snow melts in the spring.  Proposed route #5:

I was surfing the internet, looking at mid Vancouver Island mines, (closed historical sites).  I found an interesting page offering a parcel of land for sale in the Nanaimo region with a proven gold mining site.  The article described the mine site itself to be behind a small waterfall on Deadhorse Creek in the Mt DeCosmos area.  So, I now have an approximate position of the land for sale, the creek and a possible location for the mine/waterfall.  The trail to the mine continues up Mt DeCosmos for some distance to a second summit location which looks like it will offer spectacular views of the Nanaimo Lakes Area.  (Here's the webpage with the land for sale).

Here's some Google screen snags:

The route in orange begins at the end of Second Lake on Nanaimo Lakes Road.  The first "possible location" shown is another reference I found to the mine.  I think this might be an inacurate "within 500m" type of reference that refers to exactly the same mine.  The white squared boundary is approximate location of the mining land that's for sale.  The blue line represents the location of Deadhorse Creek.  The bright green line shows the final spur leading to the summit ridge.  It might be a bit too hairy for a ride, but a hike up this final trail would be well worth it to get to the view.  (Great geocache location too).  Red arrow shows the highest point on the road.  The elevation profile shown at the bottom looks at the orange route from lake to summit, with the vertical line showing the high point (red arrow) position.

Same roads viewed at an angle to show the contours better.

A detail of the creek in blue.  Approximate mine location is shown with the red arrow.

A detail of the final spur road in green.  The red arrow shows the high point in this trail and also the beginning of a section that may prove too difficult to ride.  We'll have to see.

Google Earth view looking East

Google Earth SW View

Two panoramic views from the top of DeCosmos:  The first is a 360 degree panoramic photo and the second is a winter 128 degree panoramic.  Both were created from YouTube videos using Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (free software).  

I'm really looking forward to this ride.  Looks like a full day if that mine is to be included in the ride.  Better bring a gold pan on this one!

UPDATE:  We did this ride in the summer of 2012, and we found the mine.  See here for details.  


  1. I don't know how you ride when it;s so cold. I used to ride all through winter before RA hijacked my life, now I can only ride on days above 50. Thankfully, we have had a lot of those so far this winter. Gold mine huh? Sounds pretty cool, remeber us little guys when you strike it rich!

  2. That sucks Terry! I can't imagine how difficult that must be when it gets cold. Yea, a gold mine... operational in the 30s and now it's reportedly just a hole behind a waterfall. It's for sale as a workable mine with a 6" seam of gold still visible. I know nothing about gold mining, but I'll head up there with my makeshift gold pan and give it a whirl. I've got less chance of striking the mother lode as I do winning the provincial lottery I'm sure. Great for a laugh if nothing else. ~Andy

  3. The ore i pulled out and the gold it contained are no laughing matter matey, im currently mapping the shear outside of the mine trying to trace it.

    1. Good to hear! Any in that small creek above and below the mine? Sure makes you wonder what other gold deposits are hiding in that area.


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