Distance: 4 km
Elevation Gain: 272 m (892 ft)
Time: 2.5 hours
Date Added: August 18, 2011
Last Update: August 18, 2011
If you have a couple of hours on a weekend and want to get out and explore some historical mining artifacts, then this hike is perfect. It is a little steep on the slope, but short enough not to take the wind right out of you. The views are superb looking down Windy Arm. Just remember that all the structures are extremely unstable and dangerous and only go near them at your own risk.
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Drive south on the South Klondike Highway towards Skagway. After 25 km from Carcross there is a pullout on the right side of the highway with a yellow gate and a road that leads up the mountainside. Just before the pullout there are old mining structures along the highway. Park at the pullout with the yellow gate.
From the yellow gate, walk up the road. When you come to a fork where the road turns around and goes up or goes straight, head straight. You will soon come up to the first mining structure.
From here climb the steep hillside straight up. Eventually you need to aim towards the right where the mine shaft is located. The slope is steep but fairly open. You will soon have to pick your way through a few trees and then the slope will open up again. Depending on your line up the slope, you may end up along a rough path that leads to the mine shaft (this is supposedly an old telephone line).
If you found the path, follow it to the mine shaft. Otherwise, walk up until you are about the same elevation as the large wooden structure and then walk straight towards it.
Be careful around these structures as they are over 100 years old and could collapse at any time. Do not go down the mine shaft (even just a little), walk out onto the rail line, or climb anything. Follow the same route to get back.
The Venus Mill near the highway was built over 100 years ago in order to crush the silver ore which was mined in the mountain side. A tramline ran down the mountain to bring buckets full of ore down. The mill ran until 1912 and was reopened in 1918 for 2 years. It sat idle for 50 years and shutdown for good in 1979. In it's latter years, the mill saw gold as well as silver.
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