The South London Mine trail was a new trail for all of us. We were anticipating a rather mellow trail with a great destination at the end, the South London Mine and American Mine. We had just come up from the North London Mine on Mosquito Pass. The trailhead, a hard left after passing through the crevice of rocks just above the North London Mine, was relatively easy to find. After making the hard left we meandered down through the basin making our way toward the mines.
The weather had cleared and we were no longer being pelleted with snow pellets and sleet. The sun came out and it made for a nice drive. There are several mud puddles on the trail but all had firm bottoms so they were not really a challenge. The entire trail is above timberline, and with the sun out it made for some nice views of the small lakes and of the mine buildings that were our destination.
As we approached the final small climb we came to an intersection. Left will take you to the lower mine buildings, right takes you to the bottom and a locked gate, and straight takes you to the upper mine buildings. We stayed straight and were very soon at the upper mine buildings.
We took our lunch break there and did some exploring. The buildings are very interesting to peer into and take pictures. A walk or drive farther up the hill revealed several trestles that lead down the valley to the North London Mill, we assumed. We also walked through a field of rusted tin cans that must have been there for decades.
After lunch, we headed down to the lower mine buildings. In the interest of time, we opted to not stop at these buildings as we wanted to determine how far down the trail the locked gate was. When we got back to the intersection, we headed straight down to check it out. The descent is a pretty steep grade, but the road was very wide compared to the trail off Mosquito Pass. About a half of a mile down the trail we came across the locked gate, though it was more of a chain as opposed to a gate. There was plenty of room for the three of us to turn around.
We headed back up the hill, and before long were back at the Mosquito Pass trail. This was definitely a worthwhile trail to explore the mines and spend some time above timberline. It's definitely a trail we'll do again.