This excursion starts above the giant Tin Mine Mountain above Corona, California.
As fas as I can tell this is the only active tin mine in the United States. The entire mountain appears to be made of cassiterite
-bearing tourmaline rock, a mineral that has ornately faceted specimens with high luster. Where I live two miles away is also laced with the ore, and digging more than 18" down results in sparks flying from the shovel.
Here's a mapquest link for where to start
From there a short jaunt along Temescal Canyon road
takes you to Park Canyon Blvd ( off Dawson Canyon ). For people like me, who usually truck the bike in it is perfect as there is safe parking across from the RC park;
My goal; Estelle Mountain Wilderness perserve.
The road is mostly well packed dirt with minimal rocks, for now...
At mile 1.8 there is a road cut. This close to Corona the rock formations are still composed of the tin bearing minerals. The pink color is a surface coating of rust from the manganese and iron oxides
while the darker color is the unoxidized ore.
On the other side of the canyon the last of the tin formations loom, the faint trails criss-crossing the hillside are game trails, most likely blazed by coyotes and deer heading for the water that collects in pools even in the hottest months of summer in the trees on the right. Here's a close up.
Higher in the hills there are many side roads and atv trails that one can test themselves on. I detour to do some plinking and ' dirt surf ' some of these. GOOGLE EARTH MAP COORDINATES 33* 47'31.91"N 117*23'52.11"W
The main detraction of riding near urban centers is the shooting gallery nature of it all, note the abandoned car on the right.
I head back up through the old roads and into the Preserve.
The olds roads are fairly brutal, to me at least. Ruts and loose rocks and steep sections keep me focused, although my tires have had it!
Nearing the summit I pause to take a picture of Lake Mathews;
And Lake Elsinore
Until at last...
I stand at the summit marker. Victory and a cold beer are mine.
The rocks here are Cretaceous granites, similar to the felsic dikes monzogranite of 49 Palms Oasis in nearby Joshua Tree National Park.
On the way down I stop at one of the canyon spots where water collects. I am able to tune out the distant roar of the 1-15 and enjoy the smell of the murky water and nearby pepper trees. Though beautiful, these spots are actually dangerous as locals tend to try to grow pot. It is best to be aware.
I left for this ride at 5:30 pm, I covered 24 miles, enjoyed one cold beer, fired 30 rounds of ammo...
...and I'm back by 8 pm, in time to bath the kids.
Everyone is happy.