Gillette Mine Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Hughes, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking.
Due to the closure of Forest Route 7N19, we had to park the car on 7N23 (34.710, -118.595). A high clearance vehicle is recommended to get to this point. We then hiked 2 miles down 7N19 to the actual trailhead - which is neither marked nor obvious (34.689, -118.606). The trail is in deteriorated condition and in many places hard to find. Some sections required bushwhacking while others did not. We did not complete the trail, but made it to a viewpoint overlooking the Gillette Mine area. For what we accomplished, the total out and back hike distance was 10.4 miles (with the car parked on 7N23). The trail offers very nice views of Fish Canyon, Bear Canyon, and the Gillette Mine area. This trail is recommended for the adventurous hiker. Stay clear of the poison oak and take lots of water.