Old Banner Toll Road Trail

MODERATE 57 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Old Banner Toll Road Trail is a 3.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Julian, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from October until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.7 miles
823 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


private property

Drive 1 mile east from Julian on the 78, and turn right at Whispering Pines Road. Immediately after, make a sharp right on Banner Road, then a quick left on Woodland Road. Follow Woodland Road 0.3 mile to its end at the cul-de-sac, where you can park.

1 month ago

Very nice afternoon hike. I took my son and 4 year old grandson. My grandson did fine walking down, but was too tired to walk back up so my son put him on his shoulders and carried him back. A good workout for all of us. We found two mines along the way which is what makes the hike worthwhile. Bring plenty of water and do it while everything is still green.

3 months ago

Fun hike, not to hard. We were the only people. The mine opens up after you crawl in. Cool old crashed car nearby.

6 months ago

pretty views but didn't feel safe on trail. when we got almost all the way down there were bullet holes in all sorts of items propane tanks and other metal objects.

6 months ago

Great trail if you’re looking for a fast and visually appealing hike. The mines were so fun to explore!

6 months ago

This was a really cool hike! Worth checking out!!! It was hard to find where the trail started, you have to walk down a “private” driveway to get to the trail head. Enjoy!

6 months ago

Very cool hike! The private property signs were a little nerve wracking, but I listened to the other reviews and kept going. Glad i did! the mine was very cool and other remaining structure was fun to climb on. Didn’t go too far in the mine because the dog wouldn’t come in, but what I was able to check out was awesome and a little spooky.

7 months ago

Amazing views! Easier hike down to the mine, harder on the way back up. Luckily there are shady spots along the way to cool off!

8 months ago

down 1st on paved road, a bit overgrown. bad on a hot, windy day.
OK views.

8 months ago

Fun hike. Downhill to the old mine so uphill back but not really strenuous. Take a flashlight so you can go into the mines. First one you see you have to crawl into but supposedly it opens up after a bit. The second one you can walk in. I'd give it a five had I had a real flashlight.
We saw rusted out cars and a stroller looking thing - I hope whatever happened people were ok!

11 months ago

Fun little hike, park at the end of the street and walk down the private road to find the trail head. I saw a few people on the trail but not busy at all. It is a slight down hill down to the mine, then be prepared for the slight uphill all the way back up. Maybe 1/4 of the way down, on the right you can see the small entrance to the Golden Gem Mine, then the trail continues down to Warlock Mine (opened in 1870), you can see a lot of remains of the old buildings and the entrance to the mine.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

i did the hike by myself and didnt see anyone at all, no one bothered me about passing the "private road" sign. its a super easy hike with no real inclines, some overgrowth, tons of fire ants, and beautiful mountains. i went in mid july and during the last 30 minutes of my hike it started to rain! but i saw the most beautiful rainbow.

the only 'con' was that i was super sketched out by the junk/shacks/campers dumped around. approaching the first one (crap everywhere!) i saw empty bullet shells all over the ground, and because i was a girl hiking by myself i almost turned around. fortunately it seems like its all abandoned, i didnt hear or see anyone in any of the shacks or motor homes. does anyone know if people actually live there?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

One of the most fun hikes I've ever done. The mines are amazing. Looking into the past and standing right where the history books talk about is crazy. The trail itself is not challenging. To get to the water tower and certain spots can be tricky, but totally worth it. Highly recommend this trail.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Yesterday, May, 27, 2017 hiked down to Old Banner water tower and mine caves! Crawled to into the mine to explore and was able to stand/walk inside to adventure! Spooky dark but cool! The trail was well maintained but lot of overgrowth! 3.87 RT mileage and 856 ft elevation gain on s perfect weather not a cloud in the sky day!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Good for a quick hike. Beautiful at sunrise.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ok hike with some good views and history. why i didn't give it a higher mark, was all the junk and garbage
on the trail/road just after the mine at the end. i now know the hike is to end at the mine. but i walked a half mile further down the road. and yuk! crap everywhere. i think a few people actually live in the junker
dwellings. it was creepy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Short but sweet! Fun little adventure.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It was fun and a great hike but mostly incline heading back up the trial! But the caves were great to see!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Good for family

Sunday, September 25, 2016

not another soul(minus the snake and bat I saw) on the trail, which I always love.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Awesome hike and great with kids. We didn't see any residents or locals per the previous reviews. We actually went down the private drive and irked across from trail entrance. The mines are cool and we also saw a sleeping bat.. Thankfully he didn't see us. You can even see rusted out reply old cars in the canyon. It was 2.5 miles round trip from the trailhead.

Monday, February 15, 2016

****GPS DIRECTIONS ARE WRONG****. Read angel Anderson's review below for the right directions. Pretty much park in the cul de sac and to your right you will see a road with a sign that says " private road" walk down and stay on the road and a few hundred feet later on the left hand side is the banner toll road with the famous yellow sign. As long as you stay on the road/trail you are fine. Bring water and flashlights to explore the two yes two mines on the trail. One is about halfway thru on the right hand side and the second one the actual warlock mine is near the old rusted remains. Pretty cool and definitely worth the trip

Monday, November 24, 2014

I followed the tracker from the review below and could not for the life of me find the trail head. It's super sketchy and you will definitely get approached by the people who live near by because you are basically on their land. Next time I may try to use the directions a few posts down and see if it feels less invasive.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Loved this hike! If you GPS my tracker start point, you will find out where you need to park - the "directions" link is wrong.

The trail is actually really easy, just rocky. Make sure you have hiking boots or shoes and watch your footing.

We followed "Waynes Trail" down towards Banner to check out the mines. There is an arrow at the bottom to point you in the correct direction.

We only saw a few people the whole time. The locals seemed a little drunk & kooky. But nothing to be too scared of.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

We did this hike today and absolutely loved it! The mines were so cool...you gotta go inside! To find them, keep an eye out for little side trails in the mountain side. They are amazing! We even saw a bat! Make sure you bring a flash light...those mines get pitch black really fast!

You have to walk down a private road and be prepared to get a little resistance from the locals. We had a hard time finding the trailhead until we read the following from another reviewer on YELP:

"To get there you'll want to follow these directions taken from Afoot and Afield: Drive 1 mile east from Julian on the 78, and turn right at Whispering Pines Road. Immediately after, make a sharp right on Banner Road, then a quick left on Woodland Road. Follow Woodland Road 0.3 mile to its end at the cul-de-sac, where you can park."

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Wonderful hike! Nice to see some of the old rusted mining equipment, really nice to get away from the city and onto a barren trail, I didn't run into anyone else at all out here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good hike, lots of history. The wildfires in the early 2000's burned down the mine that was there which is a total bummer. It's still a cool hike with lots of historical stopping points. You can tell someone has been keeping it up with little signs and markers. I wish I had done it before the fires. I heard from friends who used to live up there the mine was really cool to go see. Along the trail, you can see a few caved in mine shaft openings. We parked right before someone's drive way which I'm not sure if that's the designated parking but there was a small pull off on the road and no one gave us trouble. Then you just follow the trail down to the mine. Be ready to hike back up to your car though :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

fun to hike and feel a little bit of history...

20 days ago

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