Option 2 is trail number 928 also known as the New London Trail. To find this trailhead, follow the directions to Seattle Bar in Option 1. Instead of stopping at Seattle Bar, continue on the main road. Within about ¼ mile the pavement ends and a good gravel road continues. The pavement ends at the California/Oregon border. In another couple of hundred yards there is a big intersection. Stay to the right and follow road 1050 up Elliott Creek. Pass the turn off for Cook and Green Trailhead. Pass through a little residential area with several old houses and outbuildings. At 3 miles from Seattle Bar, you arrive at the trailhead. There is a big parking area off to the right of the road and the trail starts on the left
The trail starts on the left or north side of the road. This is a good trail and is well maintained and easy to follow. This trail is a lot steeper than the Stein Butte Trail. The Stein Butte trail averages about 460 ft of elevation gain per mile. This New London Trail averages about 730 ft of elevation gain per mile. The trail starts climbing right away and doesn’t let up. The trail is under forest cover for most of the way to the summit.
After climbing about 500 feet notice an old mine entrance on your left. Don’t go in, it is unsafe. Actually there are 2 mine entrances within a short distance of one another and they are both death traps. These Siskiyou Mountains have many mining claims for a variety of minerals including gold. Miners originally settled Southern Oregon and Northern California in the 1850’s when they were chasing gold deposits. There are still miners in the area, so don’t trespass on their marked claims.
Before you get to the mine entrances you can see a ridge line ahead of you to the north. There are a couple of high spots that look interesting. The rocky high spot on the left is Stein Butte. It is hard to get a good look at the summit because of all the trees along the trail.
Continue climbing and when you get close to the ridgeline the trail makes about 10 short switchbacks as it gains elevation on the southeast flank of Stein Butte. Once you finish the switchbacks, it is a short distance to the ridgeline. At the ridgeline the trail splits and there is a sign. Stein Butte is to the left or west and Elliott Ridge is to the right.
Follow the trail to Stein Butte. The trail traverses on from the east side of Stein Butte, along its north flank, and over to the west side of Stein Butte. Here you intersect the Stein Butte Lookout Trail. Follow this trail the last couple of hundred yards up to the summit.
This trail gains about 2,200 ft in only 3 miles from the trailhead. It took me about 3 hours round trip plus some time relaxing on the summit. You could make a loop of the Stein Butte Trail and New London Trail, but you would have to walk the 3 miles on the road back to you car.
The 10 essentials are always required. There is no water available above Elliott Creek, so take all you need. Ticks live in this area so take precautions especially in the Spring. If you are concerned about bears and mountain lions, you should take precautions also. I have seen fresh tracks from both of these critters on my hikes. I’ve hiked this trail 2 times and picked up ticks both times.
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