Adopted Trail - 2N90 Tip Top Mountain

Adopted: July 2002
Name: Tip Top Mountain
San Bernardino Mountains
Road #: 2N90 (2N90A, 2N90B, 2N90C)
Difficulty: 3 (Moderate)
Coordinates: 34 15.3000, -116 42.6500
Elevation: 6760 feet
Reports: 07/28/11 - Trail Report #1
07/28/11 - Trail Report #2
07/28/11 - Trail Report #3


To reach the trailhead from Route 38 & Onyx Summit.

  • From Onyx Summit travel north on Route 38 for about 1 6/10 of a mile to forest service road 2N01 which will be on the right.
  • Take 2N01 till you reach 2N02 (Burns Canyon Road) approx 6 1/2 miles.
  • Go left on 2N02 approx 3/10 of a mile and 2N90 will be on your right just past the rose colored tailings of the Rose Mine on the right.


  • Tip Top Mountain can be found on the USGS Topo Maps: Rattlesnake Canyon, & Onyx Peak Quadrangle, 7.5-Minute Series
  • Forest Service Off-Highway Vehicle Guide San Bernardino National Forest year 2005
  • Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map San Bernardino National Forest year 2009

Trail History

Tip Top was mined for its silver, lead, and traces of gold from 1874 to 1892, again in 1910 to about 1920 and as recently as 1951. The oldest mine on the summit of Tip Top was the Tip Top Silver Mine, then the name was changed to the Summit Mine and then changed again to the Silver Dream. The names of four other mines that were worked on Tip Top were the Sitting Bull, Blowout, Lone Star and Red Warrior. These were short lived unprofitable ventures.

In the valley below Tip Top Mountain was the Rose Mine which was one of the major producing gold mines in the mountains. The mine's name is derived from the high iron content of the soil which gives the ground in the area a dull rose coloring. No where else in the San Bernardino mountains was gold found so heavily mixed with iron. The Rose Mine operated from 1887 till around 1912. In 1887 it was called the Homestead Mine and then in 1889 the name was changed to the Rose Mine. In 1891 a 5 stamp mill was erected to process the ore and in 1897 a new 40 stamp mill with 6 cyanide tanks was built. The main shaft of the mine was below the stamp mill and went down 400 feet with a network of tunnels at the 350 & 400 foot levels. Some exploratory work was done in the 1920's & 1930's but no new ore bodies were found. Around 1933 the stamp mill and all of the equipment was scrapped. There was a small village at the mine which consisted of 12 wooden buildings. One building being the store/post office, another the school and the other buildings were occupied by the mine personnel and their families. Through the years these buildings gradually disappeared. Some of them destroyed by fire.

For info on the adopt a trail program and a list of adopted trails go to the forest service website