(Paymaster Mine Trail)
5.7 miles from Georgetown. Steep 5 miles round trip. MAP
Once known as the Paymaster trail because it led to the Paymaster Mine, this is one of the oldest and most popular trails in the Georgetown area, especially opening day of Trout season. Only 5 miles from downtown, it’s a shortcut to Volcanoville or, what remains of Volcanoville.
Directions: From the center of town go east on Wentworth Springs Road 2 ¾ miles to turn L on Breedlove Road. Follow the road 1 mile to cross Canyon Creek and continue up the other side 1 ¼ miles (past the historic Breedlove Ranch) to an intersection with Bottle Hill Rd. Stay straight ahead for another ½ mile where the trail begins as a small road to the right. Park here.
The Breedlove’s were pioneers of Georgetown and the largest Chestnut tree “west of the Mississippi” graces the center of the driveway at the ranch.
The trail begins as a road for ¼ mile then turns L as a trail (signed) from the road. The path switchbacks down moderately steep with good overlooks of the canyon and old growth trees. Part way down you may notice the dry mining ditch (Jones Ditch) that transported water 7 miles from Otter Creek to the Jones Mine long ago.
The trail reaches the bottom at Otter Creek’s confluence with Missouri Creek, an interesting flat with bed rock mortars. The path continues downstream a short ways where you can cross the creek (when its low) and continue up the canyon side. About a mile up, and soon after the trail turns to road, you can find the remnants of the Paymaster Mine, an interesting place to look at abandoned mining junk including an antique engine and lots of other metal mining stuff.
This trail lends itself to a loop hike with Kelliher trail (see map) if you take the road out to Paymaster Road, go left to F.S. 13N35 (signed) where you go left again and follow to the top end of the Kelliher trail back to Bottle Hill Road. This entire steep loop is about 7 miles.
Click HERE to view the Take A Hike! version of this hike.