You’ve already hiked Silver Peak so in this post we’ll take a look at its taller neighbor, Gold Mountain. The 8,235-foot summit offers some of the best views in the Big Bear area and, like Silver Peak, is worth a long drive. There are several possible routes to the top. Below is the most straightforward approach; neither of the two junctions are marked but both are pretty obvious.
To begin, pick up the Pacific Crest Trail on the left (west) side of Holcomb Valley Road. After a short distance you reach a signed spur for the Doble Trail Camp, where you get a nice view of either Baldwin Lake or a grassy meadow, depending on how much rainfall there has been. The P.C.T. continues at a gentle grade through a diverse landscape that includes junipers, pinyon pines, a few black oaks and even some cacti. The trail makes a few long switchbacks, providing some good views of the high desert, entering the shade of Jeffrey pines before reaching an unsigned junction with a forest road (3N69), approximately 2 3/4 miles from the start. Note that the P.C.T. is easy to miss on the descent.
Turn left and follow the road uphill through an attractive pine woodland. The grade is steeper than on the P.C.T. but not too difficult. As you ascend you get a good view to the west, including Bertha Peak and Delamar Mountain.
After about a mile and a half on the dirt road, it starts to descend. Here you have an unmistakable view of San Gorgonio Mountain to the south; it is at this point that you will leave the road. Bear left and follow a semblance of a trail leading between two pines. After climbing over a few logs, you reach the jumble of boulders that is the summit. A little moderate rock scrambling brings you to the top.
The 360-degree panorama includes the high desert to the north and east, San Gorgonio and the lake to the south and the rest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the west. A big flat rock a few feet below the highest point makes for a particularly good spot to sit and enjoy the view.
Text and photography copyright 2015 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.