OverviewGold Mountain is a prominent peak due northeast from Big Bear Lake, and northwest from the mostly dry Baldwin Lake. Of all the lode-mining operations in the range, none was as storied nor famous as Lucky Baldwin's Gold Mountain (or Doble) Mine high on the mountainside overlooking Baldwin Lake. The rich quartz ledges were discovered in 1873 by prospectors Barney and Charley Carter. Their discovery turned out to be a mountain of gold ore, and the rush was on...
None-the-less, Gold Mountain is a moderate hike offering some XC navigation, somewhat steep climbing, and boulder hopping towards the top. The panorama from the top is outstanding, especially to the south looking over the town of Big Bear, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the San Gorgonio massif.
Round trip is 4 miles, with 1000' elevation gain.
Getting ThereFrom SH 18 at mile marker 018 SBD 58.15 where it makes its loop around the north end of Baldwin Lake, turn left(north) onto Holcomb Valley Road. Drive up this paved road 0.9 mile. Just before the dump, turn left on the dirt road 3N16. After 0.8 mile, stay left on 3N16 at a junction. Climb 0.1 more miles and park in the clearing across from the old wooden "hopper." If you have a high-clearance vehicle, you can continue on the road for about another 0.1 miles and park in the widened section of the road.
RouteWalk up the dirt road about 200 yards, then start up the gentle, pinyon and juniper- covered northeast ridge of Gold Mountain. The climb is trailless but easy going. Proceed around the right (north) side of a false summit to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, 1 mile. Continue up the broad pinyon-clad ridge to the 8235-foot summit of Gold Mountain for views over this mine-poxed northeastern corner of the San Bernardinos.
Red TapeAn Adventure Pass is required to park here.
External LinksHundred Peaks Section List
For camping information and current conditions go to the San Bernardino National Forest for current conditions website.
All information taken from John Robinson's "San Bernardino Mountain Trails" book.