OverviewGoldstone Mountain 9909' is the first major summit north of Lemhi Pass in the Beaverheads. It lies entirely in Idaho just west of the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide Trail runs along the crest of the divide in this area. You will find the CDT well marked with blazes and cairns.
As Freeman Peak may be the most rugged Beaverhead summit, Goldstone Mountain may be the gentlest summit you will encounter in the Beaverheads. It can be a great mountain for kids because you can ride an ATV all the way to Goldstone Pass.
Goldstone is certainly in an isolated area and probably is not climbed much, unless you are a CDT through hiker or the peak is your specific objective. Despite this, there is plenty of evidence of human activity on the summit from days gone past.
Just two drainages to the north in the Pratt Creek drainage, the abandoned Goldstone Mine can be located. The Goldstone was an underground gold mine and operated from the 1890's to 1950's. Today, several structures and abandoned mining equipment still remain. Since Pratt Creek drains into the Lemhi River and Salmon is only 12 miles away, the EPA has targeted the Pratt Creek drainage as a clean up site.
Montana access is from Hwy 278 or I-15 with Jackson the closest town. Idaho access is from US 93 with Salmon the closest city.
Goldstone Mountain can be found in Idaho A Climbing Guide by Tom Lopez.
Getting ThereMontana approach
About 1 mile south of Jackson, Montana take the Skinner Meadows Road (381). Travel 19.3 miles to well marked FR 7402. Park here. You want FR 7327 which is an ATV road that veers off to the west from the junction of 381 and 7402.
FR 7327 is marked with an excellent sign post, but has some small pine trees trying to hide it. The road is easier to spot than the sign.
You can also get on 381 from the south and follow it north. Pass Reservoir Lake and continue about 4 miles to FR 7402.
Pratt Creek Road. This road goes right up to Goldstone Pass, but the BLM says it has been washed out about 3 miles up. However, you can probably skirt the wash outs on foot and hike to Goldstone Pass.
Sandy Creek Road. The BLM indicates this road goes through private property and thus you will need permission from the landowner to proceed.
Summit RoutesFR 7327 / CDT Class 2
90% of this route is on an ATV road and the CDT. Follow FR 7327 all the way up to Goldstone Pass. Turn south onto the CDT. It is well marked with two cairns and a post with no sign. Just down the trail is a sign indicating 19 miles to Lemhi Pass.
Follow the CDT up and over Point 9735, drop about 300 feet and then pick your best spot to leave the CDT and head for the summit of Goldstone.
I will stick with Lopez' Class 2 rating, but the off trail section to Goldstone's summit is so gradual, with no obstacles, and no boulder field that it is a simple walkup.
Starting elevation: 7630'
Total round trip elevation gain: 2900'
Round trip distance: 10.75 - 11 miles
Lying just to the northwest of Goldstone, this is probably the most aesthetically pleasing peak to look at in the area.
Drop off of Goldstone's summit to the northeast into the drainage separating the two peaks. Cross the West Fork of Sandy Creek, work through typical drainage terrain, and ascend the east side of Peak 9725.
If you climb to the summit of this peak, you will be able to see the remnants of the Goldstone Mine.
North Van Houten and South Van Houten campgrounds administered by the USFS are the closest. They are 11 miles south on Skinner Meadows Road from Hwy 278.
In addition, there are many places south of the Van Houten campgrounds where I saw several groups who had set up camp in the flat areas around Skinner Meadows.
When to ClimbFrom late May through early November.
Red TapeYou will not find any restrictions on your approach from Montana.
Typical for Idaho, private land issues are always a factor to deal with.