The Pacific Crest Trail provides an alternate hiking route to Gold Mountain's summit. This alternate route uses a section of the 'Trail' and a fire road that goes north to south over Gold Mountain's summit area. Plenty of shade from where the PC Trail flattens out to the summit area.
Leave Hwy 18 at the north end of Baldwin Lake and drive up Holcomb Valley Road towards the Big Bear dump site. Watch carefully for white posts on either side of the road that signify where the PCT crosses it about 200 yards before the dump (the picture at the top of this route page shows the start of the trail); if you reach the gates to the dump you've gone too far. Park along the road where you can find a wide enough space to get off the pavement.
Start hiking up the Pacific Crest Trail on the western side of the road. You'll pass the Doble Trail camp in 1/2 mile, then after 1 mile start through a series of long and gradual switchbacks up the slope. Eventually the PCT flattens out and heads directly west where it will intersect a 4WD road; turn left (south) here and go up about 1 mile. Eventually the road will flatten out; at the point where you start going west and downhill, and where you get a great view of Big Bear Lake, leave the road and head east to the summit rocks (about 200 yards). Great views from the top of the Big Bear Valley & Big Bear Lake, the Sugarloaf/Snow Summit ridgeline, and Mt. San Gorgonio.
Return the same way you came. An alternate is to follow the 4WD road all the way down to Holcomb Valley Road, then go east and you'll eventually reach your starting point. This adds about another mile, but this also allows you to visit what remains of the Doble "Lucky Baldwin" Mine.
Be sure your vehicle displays an "Adventure Pass" when parked beside the road. No special gear needed; its a nice six mile round trip hike on a maintained trail and fire road. Bring comfy hiking shoes, suncream, and a cheery disposition. No water sources after the Doble Trail Camp, so bring all you'll need for a 6 mile round trip with 1500 ft of elevation gain.
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