When we first moved to north Idaho in the summer of 2012, one of our first places to explore was Gold Hill. From the top, you could see one of the most beautiful views of our new home. It seems fitting that our first post on this new blog is about this well-trafficked, yet still fairly unvisited gem. There are several folks we’ve talked to that have never been to the top, yet alone know where it is.

There are 2 ways to traverse Gold Hill. If you’re up for a hike up the mountain, you want to take Bottle Bay Road, just south of Sandpoint past the long bridge. If you’re not much of a hiker, but still want to see some beautiful views, you can drive up the mountain and hike down to the lookout about 1/2 a mile on a low-grade decline. 

This trail is pet-friendly and great for the family. If you like a challenge, many ride their mountain bikes on this trail, and others use it for running. If you have young children, or elderly, we recommend you drive up and take the short hike down.

Driving Directions

Start Point: Our start point is Highway 95 and Schweitzer Cut Off Road in Ponderay. | Map

Directions: Drive south 7.8 miles on Highway 95 towards Sagle. You’re going to turn left onto Sagle Road, directly across from the Conoco Station on the right. Once on Sagle Road, drive 6.5 miles to Sky Meadow Road. This road is located on a sharp turn, so drive slowly when you get 6 miles into the drive (it’s curvy anyway) so that you can make that left turn onto Sky Meadow without needing to turn around. Drive 0.8 miles and stay left on USFS 2642. Follow this road 5.1 miles to the trailhead. Lookout is approximately half a mile down a well-beaten path.

Drive Time: From Sky Meadow Road, approximately 30 minutes.

Hiking Directions

Start Point: Our start point is Highway 95 and Schweitzer Cut Off Road in Ponderay. | Map

Directions: Drive south 5.6 miles on Highway 95 towards Sagle. You’re going to turn left onto Bottle Bay Road, 1/2 mile after you cross the Long Bridge. Once on Bottle Bay Road, drive 4.9 miles to the Gold Hill Trailhead on the right. It’s a 3.5-mile hike from the trailhead to USFS 2642. However, the viewpoints are located approximately 2.8 miles and another at 3.0 miles up the trail. There are nice wooden benches at these viewpoints to take in the scenery.

Hike Details

One-Way Hike Time: 60-75 minutes Peak Elevation: 3400 ft.
Round-Trip Hike Time: 2 hours Elevation Gain: 1700 ft.
Difficulty: 3/5 Helpful Resources: Gold Hill Trail #3 

 

Gold Hill 2017-11-07

Gold Hill 2017-11-07
Picture 1 of 29

View from Gold Hill looking towards Hope, Idaho.

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