Gold Mountain is located northeast of Big Bear Lake, along the north shore of Baldwin Dry Lake. We used to classify Gold Mountain as a Medium Trail, but deterioration of the most challenging obstacle on the trail pushes it slightly into the Difficult category. The trail runs the length of Forest Road 3N69 from the shore of Baldwin Dry Lake, up steep switchbacks, over rocky ledges and across the barren talus slope to the peak of Gold Mountain, and down the north side to where it ends at 3N16. This trail may still be considered Medium Difficulty when ran in the north-to-south direction.
Trail Rating: DIFFICULT
Difficult trails are best tackled in a lifted 4X4 with at least 35″ tires and two lockers, at least one of which is a “hard” locker. Sturdy bumpers and body armor are recommended to prevent sheet metal damage, especially in the rocker panel area. Airing down will be necessary. Recovery operations should be expected, so it is recommended to have at least one winch in the group as well as recovery straps and suitable attachment points on all vehicles. Fuel, brakes, steering and cooling systems should all be in top shape. Travel in groups and be prepared for emergencies. Carry extra food, water, warm clothes and lighting, and be prepared for a long day on the trail, possibly stretching into night.