Gold Creek Trail - Wise River
Length: 6.5 miles
Trail Begins: Road 484
Trail Ends: Trail 92
Gold Creek Trail (152) begins as a gentle walk from the trailhead in a side drainage of Gold Creek. The trail crosses a small spring creek on a puncheon bridge and follows a small drainage heading east and northeast approximately 0.5 mile until it crosses main Gold Creek. The crossing is a wide ford for stock and a log for foot travel. Just across Gold Creek it junctions with Trail 140, which heads north to Moose Creek, Boulder Creek, Fourth-of-July Creek and Sheep Creek. East of this junction it travels along the edge of lodgepole pine forest and the Gold Creek valley bottom. The scenery is beautiful with white water hemlock and yellow cinquefoil flowers in the valley bottom and sagebrush on the side hills.
As the trail continues on, it begins to climb sharply in some places, leveling out again after 3 miles. After the junction with Trail 269 the trail climbs up on the side slopes on the north side of Gold Creek. From here it is easy to look down on the creek and see the distinctive, bright gold color of the creek. Also, the higher mountains come into view: Mostly dry, eroded sandstone geologic formations.
At the start of the last mile, the trail leads away to the north and climbs steeply sloped mountainside. The trail passes through whitebark pine and subalpine fir forests to the top of the mountain pass. From here, a breathtaking view awaits the weary hiker as the Gold Creek Valley sweeps out back to the west and the Canyon Creek Valley opens up to view to the east. One half mile later the trail joins with Trail 92.
Area Map: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Visitors Map
USGS Map1: Maurice
Township 2S; Range 12W; Section 33