Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6.5-9h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
24.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
767 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake is not a hike for the faint of heart. This lightly trafficked trail is what we’d call intrepid. A good number of hikers don’t make it to the lake, much less past the 5.0 mi mark. The trail is overgrown and hard to follow. Hey, if you feel like bushwhacking, you’ll probably get the lake to yourself!

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Route Description for Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake

Joe Lake via Gold Creek Trail isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re willing to be adventurous, you’ll enjoy a trail to yourself in most cases. There is some serious bushwhacking and routefinding required, so download your route before heading out.

Begin by taking the Gold Creek Trail alongside and then past Gold Creek Pond. You’ll continue to Heli’s Pond. Although there are intersecting roads here, generally heading north will get you there. Cross the creek and begin hiking through the forest. This section of trail is fairly flat and easy. Expect several creek crossings. About 3 and a half miles in, you’ll begin dealing with overgrowth. Around the fork with the trail to Alaska Lake, you’ll start dealing with the worst conditions. In general, keep hugging the river on your right-hand side. If you stray too far from the water, you could be off-track.

Making your way through the brush and keeping an eye on your GPS, you’ll round the base of Alaska Mountain and start climbing two steeper sections to Joe Lake. Congratulations if you made it! From here, you’ll need to retrace your steps to return to the trailhead.

Getting to the Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake Trailhead

The trailhead for Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake is in the parking area just south of Gold Creek Pond.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-November

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Gold Creek Trail to Joe Lake Elevation Graph

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