If you've skied Gore Mountain you'll find this trail to be a great exploration of a side unseen.
About The Trail
The trail begins at the North Creek Ski Bowl and uses a mix of foot trails, ski trails, and access roads to ascend roughly 3,000 feet within 5 miles. The lower portion of the trail is mostly in the woods but never far from the ski trails around the ski bowl. For those who ski Gore Mountain, you'll recognize where the trail pops out by the Eagles Nest bridge and then dips back into the woods on the other side. This section of the trail follows the brook up until about the time you can see through the woods to the base of the Northwoods Quad. From here the trail continues through the woods with views of the snowmaking reservoir and then Ives Dam which is actually now a grassy meadow.
In the meadow you have good views of a Barton Mines quarry rock pile with Barton Mines a little further behind. I think you could break off at the meadow over to the power line trail and arrive at Barton Mines if you wish. Staying on the Schaefer Trail the ascent becomes more rigorous and you will pass over trails like Wood In and eventually pop out on the bottom portion of Cloud at the section known as Windy Hill.
Lower Cloud will lead to a service road that you can follow up to the fire tower at the summit and explore the Gore Mountain developed summit area.
Finding The Old Gondola
The hike up the mountain is lengthy and not the most exciting trail, however the exploration of the ski mountain and finding a nicely placed artifact from the old Gore gondola makes this trail every bit worth it. The Gondola is just off the main Schaefer trail in the section before arriving at Lower Cloud. It's only about 15 feet off the trail to the right but could be easily missed if not explicitly looking for it.
Getting There and Important Information
To get to the trailhead you should park at the North Creek Ski Bowl and look for the trailhead off the dirt road on the far ide of the baseball field. The trail is open year round but extra caution should be exercised when using during ski season because of crossing active ski trails as well as hunting season. October - January is always best to wear bright colors.
©Copyright 2020 Dan Oliver
Photography exclusively by Dan Oliver unless otherwise stated and cited. Embedded maps are provided by Embed Google Map (embedgooglemap.net) and map images shown are provided as stated and cited.
This website is provided for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to serve as an instructional guide, or present itself as an authority for any of the locations written about. The locations mentioned, written, and photographed herein are nothing more than my personal adventure archive. If you are interested in visiting any locations you should not depend on the information in this website to plan any excursions. You should research a wide variety of informational sources, websites, hiking guide books and maps found elsewhere. Many locations are dangerous and potentially illegal to access which can lead to fines, injury or death even when prepared. I do not encourage anyone to trespass or put themselves or others in way of harm. This website, and therefore its’ owner/author, cannot assume any responsibility for anything you may incur while hiking or exploring any of these locations or anywhere on planet earth. Thank you for viewing!