Hike Difficulty: difficult
Trail Length: I walked about 6 mi, though the loop is a bit longer, like 8 mi
Elevation Gain: 2300 ft
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – I love when I stumble upon a new place to explore. I didn’t originally plan to go to the Golden Stairs trail today, but my plan didn’t work out. I was going to climb to the top of Abbott Butte (6300 ft or something) via Huckleberry Gap, but the snow had already accumulated too much and my car got stuck at the trailhead — there were really a few more problems than that…look at the pictures and captions.
Since it was still snowing and I knew my car would not fare well if I left it there to get buried, I decided to put Abbott Butte on pause until it’s not as dangerous. Luckily, I saw a sign for the Golden Stairs and ended up driving back to it. I had no cell service and no idea at all how long or difficult the trail was. I just knew I was 2 hours from home and I needed a hike. I really enjoyed myself in the snow.
Now that I’m home and can research it, it seems that the trail is named because the Abbott brothers, famous in the area during the gold rush, supposedly had a gold mine nearby. I saw a couple rocks that were yellowish, but I don’t think they’re valuable at all.