The gold surrounded by a rainbow of color
You would have to be here for another reason, because this is not a destination most people would consider worth the effort required to get to. It's a prominent hill in the middle of a vast plateau and offers expansive views in all directions. Desert View and Cedar Mountain to the southwest; Comanche Point to the west; Cape Solitude, Chuar Butte and the North Rim to the north; and the Little Colorado River Gorge from the northeast to southeast.
This is deep in the Navajo Nation and the roads are unmaintained and rough. Gold Hill is just a couple of miles from the "trailhead" for the route down to Blue Spring in the LCR, and the farthest you can get via vehicle out toward Cape Solitude. So if either of those are your destination, Gold Hill makes a nice side hike.
The easiest, and most used access begins on the eastern slope, and climbs easily up to a small saddle. The terrain is scree in places, and the larger rocks are often loose and move under your feet. From the saddle to the summit, the grade increases, and doing some switchbacks helps make the ascent easier.
Most of the top of the mountain features a rocky ledge of 20-30 feet, inaccessible without climbing. But on this eastern approach, the ledge is broken with fallen boulders that offer several easy routes to the top.
The mountain is flat-topped and offers an opportunity to walk the circumference to see all the views. To the south you can spy the long double-track road you drove in on as well as a lonely Navajo Hogan on the plains.
Take in the views (binoculars would be a great accessory), take a break and have a snack, and head back down the way you came!
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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