With amazing views of Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, and the Selkirk Mountains the Gold Trail #3 is a must-do during any season. Starting at about the same elevation as the lake, the trail starts out steep with switchbacks through the forest with little glimpses through the trees. About a mile up the trail is a bench with a slightly obstructed view of Lake Pend Oreille.
The best view is saved for the top, where the forest opens to a grand view of the area toward the northwest. Looking out across the lake, the town of Sandpoint with its long bridge and Schweitzer Mountain stand out. Benches at the top make a great spot for a snack or picnic lunch. The trail continues on from this point, but it heads back into the forest to reach the actual summit.
Gold Hill Trail is popular with hikers and mountain bikers, so be sure to share the path. It is well marked and easy to find. Depending on snow levels in the winter, snowshoes might be needed. The small parking area at the trailhead is open year round and includes a vault toilet. For those wanting a shorter hike with the great views, there is an upper trailhead located on Contest Mountain Road No. 2642.