The ski to Gold Lake Shelter is great for beginning to intermediate skiers who are looking for a less crowded alternative to Bechtel Shelter to the south. There is a little more climbing, and the hills are steeper, but the solitude and views of Gold Lake make this trip worth it. The trail is on a snow-covered road that begins flat and then descends to Gold Lake in the last mile. Gold Lake Shelter is smaller than Bechtel Shelter, and it has a wood stove, a picnic table, and a small sleeping platform. Shelters like this depend on basic backcountry etiquette: if you decide to stay the night, remember that all visitors must be accommodated; please only use the wood you need to keep warm; and make sure you stick to the separate snowshoe and ski tracks. While you are there, be sure to take the short trip down to the lakeside viewpoint in the snow-covered campground. The view of Gold Lake's frozen expanse is well worth it.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.