This one-hour hike stays in the forest, on a path that is in good condition and easy to follow. About halfway to Gold Run Lake, stop and enjoy a tranquil meadow with a creek gracefully flowing through its moist grasses. Gold Run Lake, N74100-E59200, is at 1860 m (6,100 ft.).
The name “Gold Run” derives from the bedrock gold found in the mountains between Hells-a-Roaring Creek (the old name for Hellroaring) and Perry Creek. For more on the century of gold mining in the Perry Creek and Wild Horse Creek area (by Fort Steele), see the introduction.
Richmond Lake to Gold Run Lake (or reverse direction)
For a satisfying day hike combine this trail with a mountain traverse over to Richmond Lake. It is an 8-km, moderate, routefinding hike, with some easy scrambling over the summit of Nogalski Peak and connecting to Perry Pass trail, see #29 Richmond Lake to Gold Run Traverse.
Routes: Perry Pass, Hellroaring Lakes, Mount Flett
The Perry Pass horse trail was built a hundred years ago primarily for access to gold exploration, but today it provides hikers a recreation corridor to the Perry Creek area of the southern Purcell Mountains.
Gold Run is just the starting place for the Perry Pass connector into Hellroaring Creek. The Perry Pass trail has recently been upgraded into a large road, likely drivable beyond the Gold Run trailhead. To reach Perry Pass, bushwhack up the semi-open forested slope north from the shore of Gold Run Lake, an elevation gain of 30 m (100 ft.). Intersect with a new road.
On the new road, turn west (left) toward Perry Pass, N74400-E58600, at 1990 m (6,540 ft.). At the time of this writing, the trail appeared to dip down the sidehill into Hellroaring Creek. It may or may not be changing with the new building of roads in the area. At Perry Pass head left downhill (southwest) toward Kamma Pass, N74000-E56800. Descend 210 m (700 ft.) to the base of a steep, rocky cliff. The route climbs back up to Kamma Pass, another 80 m (260 ft.), 1860 m (6,100 ft.).
To reach the first subalpine Hellroaring Lake, elevation 1981 m (6,500 ft.), N74400-E56300, bushwhack about 1 km west from Kamma Pass by keeping about the same elevation, just slightly north (right) of the ridge. A second lake is 500 m farther west, upslope from the first lake.
To climb Mount Flett, 2408 m (7,900 ft.), N76100-E56300, hike north from either lake and bushwhack another 2.5 km heading north to the ridge and across alpine basins. Once on the ridge, follow the broken rock and talus spine over rough terrain to the summit.
Just imagine what this area was like for packhorses and people when they built these trails in 1900!