Golden Stairs Trail (Rogue River-Siskyou Forest) plus some waterfalls

Date: 11/15/15

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.

4 thoughts on “Golden Stairs Trail (Rogue River-Siskyou Forest) plus some waterfalls

  1. I found your account of starting up the Golden Stairs Trail as I was planning my recent hike & bike of it ( Yours was the only reasonably current mention of it I could find online. Since the trail is now mostly an OHV trail, and basically disappears when it’s not, I can see why there is little written about it. Won’t be doing it again but Abbott Butte (despite the current crop of downed trees) is well worth a visit in summer!


    • I tried returning to it a few weeks ago and there was all sorts of tape blocking the entrance, along with a sign saying that there was forest fire activity. I dunno about the OHV thing because I think it’s still a hiking trail (right?)

      Thanks for the comment 🙂


      • That tape was left over from crews dealing with a small spot fire on June 9th. The fire was off the trail and not blocking it, so I suppose they just haven’t gotten around to taking down the signs (and picking up the hose they left). If you start at the true Golden Stairs trailhead (like you did), you get about 0.5 miles of hiking trail and then merge into the OHV trail, which you share for about another 2.5 miles to where the OHV trail cuts down to the right. The hiking trail continues north from here but it’s very faint and hard to follow. Good hike but not one I’d do again. But Abbott Butte (with maybe a side trip to Elephant Head Pond) is a lot of fun!


      • I must not have even realized that I was merging on and off of an OHV trail since it was so snowy that time that I hiked it. I still want to hike it again to explore it some more (whether it’s for foot traffic or not)


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