Gothics Winter Hike
Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Round Trip Distance
13.6 miles, Gothics only, 15.2 miles with Armstrong
Average Round-trip Time
8 to 10 hours, 9 to 11 hours with Armstrong
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Heavy windows and deep snowdrift along the ridge and upon the summit, whiteout conditions can exist.
Gothics is quite often climbed with Armstrong as a close second peak for the day using the trail from AMR and Beaver Meadow Falls.
From AMR and Beaver Meadow Falls
From the parking lot you will need to follow the road to the AMR gate which is 0.7 miles away. Once through the gate you will continue along Lake Road for around 2.0 miles to the trail for Gothics and Beaver Meadow Falls on the right.
This section of trail is easy and leads to the Ausable River and then a bridge over the river to access Beaver Meadow Falls. There is a ladder to the left of the falls where the trail continues up to the Great Range Trail. Just above the ladder it is very steep and at times quite icy. This trail is a steady and at times steep climb. You will pass over 4 additional ladders to access you through step and rocky areas and eventually come to the Range Trail between Gothics and Armstrong.
Take a left here and it is 0.6 miles to the summit of Gothics. The climb from here is much more moderate and quickly you will find yourselves above tree line along a narrow ridge. The trail is often snow loaded from wind creating deep drifts and covering the location of the trail.
The summit is wide open and very windy, but the 360 degree views distract the elements. The trail continues over the top to Sawteeth in one direction and the Orebed Trail to Saddle back on the other. Some persistent climbers will continue over Pyramid to Sawteeth for a long loop, but it is very demanding, steep, and lightly used, so be prepared for a very aggressive and tiring continuation if you decide to go for it.
From Armstrong it is an easy descent to the trail from AMR in the col with Gothics. This direction would also require the ascent of Upper Wolf Jaw as a traverse along the Great Range. Please see the Armstrong and Upper Wolf Jaw pages for additional details.
Wind protection is a must
Please refer to our basic list of winter gear recommendations for day trips and remember this list is only a recommendation and you should take into light your experience, group size, length of trip, conditions, weather forecast, and any unforeseen incidences.