Fool’s Gold Route

Buy eBook Now from

The Fool’s Gold Route; few attempt it; even fewer complete it.

The Fool’s Gold Route is a 75 kilometre wilderness route that is not a trail. It is marked, in some places, with surveyor’s flagging, and in other places it is merely a squiggly line on a map; no trail, not even a marked route. Even the sections that have been marked with flagging, much of the flagging has fallen down over the years. Route navigation is done not by following the flagging, but with map and compass; or by the use of a GPS unit. Either way, be prepared for a lot of bushwhacking. You may even have to backtrack occasionally in order to get back on course.

Some sections of the Fool’s Gold Route are well marked and are easy to follow. However, these marked and easy-to-follow sections are few and far between and really only exist at the start of the route and along a 5 kilometre section about half way through the route. One could spend a lot of time trying to stay exactly on the intended route, but I found that by navigating by the lay-of-the-land, and a bit of guesswork, was more practical. Much of the time the actual marked route doesn’t offer any real advantage anyway. Then, at other times it would be folly to venture off of the marked route; much wiser to follow the dotted line on the map as closely as possible.

Why is this off-trail hiking adventure so difficult? Well, there are many challenges to be faced when hiking the Fool’s Gold Route; the route crosses 3 major mountain passes and traverses several major valley bottoms. Each presents a significant obstacle and challenge. There are also logistical problems that are not easy to overcome.

Most hikers will realize the upper limits of their personal capabilities when faced with such challenges. The Fool’s Gold Route is full of surprises and mysteries; some to be marvelled at; others to be feared. Your best defence is to be prepared.

As you hike the Fool’s Gold Route you will pass through the domain of Slumach and his Lost Gold Mine. Some say his ghost still inhabits the region. I don’t dispute this claim. You will pass though regions that are said to possess strange giant lizards, weird giant salamanders, the wreckage of crashed airplanes, some said to contain valuable treasure within the smashed and twisted aluminum airframe. Keep your eyes open for the fabled ‘tent shaped rock’, a clue to the whereabouts of gold the likes of yea have never seen; walnut-sized gold nuggets, knee-deep. Ancient roads, made entirely out of cedar, wind their way up steep mountainsides, their purpose and destination unknown. And, of course, the Sasquatch, or Big Foot, is said to stalk these lands.

How does the Fool’s Gold Route compare to the infamous West Coast Trail? The West Coast Trail, so gruelling that 3 hikers per day have to be rescued by helicopter every day, is roughly the same distance, but is a trail. It consists of strolls along sandy beaches, walks along boardwalks, climbing ladders and traversing bodies of water via boat or cable-car. Sure, there are some slippery sections, and some muddy sections, but you are never struggling through dense bush.

The Fool’s Gold Route is 75 kilometres of struggling through the dense brush of jungle-like valley bottoms, wading though muddy swamps, summiting snow-covered high-altitude mountain passes, traversing steep over-grown side-hills; there is no trail. It is simply a partially-marked route; more of a line on a map really. No wooden walkways, no ladders.

The Fool’s Gold Route; few attempt it; even fewer complete it.