“The more challenging of the two main Golden Hill Loops.”
— Jon Sundquist
This is the more challenging of the two main loops at Golden Hill, but is still a solid intermediate ride, just with more climbing at the end. This loop is usually used to bypass the shorter section of the red loop up on top.
The loop starts on the Golden Hill Red loop not long after it exits the rooty spruce section (it can also be accessed from Fire Lane Rd. by cutting in the old logging road immediately opposite the Chapman Rd. intersection).
The trail immediately starts to lose elevation through some swoopy turns. It eventually comes to an old skid trail that has fully reverted to singletrack -- just watch out for the berms installed by the loggers to trap water; they can put you in a nose wheelie or worse if you don't keep your weight back.
The trail keeps from losing too much elevation by skirting off to the left, briefly joining another old skid trail singletrack, before making a left again into a full sidehill section.
This section was attacked by tent catepillars a few years back, opening up the canopy. This improved the views, but also spurred heavy bushy growth; it's a challenge keeping this section from getting overgrown.
Eventually, the trail gains the tip of a ridge, crosses the top, and then begins a fun winding downhill all the way to the bottom. Here you can find the legacy of Bert the designer as it goes between more than a couple closely spaced trees (this was back in the day before handlebars got quite so wide).
At the bottom, there is a junction. Going straight cuts off the finger-shaped portion of the lower route. Actually, in some ways it is better to do the "finger" clockwise even though the rest of the blue loop is done ccounter-clockwise (and hence doing the connector twice), but either way works.
This description is for doing the connector counter-clockwise: The trail slowly loses some elevation until it finally hits the dry creek bottom. After crossing it here, it climbs up on a small ridge that had been paralleling the creek. Making a U-turn at the top of the small ridge, it follows the ridge back to the connector.
Going straight, you'll start to regain all that uphill you just descended. It starts out gradual and rolling at first, but after a couple of creek crossings, it starts to get steep. You'll see both ends of the whammy intersect, but that's for another description. Instead, climb on climbing turn after climbing turn until you rejoin the red loop at the top.