Gold Rush (ゴールド ク ラッシュ lit. Gold C(rash/rush) in Japanese) is the twenty-second level and is the second level of the fifth warp room in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. Crash travels through a Western-themed region that is filled with gold mines and Western towns. He also comes across many hazards, including scorpions, vultures, and loose sticks of dynamite used to mine for gold. At one point in the level, players will have a chance to ride on a mine cart. The last death route in the game is in this level. It contains the Yellow Gem, which when obtained, opens the alternate route in Compactor Reactor and offers the player to acquire the second Clear Gem in the level.
- Scorpions - Crash encounters deadly scorpions in many different areas in the level. He will find them roaming the path he travels, where they will snap their claws while walking back and forth along the path. Crash can easily defeat them by spinning them away, jumping on them, or sliding into them. They also appear walking across the ceiling grafts.
- Birds - The birds will attack Crash by swooping down on him when he approaches. They can be defeated by jumping on them while they are swarming in.
- Donkeys - These donkeys can be seen wearing hats and will attack Crash by kicking their hooves in Crash's direction. He can avoid their attacks by simply jumping over them or timing their movement. They can also be defeated by spinning them away.
- Cacti - These cacti appear throughout the level, and will attack Crash by inflating their bodies. While inflated, spikes will protrude out of them, causing Crash damage if he tries to spin attack them. Once their body deflates, Crash can dispose of them by using a spin attack, a slide, or a body slam.
- Gold Miners - Not really enemies as they don't interfere with Crash in any way. However, they will stand on a cliff or a high spot and blow up charges of TNT with an interval of a few seconds. If Crash hits one of these TNT charges, or doesn't make it through it before it goes off, he will be harmed. The gold miners are the only enemies in this level which can't be defeated at all. The death route in the level is particularly full of the gold miners, which makes it quite difficult if the players have problems timing their actions.
- Gold Rush contains the most crates that Crash must break in a specific level throughout the Crash Bandicoot series.
- The name of the level refers to the real-life event in the 1800's - the California Gold Rush, when gold was discovered in Coloma, California. The news brought nearly 300,000 prospectors to the state. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush also attracted some tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
- This is the longest level in the game despite having the third longest time for a player to achieve a sapphire relic in the game.
- Bizarrely, a lion enemy was originally going to appear in this level, but was scrapped due to it not fitting the setting. The lion can be brought into gameplay via Action Replay codes.