goat lake
8/5/2018

After several weeks of tough scrambling and glacier travel, I needed something easy. Goat Lake trail felt perfect for an easy weekend for a jaunt through the woods. I have recommended it several times as a first overnight but never hiked it my self.

The lower part of the Goat Lake trail was an excellent choice on the way up. The trail meanders along the side of Elliot creek with small ups and downs. I kept wishing that the rushing creek would actually approach the trail. But it never gets close.

upper lower trail junction lower Elliot trail

Either way there was ample distraction provided by the beauty of the forest. At least it was accompanied by the sound of rushing water. In all truth the trail seemed plain and boring, save a couple of views on the way up the valley.

The lake itself was far more of a spectacle. It’s one of those emerald-colored beauties that Washington’s hillsides produce with ease. Goat lake felt special crowned with a majestic peak like Sloan.

goat lake goat lake and flask

The trail seemed plain and boring, save a couple of views on the way up the valley. The lake itself was far more of a spectacle. It’s one of those emerald-colored beauties that Washington’s hillsides produce with ease. Goat lake felt special crowned with a majestic peak like Sloan.

I would still recommend this as a good first overnight for young ones. There is plenty of camping and easy access to water. It is not too long or difficult, but the payoff is still there. For a seasoned hiker it was a bit of a yawn as a day hike. But, it was the easy day I was looking for.

lake and camp sites junction sloan peak from goat lake trail upper elliot creek trail

On the return trip I took the upper Elliot trail to see what it had to offer. Compared to the lower creek it is boring and does not distract from the monotony of the Goat Lake trail.

A good hike, but not one I will be redoing anytime soon. As I mentioned Goat Lake Trail is usually crowded. Go early if you want camping. Otherwise, nearby trails like Monte-Cristo provide a similar experience.