Goat Mountain trail has been on my redo list for quite a while. I had tried once in college, failed to summit due to snow conditions, and promised myself I would come back. Somehow that ended up taking me 4 years.
Goat Mountain trail starts off right on the side of forest road 32. For the first several miles it is a set of forested switchbacks. It is easy to follow but steep and the lack of scenery can become mind-numbing.
Once the views start to open up around 5100 Ft the trail is as stunning as I remember. There is a small bench above here on the trail you soon arrive at. You could stop here for an excellent lunch spot and some incredible views.
If you choose to continue to the summit of Goat Mountain the time of year will influence how difficult that is. During summer, you will have a solid trail to follow. If you are doing it in the winter like I was on this day then it will most likely be a snow slope. There is also a way to get to east Goat Mountain but that involves a traverse I have not completed yet.
The rest of the climb up to the summit it steep but is not technically difficult in any way. If you are doing it in the snow I would suggest that you carry poles or an ice ax. Some of the areas you could fall would need self-arrest skills.
Goat Mountain trail is a steep hike with some indescribable views. Much like the rest of Mount Baker Highway. Make sure to come on a clear day so you can enjoy them.
I am starting to realize that almost all the hikes on Mt Baker Highway have at least one thing in common. Goat Mountain trail is no different. The beginning of the trail is heavily wooded, shady, steep, and uninteresting. Save for the few things like evidence of old fires that might be found strewn about, I constantly find myself thinking “when will the trees end?”.
I wanted to try Goat Mountain Trail while it was sunny. So I had waited 2 months to get up here. I am glad I waited. The bench and the summit, of Goat Mountain, have what must be the best view of Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan I’ve had yet. I was awestruck by the sheer size of these peaks and now have more refined respect for them. In fact, Mount Sefrit looked so splendid that I used a photo of it to create this sites logo. At the official end of the Goat Mountain trail there is a small bench that has amazing views.
Of course, that is never good enough for me when there is a mountain for climbing. Heading up Goat Mountain was difficult on a nice 40-degree slope covered in snow. The climb is a lot of fun but I would like to see what it is like in the summer. I suppose it remains for me to find out soon.
Due to the sun setting and the snow softening under my feet, I was unable to summit. I have plenty of time being in college and I am sure I will return soon for another shot.