Goat Lake Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ashford, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
There are 2 or 3 Goat Lakes in Washington. This is the only one with an epic view of Mt. Rainier in the Glacier View Wilderness area. It is an easy hike through meadows and forest.
I've done the Lake Christine Trail several times and decided to come in from the other direction (never done the 267). Started out at #267 TH and went right to the 249/248 junction and followed 249 to Lake Christine. This trail is listed as moderate but actually is somewhere between moderate and easy. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. To get to the TH follow FS59 to the top of the ridge (beautiful view of Mt Rainier) and follow it around the bluff to the right to the end, TH is on right and well marked, if you turn right before the bluff you will encounter a road that has numerous washouts and will challenge any high clearance/4WD vehicles, anything else will get stuck. I have always loved this area for it's beauty and solitude. During warm weather you need bug juice, but today the temp was high 30's to mid 40's, so very few bugs.
So I'm going to explain how to actually find the trail because we lost hope a few times.
Once you turn onto the unpaved road with the excessive amount of pot holes, you stay on it for a good 6-7 miles. While on this road enjoy all the scenic views, it's quite beautiful. You'll reach a peak where Mt. Rainier is perfectly in front of you, we took advantage and took some photos because we thought we were lost and were going to quit. After your photos, you will notice it forks, just remain left. You'll continue another mile or two down this miserable road and then you'll arrive to the dead end where the trails are located to the right. So, this trail will take you to two different trails, Glacier View to the Left, or Puyallup Trail 248 to the Right. To go to Goats Lake take PT248. The other trail has a lot more incline and is a tad bit more difficult. Once you've gone right, you will walk for about a mile and a half and then the path will fork. The right way goes into a marshy plain and the left has a creek you would have to cross. You're crossing that creek because there's no way around the clearing without getting even more wet, we wasted like 10 minutes trying to find a way.
Make sure to bring: bug repellant, water, a change of shoes/socks, preferably waterproof shoes or hiking. Not tennis shoes because you will slip and be screwed when you cross the creek.
Beware of: mud, water, a lot of bugs, and wild animals because we came across what we think were bear tracks in that marshy field.
Overall it was beautiful, it's just super unkept and not having signs can get annoying without any cell service to try and see where to go.
this was a great hike. we followed the down loaded map from all trails and didn't go the wrong way. very neat rustic trails. maybe should be listed as moderate, it does get pretty steep on the way back. the lake is great. the peeks you get of rainier are breath taking.
Something needs to be made VERY clear before you get on this trail and make the wrong turn. Once you come up the TH to a trail sign, It splits to the left and the right. If you want Goat Lake Trail you need to go right to Puyallup Trail 248. It is easy, and minimal elevation gain. If you go left, it is to Glacier View, a moderate trail, that is more of a climb than a hike.
Neither page makes this clear, we went yesterday and assumed Glacier View was the way to go. Big mistake. Couldn't figure out why a 300 foot elevation gain touted here was so brutal...yea, because it wasn't 300 feet. Wrong trail. So take heed!!!
The FSR coming in is fuuuuuull of potholes. The entrance is a gravel road undercut to the cement, you can't see it coming in, and if you come in quickly in a car, you will smack your undercarriage, go slow. Honestly the vantage after you're mostly to the TH is amazing. A full view of the valley and Mt. Rainier. Beautiful. That alone made up for the crappy directions on this website for the correct trail to take.
No permit is required. There is a sign in point at at the TH start with pack tags that you are required to have. Beware the mosquitoes. They are abundant and big.
We will update the rating once we get to complete the correct trail. Rating is currently based on horrible information.
Oh and leash your dogs people!! Twice in two weeks that my (leashed!!) dog has once, nearly been attacked by an unleashed Rottweiler, and had teeth put on her by an unleashed Shar-Pei. Next unleashed dog allowed to run up to my leashed dog is getting maced.
The directions feature in the alltrail map is wrong as far as I can tell. It takes you to the glacier view hike (which is breathtaking).
Goat Lake trail is the first hike I've done since moving up to Washington from Oregon and it was amazing!!! What a view. It took my boyfriend and I 2.5 hours to get to the too using the upper trail and about the same on the way back using the lower trail.
The lower trail definitely has more to see since it parallels the river but the upper trail was nice too. Definitely recommend making a day trip out of this because you will want to spend a good amount of time at the top near the lake and the massive waterfall that you can practically walk right up to.
INCREDIBLE VIEWS OF RANIER. AND INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF MOSQUITOS...
Goat lake IS an awesome little hike with views of Rainier while you drive to the trailhead.
The trail is FULL of bugs. DO NOT go without bug spray like we did. The last mile back was just before sun down, so we had to run because there were so many devil mosquitos.
p.s. I give it 4 1/2 stars.
Fabulous hike as we went to Mt Beljica first, Goat Lake second and tben Gobblers Knob. Bring bug spray, hat and a camera. Awesome views and definitley way cool and no people on Mt Beljica! Lovely quite and peaceful at the lake but Gobblers Knob was way to busy-lots of people and noise.
This trail had numerous trees across it and the Mosquitos nearly carried us off. The road in is nine miles of potholes, but the Rainier view is incredible!