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Let me start out saying that this hike is absolutely beautiful and breath taking! Pictures do not do justice to how beautiful and blue Goat Lake really is. I would highly suggest taking your trekking poles and getting to the Iron Creek Trailhead early in the morning (the fog surrounding the mountains is beautiful). The hike starts out as a defined trail and is easy going with the trail getting more moderate as you climb in elevation with switch backs. When the trail runs out, it will bring you to disintegrated rock, when you reach that point, you need to climb up (look at pictures posted). Follow the disintegrated rock “trail” and it will take you in the right direction. You will cross the Iron Creek Waterfall (look for cairns) which will guide you over the waterfall via logs/beaver dam. This is the easier path rather than climbing the rocks on the right side of the Falls. Once you cross the water falls you will run into a defined path that will take you directly to Goat Lake. This is a stunning hike I would recommend to everyone! I would also recommend ready “Randy Clarke’s review as it is a great review that can offer some more helpful information. Hope this review helped!

Awesome Great Beautiful easy to moderate. Can’t ask for a better day hike

The trail was all we hoped for and more. An easy well marked start but we did get turned around in the gravel field looking for the easier "steps" which we never found. The cairns were not very helpful as they were spread out. The locator was a godsend!!! At least we knew when we were wandering too far of trail and could wind back to where we should be. The first view of the falls it's a terrific reward! Very easy to lose the path here until we found the logjam crossing and then it was clear again all the way to the lake. We passed many smaller waterfalls and they were just beautiful. Goat Lake was absolutely breathtaking and worth the hike! We found a spot up on some rocks to sit and eat lunch with a view of the blue green lake below and the snow fields across the lake. We walked to the far side of the lake through the boulder field for another view before turning to head back down to Iron Creek campground. We took a long time to make the hike because we stop and take a lot of pictures and two snack breaks. So the trip up took is 3.5 hours and the trip down about 2. But we wander :)

9 days ago

This was our first hike in Idaho. While the trail can be done on a few hours, we opted to spend the entire day and took it slow. Definitely take the detour to Alpine Lake. Honestly, Sawtooth is bigger but Alpine was our solid favorite. We spent a good chunk of time here just enjoying the silence other than the sound of the water lapping the edge. We continued on up the switchbacks and hot another little lake (which we nicknamed decoy lake) and almost turned around did to a snow squall that moved in. But so glad we pushed on another few yards. Sawtooth Lake was gorgeous. We took the extra time to walk to the far side of the lake and followed the trail on through a boulder field for a spectacular view of some mountain lake in the distance. We stopped a few times for snacks, lunch, and just to experience the peace of the wilderness. We made our way back to Iron Creek trailhead for a total of 13+ miles and 8 hours exactly. As I said, it can be done in way less time, but we took deliberate time.

Pretty hike with good views pretty much the whole time! No bugs. Easy to get to.

The trail is pretty mellow at the start, but towards the end it gets difficult. The end is steep and a bit of a scramble and the trail is unmaintained, but the lake is well worth it. Goat Lake is beautiful and is one of the best lakes to visit in the area.

Trailing With Us...
First of all, we are Seniors, moderately good shape, and we highly recommend hiking poles for this.
Last week of August 2018, D and I planned to hike to Alpine and Sawtooth lakes but Wapiti fire closed trail at junction up from Iron Creek trailhead. Met some other backpackers there that recommended Goat Lake. A shout out to them - Thank You, Great recommendation!
As many have noted a tough scramble the final mile up, especially with full packs to the waterfall just below Goat Lake, but it was "worth it" as we were told. Be sure to have some water with you before you start this climb. After you ascend, the waterfall will be loud and on the left, nice view, from huge flat outcropping. Find the somewhat hidden trail toward the left near stream above water fall (we hopped over a huge boulder with a cairn atop), path will be more obvious as you continue , only 150 feet or so and you will see log jam/beaver dam with yellow rope. Cross there, then stream (on your right now) and trail will guide you to lake, maybe 1/4 mile. Alternately back at waterfall you can veer more right to climb and hop the boulder field instead, not recommended!
Camping isn't crowded, but only about 6 camping spots, depending on your taste. A few are right by the lake, but all are close. There may be more behind/above if you want to climb up a little, we didn't check that, or other end of lake possibly, not an easy trail to the other end though.
Lake is drop-dead gorgeous!!! Emerald greens and blues, at least do a day hike to see it!
Stay a while and take it in. Few bugs, upper 20s at night, and was smoke free. Perfect!
The hike back down the scramble was sketchy with 30 lb. packs, we rearranged even more weight to hip area for better balance. Take it slow and easy.
Good Luck!

hiking
16 days ago

One of the prettiest places I've ever been. fairly easy hike with some steep areas, but nothing to be afraid of. When I went their were tons of mosquitos. The fishing is good if you have the patience for them. overall, I would recommend this as one of the best places to go in the US.

I had planned to do the Iron creek to sawtooth lake hike, but with the trail closed for fire aid, I decided to give this trail a try. I didn't make it to the lake, but the falls were still worth the hike. I started out early and pretty much had the trail to myself going out, but on the return hike I met multiple groups. I will definitely try this hike again when I am better prepared.

Great hike until you reach the tricky steep part at the last mile. Mostly shaded hike but start early to avoid the heat at the last unshaded and the most difficult part at the end. The last part may require a little climbing and be warned as the there is no marked trailhead at the end. Stay to the left of the creek by crossing through a log after you see the waterfall and avoid the whole boulder field climb. The trail was surprisingly crowded given its difficulty level. The glacier lake at the end was pristine with nice blue green tint. And the sawtooth mountains looked beautiful. Worth the climb. Might be tricky getting down coz it can be slippery at times. Go early and go prepared for the last climb.

hiking
24 days ago

Unreal trip, bugs were nowhere to be found which was great, didn't even bother putting deet on. Got a great spot at island lake for the night. Wish i would've done two nights on the trail, maybe another night on Seneca Lake? Was a little busier than i expected for a Monday.

To build on Valerie B's review, there are two tricky spots. First, continue around the the case of the granite about 25-30 feet to find the natural steps in the granite. Second, right after you see the waterfall, stay low to the water to find the logjam crossing. There are cairns both low and high (in the boulder field), but it is much easier if you cross to the left side of the creek.

Otherwise pretty straightforward and absolutely worth it.

backpacking
24 days ago

Started in Elkhart Park (yes, parking lot is packed) on August 11th and hiked to Seneca Lake as we got a later start than anticipated. The next day we hiked into the basin. Yes, the trail is pretty busy up to Island Lake. Once you get past Island Lake, there are less and less people. The farther into the basin you go, the more secluded you become. We would see less than half a dozen people per day. We spent a good while looking for a nice spot with some wind block (we found it to be nearly impossible to accomplish this) but we hiked all the way to the uppermost lake in the basin and found a great spot. There are multiple great spots if you hike to the very beginning of the last lake by the cascading waterfall. We had a hard time finding a big enough boulder to hang our food but got it done. Titcomb Basin is magical. We decided to stay an extra day because we didn’t want to leave. The wind can be pretty bad and we had one day where it was relentless. Some people nearby couldn’t keep their tent up and ultimately slept outside in their sleeping bags on a pretty chilly night. There were mosquitos but they weren’t as bad as we expected and we never had to use nets or anything. We hiked back out on August 15th. We did hike out in one day which is doable but don’t underestimate it. It may seem like little elevation gain but it’s constant ups and downs that can wear a person out. Can’t wait to get back here someday...it’s unreal!

My favorite trail I have done in Idaho. The only thing this trail is missing is a waterfall!

hiking
29 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. This was the third time I have done this hike and each time I love it more! The hike is almost exactly 10 miles out and back if you take the detour to visit Alpine Lake. We stopped there on the way up and then hiked around Sawtooth Lake a bit once arrived. It is a stunning beauty and well worth the miles you put in. The entirety of the trail is beautiful. The water crossing a couple miles in is low this time of year and easy to cross. No snow up at the lake either which was a first for me!

trail running
29 days ago

Awesome running trail, walked during some of the switch backs and sat in the creek on the way back! July weather was perfect for an afternoon run. Took a little less than 2 hours round trip. :)

1 month ago

Great with kids! Wooded the whole way to a beautiful mountain lake!

The climb to the lake at the end is arduous. The rest is a slight incline. Shaded trail mostly.

on Titcomb Basin Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding! Hiked from the trailhead at Elkhardt Park to Titcomb Basin from August 16-22, 2018. Weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery/landscape some of the most picturesque throughout the country.

The Devils Staircase is treacherous with heavy backpacks because it is very steep on both sides with loose rock and scree. Use extreme caution and if you are inexperienced, do not try it. The scenery is very beautiful all around the White Cloud Peaks . There is a trail from Quiet Lake to the Four Lakes Basin, follow the creek to the right up from Quiet Lake to find the Four Lakes Basin. The place is full of rugged alpine scenery and we had a great time. The passes were scary though.

Could not ask for more in a hike. Beautiful scenery, great trail with a nice mix of level terrain, switchbacks, and sites. This is a 10 mile hike, should you choose (and you should) make it all the way to Sawtooth Lake. Note that Alpine Lake is "off trail" and to get to Sawtooth, you will take the fork to the right at the "Alpine Lake" trail sign.

This was gorgeous and beautiful weather. It is difficult but I saw small children on the trail. It took us 2 hours to reach the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

nice trail to a small nicely colored lake. Views are pretty good, but several other local hikes offer more in that regard.

For those of you who would consider yourself a novice, like myself, after about 2.5 miles of general hicking expect about 2 miles of hiking up switchbacks to get all the way to the top (I checked it with a GPS). The trail was good with some places with higher stepping place and some loose rocks. We stopped at Alpine Lake along the way for a short break and managed to get to Sawtooth Lake in 3 hours. On the way back with just walking at a moderate pace took about 2.5 hours.

1 month ago

The lake and wildflowers are worth the fairly steep ups and downs.

trail running
1 month ago

Today was a beautiful day for this hike/trail run. There was many great views of the jagged peaks of the sawtooth mountains. The turquoise color on the edge of both sawtooth lake and alpine lake were amazing. I didn't notice many mosquitoes and the air was clear. It took me about 1 hr 45 minutes to go up and about 1 hr 20 minutes to come down (some trail running involved). I spent about an hour at the lake. Overall this is a very scenic hike and there are still some wildflowers in bloom.

Hiked to goat lake with my wife and kids 11 and 13 yrs old. This was an excellent hike that challenged each of us. We were rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and crystal clear goat lake. The trail up had a moderate slope for much of the way except for the last mile or so which was fairly steep and loaded with gravely rock. Picking a path across this section was difficult even following some other AllTrails reviews. Definitely not a hike for the faint of heart as there were a number traverses with steep falloffs to the side of the trail.. Once at the lake my son jumped in for a nice cool off and I caught some trout on dry flies. All in all, a really great day.

Great variety - lush meadows, bubbling creeks, great views all around. Lots of wild flowers!

backpacking
1 month ago

although it really is gorgeous, it has become overrun with people. There were 32 cars in the parking lot this morning, and I couldn't go more than a mile without stepping off trail for another hiker or a pack team. the area is really starting to show the use. I liked the trail, and am happy to have gone, but I would highly suggest branching off from this trail to another less used trail.

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