Explore Wish List - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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1 day ago

Got there on a Sunday morning around 815 and there were plenty of parking spots available. We took upper Elliot both on the way up and down and got in 11 miles. No bear to be seen! It definitely warmed up by the time we got back to the cars, so bring plenty of water, or there’s plenty of sources for filtering water if need be.

2 days ago

The creek has dried up so be sure to bring extra water for you and your furry friends! Beautiful hike but it was super hot making the trail dry and dusty today. Lots of good places to camp and so many additional trails and lakes to explore - will definitely be back again!

Hiked this trail two weeks ago. Nobody at the trailhead when we arrived. Gradual elevation loss for first mile or so & then the climbing begins. Switchbacks with good tread get you up the mountain with views of the 3 Sisters, Mt. Washington and the 3 Pyramids along the way. The tree line opens up to an amazing meadow filled with wildflowers, bear grass & throngs of butterflies. It was amazing. The final push to the top is along a ridge line & you pop out to the site of an old fire lookout. The view of Mt. Jefferson here is fantastic! Take some time to catch your breath as you take in the views before heading back down. Check out the alpine lake below before departing. Side note, active logging is visible from this viewpoint.

Its a very good hike it’s not that hard I really liked it

Gorgeous views, and solidarity one year post Whitewater Fire. With the Whitewater Trail closed, I expected to see more people hiking this trail as an alternative. Strenuous hike, continuous incline the entire time. We turned around after 4.5 miles because we were not as strong as we thought! The views of Mt Jefferson and wildflowers were stunning and worth the workout! Would love to hike further next time to access the lakes.

trail running
8 days ago

great trail to a great lake.

We came down from BC to do this over the weekend! Got a late start (6:45) - we took upper Elliot trail on the way up and it took us 2hr15min. Got there just in time to watch the sunset behind the lake and find a spot for our tent before dark. It was busy but no problem finding a place to camp. We took lower Elliot on the way down and it was nice walking by the creek (1hr 45 min).
We didn’t see the bear !

9 days ago

Perfect conditions right now on the trail but almost 3/4ths is covered in loose rock so wear some supported shoes. Did this backpacking up to Scout Lake and it wasn’t crazy strenuous, just long. Took us about 4:30 to get up with some stops. If you’re looking to camp up, spots do fill up but Great Lake views! Loved it!

10 days ago

Great hike! We didn’t see the bear. We climbed up to the top and went swimming in the lake. Seven chipmunks came and visited us and ran all around. We took upper Elliot up and lower Elliot down. I thought both trails were super cool and would recommend doing both.

11 days ago

Backpacked this a few days ago. Nice trail beautiful lake. Unfortunately, too many people. Not just too many....too many people who have zero understanding of how to behave in the wilderness. We found a spot well away from others until a group of 6 showed up and setup NEXT to us......ON the trail....where they also decided to build a fire pit. This is in addition to the kayakers who decided setting a downed tree on fire and leaving it on the beach was a good idea.

As for recent trail reports.....the ACTUAL trail leading to the lake is clear and well maintained. The downed trees do not start until after the lakeshore.

Overall, a great location. But people mess things up. Fortunately, a group of rangers showed up and handled things.

FYI - it’s exactly 1.4 miles from the parking lot to the lakeside campsite.

12 days ago

I hiked this on 07/04/18. I got to the trail head around 7 am. I reached the lake around 9:30. I took Upper Elliot to the lake and Lower Elliot back. I didn't encounter the bear or mountain lion. I was early enough that I had the lake to myself and I passed a few hikers on my decent.

13 days ago

Goat Lake is a beautiful hike! I have been wanting to come here for a long time, and would definitely do it again!
On the way up, you are met with a choice of taking either Upper Elliott or Lower Elliott trails. I would definitely recommend Upper Elliott both ways, or at least Upper Elliot to go up. The Upper Elliott trail is mostly flat, with gradual include, and mostly dirt trail. You’ll run into some water crossings of streams, but it is definitely the better option of the two trails. The trail is not marked well. When you get to a point where you’re not sure where to go - stay to the left!!! Once you’re finally there, the views and scenery is just gorgeous!
On the way down, we took Lower Elliott. It was very rocky, lots of roots, up and down inclines/declines, but for a stretch did have the roaring river over the boulders to see. If I go again, I am definitely taking Upper Elliott both ways.

Beautiful hike, is mostly covered by trees on either trail you take. Bring bear spray (just in case), bug spray, and dry cloth in case you’re brave to wade or jump in the lake at the top!

13 days ago

Warning: Stay on the trail. I was with a group determined to make it to a beachy spot and we left the trail to get there. Extremely steep parts, dead trees from a forest fire.. Lots of climbing over logs that collapse on you. Gorgeous views but not worth it to leave the trail.

14 days ago

Some patches of snow once you hike down in to Jefferson park but manageable without yak traks. Beautiful area with multiple lakes! So worth the hike. Did it as a day hike but next time would love to backpack and actually camp

Great hike, killer views up at the lake. Was carrying a 40lbs pack and indefinitely recommend the upper trailbon the way in and the lower trail on the way down. Elliot the bear was in our camp the night before and was up the hill from us watching what we were doin. Never came down to our knowledge. Great overnight spot.

Great trail, we took Upper Elliot on our way up and Lower Elliot on our way down, which was the best thing to do. Trail gets steeper and a little challenging for inexperienced hikers on its last 2/3 miles. The lake is amazing and the view is totally worth the hike. Unfortunately it was raining, but I’ll definitely go back when the weather is nicer. We heard a bear on our way up, so beware.

We got there around 9am on a Sunday and the parking lot was already packed. Make sure you get there early.

Great trail with a wonderful view. Started the hike around 1pm and took Upper Elliot on the way up which is definitely the way to go. It is a more gradual incline. We took Lower Elliot on the way down which was steeper but was a much more scenic view. Once we got to the lake, we walked along it to find a spot to sit and relax. There were plenty of small access points which offered everyone to have a small private beach. The lake was stunning.

Hiked it Jun 8, 2018. Not nearly as difficult as I expected. Without a heavy pack it would have been a piece of cake. The view at the top is pretty good. However, the wildflowers were not in bloom. The trail starts out in the forest for about half of it and then opens up into a huge meadow with a few long switchbacks to get up the hillside. At the top, the forested area feels much older than down below, and was the only part of the hike I was really impressed by. Also, watch out for mountain bikers. We ran into 5 or 6 on our hike, and they can get going pretty fast coming down the steep slopes.

Water is available at the creek near the bottom, and there are a couple of ephemeral springs a little past that. Once into the meadow, there are no more water sources for the remainder of the hike.

I recommend nearby cone peak trail for a much cooler view and way more wildflowers and variation in the types of terrain and ecosystems. Plus you can do cone peak and iron mountain on the same hike.

17 days ago

The trail is very well maintained and the views are unreal. The hike itself isn’t too hard incline-wise, but it’s all of 11 miles round trip. The lake is stunning - worth all of the miles. Treat yourself to these views.

This was a great hike! It is a steady climb, but nothing too difficult. We loved how remote and untouched the lake was. We got up there around 11am, had a picnic, swam, and relaxed. Definitely need bug spray though!!

19 days ago

Important: Rangers were handing out citations like Halloween, so make sure you have the northwest forest or America the Beautiful pass. The discover pass doesn't count and will get you a ticket.

About the trail, it is in a great condition, I did the lower trail to the lake and upper on the way back. Its a simple hike about 10 miles round trip, depending on your gadget it might vary a bit.

Not a lot of people on Sunday, there were a few at the lake. Loads of parking near the trail head.

Water level seemed lower as compared to prior years and a lot more cloudier, but the first view of the lake & the mountains, just makes it all worthwhile.

20 days ago

Love this hike. sucks to see it got hit with fire. We tuffed it out and went over the burnt logs. and made it to the waterfall and climbed up. didn't make it to the top due to a ridge and a bunch of downed logs with the dogs in tow it was better safe then sorry.
we jumped in the lake before heading back. fun times.

22 days ago

Great hike with beautiful sites along the way...waterfalls, forest, meadows of alders and wildflowers. The gravel road had potholes but I navigated it with a small car. The parking lot was full at 8:45 am on a Saturday so others started parking along the road. The trail was in great condition. We took the lower trail on the way up and the upper trail on the way back. We did not see "Elliott" the bear but did see some scat on the trail. The lake was gorgeous even though it was foggy and we could not see the mountain range. This is a very popular trail and we passed a lot of people coming up when we headed back.

24 days ago

Fantastic hike, really well maintained trail and amenities. Did the upper trail today and it was just great. A few small creek crossings though, so waterproof shoes are recommended but not necessary. Beautiful lake/mountain combo, one of the best I’ve seen. Definitely recommend camping too since it’s so nice up and there are many solid places to set up camp. Seemed much less crowded than Lake 22 and other hikes in the area. Parked right out front with spots to boot. Would give it 5 stars if there were more epic mountain views on the way up—it is mostly a forest view til the end.

Still heavy patches of snow 5 miles in. We probably could have mushed through it to the top but the snow and thunderstorms moving in got us to turn around.

28 days ago

It looks like something from a movie - really pretty!

Goat Lake was an amazing hike! I took the upper trail to the lake and the lower trail back down. both trails were in good condition. It’s 11 miles round-trip but very scenic. Slight elevation in the first 4 miles however the last mile takes some work. Beautiful place to camp overnight or hang out for the day. Saw some bear scat but never saw the bear.

30 days ago

Really cool hike, with epic views. Bring your bug stuff, mosquitos were really bad. Still patches of snow up top (6/17/18) that obscure the trail, but only for a few hundred feet. Dozens of trees blocking the trail make for some good exercise! Try not to beat your own trail at these spots.

This isn't a hike for those in search of amazing views along the trail. You will be in the forest for the duration of the hike until reaching the lakes. The lakes are awesome and well worth the hike. This hike does allow for the option of adding 2.6 miles to summit Scott Mountain. This will give you amazing views of the Cascades. I did this hike in mid June and didn't run into any other hikers. There is still a bit of snow, but its melting pretty quick.

1 month ago

First of all no black bear Elliot sightings we were warned by the ranger an aggressive bear was on the loose. The parking lot was packed which we expected. We took the lower Elliot trail to the lake. It was wonderful well kept and we had it mostly to ourselves which was surprising. The lake and mountains were stunning we sat lakeside to eat lunch honestly everything I’d hoped! Lived up to the hype! . We were surrounded by mosquitoes I’m sure after this week of warm weather it will be worse. We decided to take the upper Elliot trail back for the full experience. Not much for views felt like a road and it was much longer.

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