dogs on leash
2 stars because my buddy brought me to Iron Goat Trail in March. Word to the uninitiated: the trail is covered in snow in March. The trailhead could not be reached by vehicle, but there is a gravel road accessable by a private parking lot, which you must call and ask permission to use. I called the number on the sign at the parking lot around 11AM and got permission, no problem. Just had to text my licence plate number to the lot attendant. The gravel road which leads you up to the trail head was recently plowed, so it was only a moderately difficult 5 mile hike up (we hiked a few mikes past the trailhead for the loop). Overall, it was a beautiful hike along the creek and then up the mountain. However, trudging through the snow for 10 miles overall (out and back) with a 30lb pack (for training purposes) left my calves sore and cramped for the entire next 36 hours. The actual Iron Goat Trail, when we finally found it, it was several feet buried under snow. Beautiful, but not really do-able in early March. Maybe in early April the trail conditions will be different, if most of the snow has melted by then. Not sure, but it seems like such a cool hike, so I'd love to try again, ASAP. Two stars obviously isn't any fault of the trail itself -- just don't go in early March and make the same mistake that I did!! Thankfully it was a beautiful day and still quite scenic and enjoyable.
GO HERE! This hike has it all. A waterfall, lush green forest, an alpine lake and a killer view. It was really difficult. Like climbing 2 stairs at a time for a couple miles. I saw some older people doing it and some people in flip flops doing it (wouldn't recommend that) so I guess where there's a will there's a way! There's a pay box in the parking lot (parking is a difficult situation) so have cash ready.
This trail was hard! Make sure to stop off and see Bridal Veil falls along the way. I would recommend hiking on to Lake Serene in the summer. Bring your sunglasses! The sun reflecting off the lake is blinding. In the winter, the lake is not Serene at all; I experienced 60mph winds and all the water in my CamelBack hose froze solid.
Trail was covered in hard pack snow and ice. Microspikes would have been a good idea, pretty challenging without them but doable. The lake was frozen with a coating of snow over it so in my opinion the view wasnt as good as it is in the summer time, basically just looked like a field of snow you couldnt go walk in.
My friend & I did this hike a couple months ago & it was great! The first couple of miles were flat land so we thought it would be easy, but we were wrong once we hit mile 3 or 4. It is most definitely the most beautiful hike I have been on in Washington. My friend & I accidentally cut through a wrong area when the trail gets less maintained & went much much higher than most, but I was just as pretty then too. (I am 90% sure this is the hike I am thinking of.)
Did this a week ago.... the trail was icy the whole way up.. powder(1-4 feet ) last 1/2 mile... I highly recommend spikes though my hiking partner made it to the top and back with no traction.. The trail is pretty easy-going and relatively flat until you pass the lower Falls. After that, it's a pretty steep incline. I hike/climb regularly and I found this to be a pretty tough run. But of course, well worth the effort. Pro tip: tried to get to the trailhead very early… The sun was already behind Mount index by 11 AM
Amazing hike in 4 inches then about 4-5 feet at the top of snow on Jan 11th. Came prepared, layers and had lunch at the lake (CHILLY!)
The waterfalls were frozen over and the lake was burried under snow, just beautiful. Difficult to get to the top and took our time since there were points where there was no trail at all.
Full gear recommended for the snow.