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Goat Lake and Goat Falls via Iron Creek Trail, Alpine Way Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(174)
Sawtooth Wilderness

Goat Lake and Goat Falls via Iron Creek Trail, Alpine Way Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.1 mi Elevation gain 1,788 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Off trail

Description
Waypoints (0)
Tips

This hike starts on a well defined trail and ends with a scramble. The entire hike is uphill and the end is the most challenging, but the views along the way and the lake itself are well worth the hard work. Can be done as a day hike, day trip from Sawtooth Lake, or as a backpacking trip. See the tips section for more help!

1) Granite wall - there is easier access to start your climb into the scree field - still a granite wall but with "Steps" that make an easier climb. Once you are at the spot just at/before the falls where you see the big granite wall to your right - keep walking straight and to the right as the trail bends around the granite wall. Where the granite butts up against the scree field you will see some natural formed steps that make it easier to climb up the wall into the scree field. 2) YOU DO NOT NEED TO CROSS THE BOULDER FIELD TO GET TO THE LAKE!! There is a shorter/easier route. At the top of the scree field - you'll be above the top of the falls just entering the boulder field. Look to your left for the beaver dam that is above the falls in shallow/calm water. That beaver dam is where you will cross on the LEFT side of the water/creek. Once you spot the beaver dam, you will easily see the trail the leads from where you are standing through a wooded area to that beaver dam. Once you cross the beaver dam it's a short easy hike to the lake 3) The All Trails map/location indicator is spot on - there are a couple places in the scree field where we used the indicator to make sure we were still on trail. It winds around a bit in there - so the location indicator was a good confidence marker. 4) The last mile of the hike is definitely the most difficult part. There's a good section of steep gravel leading up to the first waterfall overlook. When you get to the rock wall on your right if you continue walking the base of the wall you will find the more staircase type section that is easier to go up, and that will be the start of the steepest part of the hike. Once you get to the waterfall overlook it is easy to miss the easier trail leading through the woods, so on the way up we went through the rock field. You can definitely avoid this by trying to stay as far to the left following up the waterfall and then you will find a beaver dam to cross above the falls. In that section there are a few times that it will look like the trail has ended but it hasn't, just keep pushing along and there are multiple different ways through the trees. Once you get to the falls you are pretty close so if you've made it that far, keep pushing on because it's definitely worth making that last little climb.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (174)
Photos (274)
Recordings (126)
Completed (267)
Laura Gamble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 14 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

Amazing trail. The first 3 miles are moderate and beautiful through the forest. The last mile is very difficult climbing up and scrambling a very steep Sandy and Rocky hill to get to the top of the Falls and then to the amazingly beautiful lake. Last mile of trail not always easy to find, but AllTrails map nailed it. Super helpful! Beautiful lake!

Jamie Nicholson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Scramble

Hiked on 07/04/20. A great hike with lots of wildflowers. The last mile is definitely the hardest, step and a bit sketchy (be careful). Look for the log jam at the top of the waterfall to cross over the creek to the lake. Saw some trout in the lake. Take a fly rod!

Nicky O'Reilly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

This was a beautiful hike! Amazing views, especially once you turn on to the trail toward Marshall Lake/Goat Lake. Like the other reviews say - it is a tough hike at the end! Lots of loose grave on steep inclines, followed by rock scrambles. It took me about an hour to go the last mile up to the lake. But it is worth the effort! Although I had my dogs with on this hike, I would probably leave them at home the next time- but if you do bring the pups, they will likely need a water break on the final push up to the lake.

Jami Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Truth: This hike is a nice moderate hike until you get to the falls. Once you start the trek toward the lake prepare to be challenged. You will scramble through very loose rock in an area known for landslides and earthquakes. With the amount of traffic and complete lack of preparation on the part of some hikers,I'm surprised nobody has died yet. Bring a buddy who's done this before. Be cautious and know your skill level before beginning. The worst part? Out of town idiots who see this hike on Instagram and head out with flipflops and 16 oz of water in the heat of the day. Or the family who let's their 14 and 10 year old get so far ahead of them that they're asking strangers if they are ok. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN PEOPLE! Oh and please bring your dogs but ONLY if you will provide them with water DURING the hike not just "at the top." And if you are privileged enough to have a dog, use that privelage to PICK UP THEIR POOP! The upside? The Lake is beautiful and the scenery along the way is serene. Enjoy our natural resources and remember It's a gift. Be smart. Don't be an idiot.

Mary Heckel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

Great hike, over traveled despite the words of caution in a version of Margaet Fuller's bok that references this as the most dangerous hike in the book and that the last push to the lake is like walking on ball bearings. Also, I was shocked at the number of people in tennis shoes, no trekking poles, and with young children. I would NEVER do this hike without trekking poles and high lace up hiking boots. I have waited 20+ years of hiking the Sawtooths to finally tackle this one and I am glad I did, but I am discouraged that others didn't use as much caution. The parking lot was full of out of state cars despite the pandemic.

Gmanju101 .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 13 2020

Completed on 6/12 in just under 3 hours round trip, honestly last section took nearly an hour during the steep incline since trail was nonexistent. Wanted to take a rest by the lake but the mosquitos would eat you alive. Nice hike but this early in the year not nearly as impressive as Sawtooth lake area or other alpine lakes.

Amanda Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 12 2020
HikingBugsRockyScrambleSnow

Hiked 6/11/2020. The weather was perfect and saw tons of wildflowers. There was quite a bit of snow towards the very end that made it a little difficult to navigate, probably would have been easier to do in July, but would have been hot on the final climb. The trail is easy to follow for the most part, the last part you just weasel your way up through rocks, don’t be too concerned following the map. The last mile is very strenuous, certainly not for young kids, dogs, or low fitness level. Lake was mostly slush, could see down to the bottom on the edges and saw some fish. Water way to cold to stand in for more than five seconds... but felt good on tired feet. Took six hours total, about five of hiking. From the parking lot it is five miles one way to the lake making it ten miles total. The 8.1 miles is based off a fork a mile in. Overall I think it was a bit long of a hike for just an typical alpine lake which is why I gave it three stars. The waterfalls and lake just didn’t have a big awe factor for me.

View Amanda's Recording
James Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 29 2020
HikingSnow

Fun hike, as someone already said, there were footprints in the snow, but those were created by us. When we got there, everything was still snowed over. We traded the leader because they were the one who had to deal with the occasional spot where they would sink up to their waist. Leading wasn't a ton of fun, but walking in the footprints was much easier. Beautiful view from the top though which made it worth it!

Emily Barber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 29 2020
Hiking

Did this trail on 5/29 and there was still a lot of snow to trek through at the top, lake mostly frozen as expected. I would like to go back and do it again in late summer and try to find a better route through the screw fields as that’s the only spot I struggled to follow using the AllTrails map. Absolutely gorgeous though!

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Frank Herbolsheimer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

Hiked 5/24/2020. No surprise the lake is still completely frozen. At about mile 3.8 the trail is hard to follow and begins a challenging scramble with lots of loose rocks.

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Derek Noble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
HikingMuddyScrambleSnow

Fun hike! I did it 5/23/20 and it was snowy from about halfway to the lake up to the top. The boulder field had footprints in the snow all the way to the lake which was nice. The bottom was a little muddy but nothing too bad! It was all fairly easy up until the last scramble up the scree to the top.

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Mary-Lynn Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 29 2020
HikingOff trailScrambleSnow

Late June 2019 What an amazing hike! The last 2 miles are a scramble up a steep granite rock face. After crossing Upper Goat Falls there was about a foot of snow till the top. Would definitely recommend wearing hiking shoes. By far my favorite hike in the Sawtooths.

Steph Magee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 09 2019
HikingScrambleSnow

11/7/19 - the trail had a good amount of snow. It was pretty easy going until about a 1/4 mile from the lake, then it was straight up and covered in ice. While there were other people’s tracks, we lost them at the stream crossing which definitely made things more difficult. It would have been much easier (I mean, still hard because it’s like straight up) if there hadn’t been snow and ice. I took my two dogs. They didn’t have nearly as difficult of a time as we did. It was absolutely gorgeous though! So so amazing! I’ll definitely be doing this hike again in the summer!

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