Goat Mountain Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Clark Fork, Idaho that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
4,330 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips







over grown



off trail

Goat Mountain is described in some older hiking guides as the steepest trail in Idaho. In less than 3 miles, the trail gains 4,000 feet. Loose sand and gravel, found in many places on the lower trail, compounds the challenge. Open slopes filled with grass and brush often obscure the trail. The lack of tree canopy means you will sweat heavily in the summer sun. This is another trail with no source of water. All this means that few hikers travel this route, so near the top, in the trees, the trail often just disappears and the intrepid traveler will need to know something about cross country route finding. This is a difficult trail, only recommend for strong and experienced hikers who are able to maintain a good attitude. On top of Goat Peak you will be rewarded with a Goats Eye view of Scotchman Peak and the ridge line north all the way to Scotchman II. Lake Pend Oreille lays magnificently out before your feet. As hard as Goat Mountain is going up, the hike down is even more grueling, especially on aging knees. Consider bushwhacking over to Scotchman Peak or down the ridge line north into Morris Creek. Neither are easy, nor are they impossible. Both are physically demanding and require advanced backcountry navigation skills. It would also help if you have been on Scotchman Peak Or Morris Creek Trail so that you would recognize them when you arrived (they are easy to cross over and miss completely). Of course, if you plan ahead, stashing a car, or arranging a shuttle would be prudent, these are the trips that are made only by big dreamers and even bigger plan makers. If you go: Bring good boots or trail shoes and plenty of water, as the route is dry with no on trail water source. You will need to have a topographic map, compass and the skills to use them. (Hint: Goat Mountain trail closely follows a ridge line all the way to the top.) Snacks or lunch, layers of extra clothing and rain gear are always advisable in the mountains.

2 months ago

This is a great hike but I don't know what was more challenging going up or coming down. The trail is soon to be over grown by huckleberry bushes darn it and has a lot of down trees and over growth about half way. In some locations the trail is hard to see on the up trip but more visible on the way down. I liked this hike for the challenge and the great views. It has a lot to offer for those who are looking for a little more adventure than the common trails. The only people I saw where a couple bow elk hunters. I'd say around the half way point is when the trail kinda falls apart but its pretty easy just keep going up.
I think the next trip will be up and over to Scotsman and down :)

4 months ago

Hiked this trail mid April 2018. Would have given it a 5, but the blizzard that set in as we reached the top precluded any views at all- visibility was only about 5 feet in front of you. Was able to hike about halfway up in Hiking shoes- but required snowshoes the rest of the way. A great trail to know what you’re made of. Because of all the snow- there was no trail so we hiked the ridge line meaning it was more like 9 Miles out and back and each step was pretty grueling. Sleet started falling on the way down- stinging my face- that’s a first on a hike! But the views on the way up - especially of the Clark Fork river were beautiful.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The description of the trail included above is accurate. Plenty of wind-falls across the mid-section of the trial. Yeah, It's a calorie burner. 3.5 hrs in and 2.5 hrs on return to my truck. Bummer, JoRayne couldn't make this trip :(

No goats at the peak. Some Elk along the way at 5,200 ft. Nice weather and minimal wildfire smoke. Worth your time and energy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Great hike... vertical but worth the views at the top.