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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.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 4,330 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Blowdown

Over grown

Scramble

Snow

Off trail

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

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.

Take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint) to Clark Fork. Turn north at the Chevron Station and follow Lightning Creek Road 419. The trail head is about 3 miles in (right after the grizzly bear sign) and marked only with a small sign with number 135 and a logo of two hikers. Park, carefully, on the roadside.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (15)
Photos (28)
Recordings (8)
Completed (25)
Michelle Linehan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
Over grown

Hiked today. Not a drop of snow. Got to the top and 3 1/2 hours and down in about 2 and a 1/2. Was amazed how overgrown everything was. Lost the trail numerous times after the saddle to get to the peak. More bushwhacking than I had expected

laure le bourgeois
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Very steep hike with beautiful views and flowers all along the trail. There was snow after an hour 1/2 of climbing which made reaching the first summit an interesting challenge

Christian Schwalbach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRocky

Pros: Challenging, good training trail, close to Clark Fork town, Views of lake from open sections Cons: Trail is poorly maintained, Can be challenging to follow route, Loose rock and dirt in some sections I did this trail in late Sep 2019, on a mixed sunny and cloudy day. After my 3rd attempt in a year to locate the trail head, I finally found it with assistance of a forest service map, and attempted to hike it, however I lost the trail in a thicket of huckleberry bushes around 5,000 feet level, and turned around. (1,000 feet short of top) That said, I enjoyed the challenge of this trail and route finding was easier than I anticipated due to sparse vegetation until I became stuck. The trail is not regularly maintained, though, and precautions are warranted due to sections of loose soil, and steep drop offs in some ridge line sections. The first half of the ascent is relatively exposed to sun and wind, and hikers need to bring their own water supply unless there happens to be snow available to melt. Overall this is a challenging trail that is best for fit hikers looking to build ascending ability and endurance, along with offering an alternative to the neighboring, and much more utilized Scotchman peak route.

Serg Bogdanov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2019
HikingOff trailOver grownRocky

Great hike but didn’t see any goats. Ton of huckleberries. At places, the trail is a bit washed out. Definitely have to use the app for guidance.

View Serg's Recording
Bill Grace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2018
Hiking

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 :)

Michelle G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2018

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.

Wally Loucks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2017
Hiking

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.

Patricia Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2017
First to Review

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

Irina J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking
View Irina's Recording
Donna Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
Cross Country Skiing
Lady Quicci
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2020
Hiking
View Lady's Recording
Sophie McMahon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 6, 2020
Hiking
View Sophie's Recording
Shalyse Ahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
Hiking
View Shalyse's Recording
Becca Copeland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
Hiking
View Becca's Recording
Becca Copeland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 26, 2019
Snowshoeing
View Becca's Recording