Elliott Creek Trail is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Darrington, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.
Directions from Verlot: Travel east on the Mt. Loop Hwy. 19.5 miles, then take the road to the left at Barlow Pass and continue 3.3 miles to Elliott Creek Road #4080. Turn right and continue 0.8 miles to the trailhead at the gate.
Based on my experience this day I would highly recommend this trail. My measurements for the day were 12.6 miles out and back, and a total ascent of 1871'. About 200 yards or so from the trailhead one is presented with two options, Upper and Lower Elliot Creek Trails. I would recommend the Lower Elliot outbound, and the Upper Elliot for your return. Much of Lower Elliot parallels Elliot Creek, and the creek was roaring on this day. Sight and sound was absolutely beautiful. Lower Elliot was muddy and slippery in spots, nothing to be concerned about with decent traction and maybe trekking poles. The hike to the Goat Lake is worth the experience all by itself, but the added beauty of the lake and its surrounding peaks makes the hike exceptional. Although I didn't investigate, there are campsites just off trail as you reach the edge of the lake. Continue to follow the trail along the left-hand edge of the lake. You'll end up on a small peninsula, void of tall trees. From this point, you can see a few hundred yards further up the left-hand side of the lake a decent size cascade flowing into the lake. There is an absolutely perfect spot to kickback and rest at the base of this cascade. It's a sizable rock ledge, like a balcony over the edge of the lake. The few hundred yards of trial to get to this spot can be difficult. It's not technical, but does require sure-footedness. There is a bit of hand-over-foot work necessary as well. When you get to the cascade, you will have to cross water. Rocks and tree remnants make crossing relatively simple. I didn't get wet. I believe the effort to get to this rock balcony is well worth it. On your return, at the divergent point I'd recommend taking Upper Elliot. It's a leisurely return to the trailhead. Much of Upper Elliot is an old road bed. This trail is well worth the effort!