Goat Lake Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Darrington, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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.

DISTANCE
10.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,732 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

Please be aware that there have been reports of bear sightings in the area.

hiking
2 days ago

Great long hike with rewarding views at the end. There are beautiful waterfalls along the way.

hiking
10 days ago

Absolutely stunning. We did this hike in a day that was supposed to be rainy but for the most part there were no rain. The trail was very beautiful, it was among these trees, mosses, fallen leaves and ferns. It was one of the most beautiful trails I've seen in Washington.
The hike is super moderate and the gain is very gradual. We did the loop, taking the Upper Elliot trail hiking up and Lower Elliot trail hiking down. My AllTrails app says 11.4 miles total. We walked around the lake too.
At this time of year, there were many waterfalls on the way up and also around the lake itself. All were really gorgeous. I should also mention, we took highway 530 and the tree colors were really beautiful.

hiking
18 days ago

Was intimidated by the length but it was totally worth it. Beautiful. Lots of waterfalls along the way. Trail gets a little sloppy at times, meaning it was unmarked and we were a bit unsure but it was still easy to follow. Towards the end it was a bit uphill and tiring but tolerable. Will for sure recommend. We saw a total of three people the entire hike.

hiking
18 days ago

Really a lot of fun- agree that Lower Elliott is a lot more interesting with water views and lots of up and down. The middle flats are pretty through the birch forests and easy...the switchbacks just below the lake will kick you a little after that but the lake views are worth it.

27 days ago

my dog and I had a wonderful hike. my dog went to swim in the lake and she loved it!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike!! The fallen leaves, old growth forest, interesting mushroom groves, waterfalls, and ending at the the lake. Loved it!

1 month ago

Beautiful place. The hike was easy but a bit long for my daughter and boyfriend. The lower trail is much better than the upper. The lower trail fallows the creek and is up and down The upper trail is a long gentle grade up and a long gentle grade down. It would be great for jogging but it’s not very scenic. The lake was beautiful and the views of the mountains is glorious. I would do it again for sure.

hiking
1 month ago

Wifey and I took the four kiddos on this trek. We had to carry two of them on our backs. The first 2-3 miles were just up hill. The lake at the end was well worth it though!

1 month ago

We hiked this trail Sunday, 10/7. Temperature was in the 50's with a little sprinkle that we really couldn't feel until we reached the lake. Fall is my favorite time to hike to alpine lakes because no bugs, no crowds, and gorgeous foliage. Round trip, this hike took 5 hours with taking about 30 minutes to admire and explore the lake area. We took the lower elliot up and the upper elliot down. To be honest, I wouldn't waste my time with the upper elliot again... it is longer and gravel road-like. The lower elliot runs along the creek and offers diversity and more challenge. Fresh snow appeared to be accumulating on the peaks above the lake! All in all, we enjoyed it; serene and leisurely.
Also, no bears in site.

1 month ago

Amazing

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike last summer in June and it was amazing. I hiked this again yesterday (09/23/18) and it’s just as gorgeous as I remembered. This time it was awesome to see the orange and yellow leaves everywhere. Fall in the PNW is my favorite. We found it is the best route to take lower Elliot there and back. It follows the river and has a lot more to see. It isn’t as flat as upper Elliot but it’s worth it.

backpacking
2 months ago

We went on Sept 2nd for our honeymoon. The trail was great, rugged but definitely worth it!

2 months ago

Great runnable trail to an amazingly scenic lake if the sun is out. Most of the trail is through woods and the bushes along it rub you along the way. Important to note if certain plants give you rashes you may want to wear long sleeves. There is a great waterfall that comes off the lake in the woods. You can get to it by going a bit off trail and following the sound. It’s worth seeing. The trailhead is off Mountain Loop Highway however this highway turns into a dirt road with some large potholes so drive carefully as you’ll likely spend 30 minutes on the dirt road part. You’ll be 35 miles from the nearest gas station or cell service some plan accordingly. There have been bear sightings here too. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, which include some solid Goat Lake pics from a nice sunny day. Great place to camp.

2 months ago

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

2 months ago

Nice Hike. An adolescent bear wandered up the trail while we were having lunch near the mid-point of the lake. We stood tall and made noise and, fortunately, it backed off and chose another route. Definitely our closest encounter with a bear, tho we were intent on eating and weren't making a lot of noise before it came upon us.

Would hike it again, probably skip lunch at the lake.

backpacking
2 months ago

My wife, 120 lbs German Shepherd, and I did this hike. We took upper Elliot the way there (~6.2miles) and t was generally flat, slight incline until about the last mile or so. If you stay on the trail and don’t get distracted by the first waterfall, it’s switchbacks the rest of the way up. However if you get off trail, you likely follow the trail of ‘travelers-lost’ and likely go straight up adding a ton of incline. We did the upper Elliot in about 3.5 hours with back packs.

The lake is worth every bit of the walk. You’re not allowed to camp as close to the water as you would like, but the designated camping area is nice, well-used making most of the sites flat for sleeping.

On the way out we took lower Elliot and it was about ~4.6 miles and that took less than two hours. Much better views than upper Elliot. Many wonderful waterfalls and sounds of water flowing down the river.

This was my wife’s first backpacking trip and she loved it.

backpacking
2 months ago

It was a fabulous backpacking trip. we only stayed one night but it was just right amount hiking. Took my 70 lbs dog with me and he did just fine. we did see some bear tracks but no bear. the views are awesome! well worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

hiking
3 months ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

hiking
3 months ago

It was an awesome hike! We took our young 5 year old and almost 7 year old and they agreed! The waterfalls on the way and the lake at the top was a perfect place for lunch! Can’t wait until they are a little bit older and we can backpack and tent it up there!!

backpacking
3 months ago

It was quite a hike the way up there, but the view was definitely worth it! Took a dip in the cold water - felt amazing after the long hike :)

3 months ago

We went yesterday and had a lot of fun! We did both Upper and Lower Elliott. Lower is the more scenic one, but also a little more difficult, but I'd recommend doing both. It took us about 5 hours total, but we also hung out at the top for an hour or so. We did hear someone say they had seen Elliott the bear on the Lower trail, but sadly, or thankfully, we did not see him. The view is worth the hike and the trail itself is also pretty fun. I will say the road getting there could use a lot of work. We were in a Jeep, but I think any car could make it, just drive slow.

3 months ago

Loved the lake, the waterfalls and the forest. Did not love the bugs.

hiking
3 months ago

A nice scenic easy hike with a great lake view and well-maintained trail. Take Upper Elliot if you want to skip the crowds, but Lower Elliot has better scenery. If you continue to follow the trail after you get to the lake for about a half mile it will get very dense and you'll need to do some easy scrambling, but you'll eventually pop out on a really nice flat rock overlooking the lake that is perfect to dive off of. Worth it? Debatable. Saw several trout come up to the surface to take flies, so if you're into fishing you might want to bring a rod! The black flies were pretty bad on the trail and around the lake when we were there a few days ago. Beware of the bear and everyone trying to get selfies for Instagram.

3 months ago

We didn’t hike it unfortunately. Bear was angerly breaking into the restroom yesterday. Boo.

backpacking
3 months ago

My husband and I loved this place! Totally worth the hike. Clear waters and beautiful mountains reflecting off the lake! Lots of shade along the hike and camp area. The hike up there was tough, as we were carrying heavy packs. A breeze going back though. You'll be hiking mostly along the water if you go the lower Elliot route. It's more scenic than the upper Elliot trail and about a half mile shorter! Lots of mosquitoes on the trail but not really at the lake or camp area. Lacks some signs toward the end, if you get lost by the water fall, back track and look for a trail on your right, it's very close. No signs of Elliot the bear! Saw some salamanders (:

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike! We did it last Saturday (7/14) and really enjoyed ourselves. The trail is extremely well-maintained and flat until the very end, where there’s a slight incline up to the lake. When you reach this part, there’s a fork in the road. We encountered several groups here debating over which route to take, as the trail isn’t clear. They went left, we went right. Left leads you to the trail and up some switchbacks, right leads you past a gorgeous waterfall and there’s a bit of a steep path that eventually leads you up to the trail if you’re willing to climb a bit (bushwhacking). It’s nothing crazy, but if you want to stay on the actual trail, I would go left. The lake itself is gorgeous—when you arrive there, keep walking for a bit past the crowds to find a more secluded spot. Pack a lunch and a raft if you want to hang out in the water. We saw several people floating and I was jealous we forgot to do this!

Like several others have mentioned, there were at least two bears in the area. We saw some fresh scat about a mile outside the lake, and then there was a small black bear wandering around the camp near the lake when we arrived. We didn’t see either, but everyone we talked to had. Bring some bear mace (and a bell if you like) and you should be fine!

hiking
3 months ago

Took this hike this past Sunday, the hike was very beautiful and the dense canopy provided necessary shade in the hot weather. I got to the trailhead at around 3:00, and reached the lake via lower Elliot by 5:30. I ate dinner near the lake and took in the beautiful views, and left the lake around 6:00. I reached the parking lot via the lower Elliot at 7:45 (last car in the lot), but the trail was getting very dark, fast, due to the trees. I did spot two piles of fresh bear poop on the trail and a very large paw print, so that sped my walk back quite a bit. Overall, a very nice hike, I would recommend getting to the trailhead at no later than noon to leave enough time to enjoy the walk, the views, and the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Got there on a Sunday morning around 815 and there were plenty of parking spots available. We took upper Elliot both on the way up and down and got in 11 miles. No bear to be seen! It definitely warmed up by the time we got back to the cars, so bring plenty of water, or there’s plenty of sources for filtering water if need be.

4 months ago

Its a very good hike it’s not that hard I really liked it

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