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Goat Lake Trail

MODERATE 480 reviews

Goat Lake Trail is a 10.6 mile heavily 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

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

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
icy
rocky
snow
13 days ago

Lower Elliot was beautiful, upper was kinda boring. Camped one night and enjoyed the lake reflections and stars. Only about 3 hours of direct sunlight as the sun passed out from and behind the mountains. All in all a great trip!

hiking
27 days ago

easy hike! took us 2hrs up and 2hrs down. no snow anywhere. I would take the lower trail instead once you get to the fork. 2 cars in the lot all day. beautiful green lake.

28 days ago

Nice trail. It is very far into the woods. The dirt road is not the best, but I made it in Camry with no problem. Be prepared for a long hike. Long steady incline, couple of waterfalls, views are great! Lake looks very mystic and pristine condition, so please leave no trace.

hiking
30 days ago

Long ass walk with not much incline. You walk about 4.5 miles only elevating about 1000 ft. The last .5 - 1 mile you elevate 700 ft. Which was my favorite part. I recommend taking the lower Elliot trail if you want a little more of a challenge. The upper trail felt like I was walking through a mall for 3 miles. Lake is beautiful and so are the waterfalls. Make sure you bring a Jeep or lifted car. Lots of potholes for 10 miles to get to the trail.

1 month ago

Mountain loop highway was still open this morning, can't promise for how much longer. Hit the trailhead at 7am, 29 degrees, just cold enough to firm up the muddy spots. Little bit of ice up towards the lake but not bad. Parking lot was full when I got back down the hill so it's a pretty popular walk.

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

A beautiful lake to picnic at and actually pretty easy on the upper trail. The big views are really just at the end, thus 3 stars. The rest is a nice forested trail with very gentle incline. It felt like the only real elevation was the woods near the lake. It took us 11.5 miles to get there, picnic in the sun and head back.

nice lake, nice waterfall

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Great waterfalls & trail is in good condition

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

This was an amazing hike! I arrived at the trailhead around 8:20a on a Friday, 10/11/19. When I saw the forecast was sunny I knew this would probably be the last good Friday weather that I can make so I made adjustments to my schedule. When I arrived at the TH, I was the first car but another showed up shortly afterwards. There are pot holes going to the TH but they’re not that bad if you go slow and take your time. I took the upper trail to the lake and the lower one back. As others have mentioned the upper trail is good on the knees with gradual incline but I spent much of the time walking through spider webs, I guess I was the first one on that trail that day. Not much scenery on the upper trail except for some peeks of the mountains through the trees. When I got to the lake I didn’t see anyone. I think I had it all to myself for awhile. The lake was amazing with the mountainous background covered in snow. Beautiful! It was a little windy but the sunny skies kept things comfortable. I tried following the trail along the lake to the other end but stopped about 3/4 of the way. The trail there had a lot of overgrowth and I had to scramble a little just to get as far as I did. I found a nice rock with an unobstructed view of the lake and mountains to eat my snacks on. It reminded me of Blanca and Colchuck with the turquoise colored water, but not as deep turquoise as them. Anyway I saw maybe 7 people on the way down which was also nice. I will definitely come back next year in the summer and hopefully camp. There seemed to be a lot to explore here. I highly recommend this hike if you like Colchuck and Blanca.

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Great hike on 10/9. The rain from early in the week has made it pretty muddy, but it’s passable. Some snow up at the lake but not much on the ground. Saw a bald eagle! It was beautiful from start to finish. Highly recommend.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Surprised to see 4-5 cars at the trail head when we arrived around 10:30 am on a Tuesday. Porta Potty at trailhead was decent, considering most. Parking required Northwest Forest Pass. Decided to take the upper Elliot trail at the fork, which was fairly flat with steady incline. The elevation gain didn't happen until a mile or so from the lake. Stopped at the waterfall for a snack, so tranquil. The lake was beautiful at the top, the tree leaves with fall colors and the mountains with snow were a mirror on the lake. On the way down, we took the lower Elliot trail which lead us along the river, through streams and over bridges (much more scenic on the lower trail) lots of different mushrooms growing too!! We clocked 10.2 miles round-trip..I will do this again maybe in spring..enjoyable fall hike

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

I came to Goat Lake on a Thursday afternoon and pretty much had the trails to myself! Took upper trail up, lower trail down. Upper was 5.6miles and 2 hours to get to the lake with not much scenery- very flat and easy trail until the last mile or so to the lake which was steep. Some pretty little mushrooms and frogs hopping along the trail if you look around. The lake is breathtaking on a foggy day with the snowy mountain and autumn colors reflecting off the lake. Lower Elliot down was 4.9miles and took 1:40. Much more scenic / enjoyable route, also some muddy spots! I took my 13lb pup and she handled the trails like a champ. Came back to the lot and another car had a ticket for no National forest pass, so come prepared!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

So first this is an amazing trail for hiking & I cant wait to backpack it. I will say I was confused by some of the reviews. I clocked 9.6 from the parking lot to the waterfall & back. In my opinion it started getting steep about 3/4 of a mile before the waterfall. Lots of roots & rocks to get up & over. I took the upper Elliot creek trail up & the lower down. I reccomend switching that up if you have bad knees like me. The upper trail is much smoother. The lower is so pretty, but not as easy on bad knees. We went with light rain & with the tree cover didn't need to put rain gear. We saw ppl but I'd still say lightly trafficked. My 11yr old son easily did the hike. :)

hiking
3 months ago

If your into trail running this trail will not disappoint

hiking
3 months ago

A 10 + mile RT hike through a variety of woodlands. Gentle incline until the last mile as you come to and pass the waterfall, then you gain most of the elevation. Brushy in places. Roots and rocks in the steep last mile. Quite negotiable . The lake and Cadet Peak are well worth the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike to stunning lake! Saw 4 people in trail and a couple swimming.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike to Goat Lake today (Monday). Only saw 12 people for the entirety of the 9+ mile hike. Arrived at the trail head at 8am and 4 cars were there. Took the low trail to and from the lake and LOVED hiking next to the rushing cascade of water on both the ascent and decent. There are a couple of left turns that would be easy to miss between the merger of the high and low trails and the lake. Look for the cairns and, at the second left, a little ribbon tied to the roots of a fallen tree. The lake was stunning. Actually heard a rock slide somewhere as we relaxed near the lake. Long drive to the TH, but well worth it!!

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