Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Darrington with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days 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.

Great trail but easily could be a difficult designation. The hike up to white pass is no joke. Great views on clear days, definitely a must do hike...

hiking
9 days 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
11 days 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
13 days 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 :)

Day one from trailhead to White Pass is a hard push up, up, up through endless switchbacks. I was rewarded with the most awesome spring trickling down the mountain as I reached the Pacific Crest Trail. The campsite was buggy, so my $1.50 mosquito head net was totally worth it, Wearing long sleeves and long pants were also necessary due to biting flies. However, the temperature was about 70 degrees despite being 91 degrees down in Darrington.
Day 2 was my favorite due to plentiful wild flowers still in bloom and tons of marmots scrambling along directly on the trail. We never had to filter water at the stagnant ponds; there were trickling springs at multiple spots. There is a good one immediately after leaving the PCT and heading towards Pilot Ridge. We took the high route to Blue Lake. It is a strenuous, fully exposed hike, but doable. We only lost the trail at the very top for a bit. We easily re-found the trail. (I would NOT do this route in snow.) The camp sites are good. The lake is beautiful. It was refreshing to soak my feet.
On Day 3, we totally missed the trail leaving Blue Lake, because there are many crisscrossing trails through camp.. We had heard of this based on reviews on other websites and we STILL missed the trail. This is where Alltrails SAVED me. I was recording the route on my phone. I could see where I was and where I was supposed to be. We just headed in the direction we needed to go across a random wild flower laden mountainside. We could not see the trail until we were five feet from it. So again, the Alltrails app saved me. The rest of the day was not very spectacular. It is mostly just a lot of downward hiking. When you reach the river at the bottom, there is not bridge -- jsut fallen logs. When you cross the logs, there is no trail up to the trail that takes you home. You have to bushwack your your way to the trail.

backpacking
17 days 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.

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

hiking
20 days 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.

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

backpacking
21 days 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
25 days 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
28 days 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
29 days 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.

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

We came down from BC to do this over the weekend! Got a late start (6:45) - we took upper Elliot trail on the way up and it took us 2hr15min. Got there just in time to watch the sunset behind the lake and find a spot for our tent before dark. It was busy but no problem finding a place to camp. We took lower Elliot on the way down and it was nice walking by the creek (1hr 45 min).
We didn’t see the bear !

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! We didn’t see the bear. We climbed up to the top and went swimming in the lake. Seven chipmunks came and visited us and ran all around. We took upper Elliot up and lower Elliot down. I thought both trails were super cool and would recommend doing both.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this on 07/04/18. I got to the trail head around 7 am. I reached the lake around 9:30. I took Upper Elliot to the lake and Lower Elliot back. I didn't encounter the bear or mountain lion. I was early enough that I had the lake to myself and I passed a few hikers on my decent.

1 month ago

Goat Lake is a beautiful hike! I have been wanting to come here for a long time, and would definitely do it again!
On the way up, you are met with a choice of taking either Upper Elliott or Lower Elliott trails. I would definitely recommend Upper Elliott both ways, or at least Upper Elliot to go up. The Upper Elliott trail is mostly flat, with gradual include, and mostly dirt trail. You’ll run into some water crossings of streams, but it is definitely the better option of the two trails. The trail is not marked well. When you get to a point where you’re not sure where to go - stay to the left!!! Once you’re finally there, the views and scenery is just gorgeous!
On the way down, we took Lower Elliott. It was very rocky, lots of roots, up and down inclines/declines, but for a stretch did have the roaring river over the boulders to see. If I go again, I am definitely taking Upper Elliott both ways.

Beautiful hike, is mostly covered by trees on either trail you take. Bring bear spray (just in case), bug spray, and dry cloth in case you’re brave to wade or jump in the lake at the top!

Great hike, killer views up at the lake. Was carrying a 40lbs pack and indefinitely recommend the upper trailbon the way in and the lower trail on the way down. Elliot the bear was in our camp the night before and was up the hill from us watching what we were doin. Never came down to our knowledge. Great overnight spot.

Great trail, we took Upper Elliot on our way up and Lower Elliot on our way down, which was the best thing to do. Trail gets steeper and a little challenging for inexperienced hikers on its last 2/3 miles. The lake is amazing and the view is totally worth the hike. Unfortunately it was raining, but I’ll definitely go back when the weather is nicer. We heard a bear on our way up, so beware.

We got there around 9am on a Sunday and the parking lot was already packed. Make sure you get there early.

Great trail with a wonderful view. Started the hike around 1pm and took Upper Elliot on the way up which is definitely the way to go. It is a more gradual incline. We took Lower Elliot on the way down which was steeper but was a much more scenic view. Once we got to the lake, we walked along it to find a spot to sit and relax. There were plenty of small access points which offered everyone to have a small private beach. The lake was stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is very well maintained and the views are unreal. The hike itself isn’t too hard incline-wise, but it’s all of 11 miles round trip. The lake is stunning - worth all of the miles. Treat yourself to these views.

hiking
1 month ago

Important: Rangers were handing out citations like Halloween, so make sure you have the northwest forest or America the Beautiful pass. The discover pass doesn't count and will get you a ticket.

About the trail, it is in a great condition, I did the lower trail to the lake and upper on the way back. Its a simple hike about 10 miles round trip, depending on your gadget it might vary a bit.

Not a lot of people on Sunday, there were a few at the lake. Loads of parking near the trail head.

Water level seemed lower as compared to prior years and a lot more cloudier, but the first view of the lake & the mountains, just makes it all worthwhile.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful sites along the way...waterfalls, forest, meadows of alders and wildflowers. The gravel road had potholes but I navigated it with a small car. The parking lot was full at 8:45 am on a Saturday so others started parking along the road. The trail was in great condition. We took the lower trail on the way up and the upper trail on the way back. We did not see "Elliott" the bear but did see some scat on the trail. The lake was gorgeous even though it was foggy and we could not see the mountain range. This is a very popular trail and we passed a lot of people coming up when we headed back.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike, really well maintained trail and amenities. Did the upper trail today and it was just great. A few small creek crossings though, so waterproof shoes are recommended but not necessary. Beautiful lake/mountain combo, one of the best I’ve seen. Definitely recommend camping too since it’s so nice up and there are many solid places to set up camp. Seemed much less crowded than Lake 22 and other hikes in the area. Parked right out front with spots to boot. Would give it 5 stars if there were more epic mountain views on the way up—it is mostly a forest view til the end.

hiking
1 month ago

It looks like something from a movie - really pretty!

Goat Lake was an amazing hike! I took the upper trail to the lake and the lower trail back down. both trails were in good condition. It’s 11 miles round-trip but very scenic. Slight elevation in the first 4 miles however the last mile takes some work. Beautiful place to camp overnight or hang out for the day. Saw some bear scat but never saw the bear.

hiking
1 month ago

First of all no black bear Elliot sightings we were warned by the ranger an aggressive bear was on the loose. The parking lot was packed which we expected. We took the lower Elliot trail to the lake. It was wonderful well kept and we had it mostly to ourselves which was surprising. The lake and mountains were stunning we sat lakeside to eat lunch honestly everything I’d hoped! Lived up to the hype! . We were surrounded by mosquitoes I’m sure after this week of warm weather it will be worse. We decided to take the upper Elliot trail back for the full experience. Not much for views felt like a road and it was much longer.

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