Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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!

did this on 7/14/18. still a little bit of snow towards the top, but no need for crampons. gorgeous views

The hike is hard, especially with the steepness and steadiness of the switchbacks, but much worth the view! We hiked in June and there was still snow on top, making it hard to reach the summit without proper gear of grapples and ice picks.

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.

6 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.

6 days ago

It was a beautiful trail. Very easy to walk. My aging mother, and arthritic elderly dog, were both able to handle this trail with no complications. I would classify this more as a walk in the woods than as a hike, but the scenery was beautiful.

on Mount Dickerman Trail

6 days ago

Always a challenge! July 15th, 2018. Started at 1pm. Back to the parking lot 9pm, spent a lot of time on the peak, absolutely stunning views, peaks, snow and green. One regret, forgot insect repellent! The trail is well maintained l. A little snow in the end felt good in hot humid day. Bring a lot of water, mosquito repellents. One note: it’s for sure longer than 5.5 Miles. My phone says over 11 Miles

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

Very miss leading. You have to hike Monte Cristo Trail before you even get there. Views were nice once there not so much getting there.

12 days ago

Great trail! Backpacked my 2 year old the entire 6 miles. Easy, minimal elevation. Beautiful views of the river most of the trip. Shady, sandy beach area towards the end where we stopped for lunch. Only complaint was dog owners not picking up poop.

13 days ago

July 8, 2018: Ah yes, bugs, snow, and VIEWS!!! The snow patches' well beaten paths are passable without spikes or poles; just be cautious of the water below the paths weakening the snow, not that you'll fall to your death or anything, it'd just be an inconvenience. One dead end path to note, but it was an easy remedy.
Other than that it's pretty straight forward. I would call it the lower end of a hard rating.
A clear day like today provides amazing views of Baker, Glacier, Shuksan, and even Rainier.

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 !

15 days 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.

16 days ago

Great hike on the 4th of July! Saw a young black bear on the roadside, about 14 miles in. Popped a tire on rocks about 1/4 mile from the trailhead and got a late start after changing it (don’t drive the road too fast!)
After about a mile into the hike through shaded forest, climbed beautiful sunny green hillside and the flowers are just beginning to pop. Hit lots of snow just before dropping down to the small lakes (ponds?) but easy to find your way. Lots of bugs! After the lakes, we stuck mostly to the trail but saw that others had found various routes through snow up to the lookout. Reached the lookout in 2.5 hours, around 5:30, and only saw one other person beyond the lakes. Amazing views!

17 days 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.

18 days 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.

22 days 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.

24 days 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.

27 days 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.

29 days 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.

1 month ago

I hike this trail every year. Great views and wild flowers for probably the top 1/3 of the trail. Epic 360 views from the top!

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.

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.

1 month ago

This was a great hike, signs mentioned an aggressive bear, we didn’t encounter it. Took lower trail up and upper trail on the way back. Both have great views and the lake is awesome. Lots of mosquitoes at the lake. We went on Saturday and it was heavily used, lots of people but was a great day.

trail running
1 month ago

Lots of fun. Technical in spots. Warning of aggressive bear at campground at the lake, so we brought bear spray and a bell. Didn't see any bears. It was coldish and rainy but beautiful all the same. No problem with bugs.

There's a rootball with an orange ribbon. If you spur 100yds to the right, you get a great view of the falls.

Ranger warned of car break ins at the lot so take any valuables.

1 month ago

We hiked this trail on National Trails Day (6/2). Parking lot was full - the ranger said it was a record day for Goat Lake. The hike was great; I liked the upper trail better than the lower, at least for scenery and waterfalls. It’s also a nicely groomed trail with a gradual incline (decline coming back!). The lower trail is more twisty. I would do it again and bypass the lower trail entirely. The lake was so beautiful, it almost looked fake! We saw the sign about aggressive bear sightings, but didn’t see the bear. It was a crowded day, so he may have stayed hidden. Lots of people and dogs at the lake but the trails never felt crowded. Enjoy!

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