The Goat Lake
Trail starts from the Snowshoe Trail
about 2.9 miles from the Snowshoe Trail
trailhead at Red Rock Canyon. Goat Lake
Trail begins by climbing through the thick fir forest. Views of Anderson Peak and other mountains can be glimpsed through the trees.
After about .8 miles, the trail emerges from the trees onto a steep, rocky mountain side. The trail is exposed, narrow, strewn with gravel, and tilts sideways as it traverses this mountain side. At the end of this traverse are a few bushes that provide welcome hand holds, and then a few switchbacks.
At these switchbacks, the trail becomes less precarious - less exposed, a bit wider, and no longer tilting sideways down the mountain. Looking up towards Goat Lake
is a tall narrow waterfall that is the Goat Lake
output stream. Goat Lake
is above the top of this waterfall, although one can't see it yet. Also, from this vantage point, looking out across the Bauerman Creek Valley (the valley Snowshoe Trail
goes through) one can see a line of peaks - Anderson Peak, Lost Mountain, and Mt. Bauerman (left to right).
After the switchbacks on the open mountain side, the trail re-enters forest and continues to climb until it reaches Goat Lake
's output stream behind the top of the waterfall. The stream is shallow with plenty of rocks for crossing. Cross the stream and pick up Goat Lake
Trail on the other side. The rest of the trail is relatively flat and through trees. Goat Lake
is reached after a few hundred more yards. There is a primitive campsite here, and one can wander among the trees and down to Goat Lake
's shore. The far side of Goat Lake
is the wall of Avion Ridge and peaks of the Continental Divide.
On most Waterton maps, you'll notice that it appears that a trail continues to the summit of Newman Peak, however once you get past the lake, the scramble to the ridge is unmaintained, and can potentially be dangerous. Make sure you're prepared before continuing further!