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Goat Lake Trail

Very Difficult
 5.0 (3)

Arguably the best lake and best waterfall the Sawtooths have to offer.


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Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.3

KM

78%

Runnable

8,274' 2,522 m

High

7,472' 2,278 m

Low

823' 251 m

Up

37' 11 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

69%

Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · Geological Significance · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

The trail is unmaintained and consists of a fairly well-beaten path with the occasional cairn that may or may not be the next vector point. Keep in mind that the straight line is not always the best way to the next cairn.

The trail starts off all innocent and cute on a ridge Northeast of Goat Lake while running the Alpine Way Trail. The path is actually quite nice as you head up the ridge to a couple of great photo opportunities. Be sure to take pictures of Goat Creek Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in the Sawtooths. The trail will get tighter and the slope steeper as you come off the ridge to the south side but continue to climb. You find yourself right up under the most incredible sheer walls of rock.

Keep working your way along the cairn as you steadily gain altitude while closing in on the top of the waterfall. At the top of the falls, cross over the creek being careful of slick surfaces and deadly drops. Almost up! Staying to the left of the creek, the trail comes alive with an actual path of sorts. Continue on over slightly better terrain to the lake.

There are tiny pockets in which to bed down here and there if you want to camp. The trail continues along the rocky east shore towards another slightly larger camp spot on the south end of the lake. Take a swim if you are familiar with the ice-cold water and the dangers it holds. Hypothermia can get you even in summer so limit your temp-sapping swim to a reasonable achievement. Unless you are ready to go totally overland with probable peril, this is an out and back trip.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joseph States

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#697

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#9

in Idaho

#697

Overall
27 Views Last Month
236 Since Apr 4, 2020
Very Difficult

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