Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)


Backpack - Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)

Preference to B3 students until April 6 with leader permission required. This is a relaxed early season beginning backpack. We’ll hike along Elliott Creek through mature forest, enjoying the soft trail underfoot and sounds of rushing water as we cross scenic bridges and pass cascading waterfalls. We’ll camp near the lovely sub-alpine lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains where, on a clear day, the views and reflections are stunning!

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft

We will meet 9a at the Monroe P&R fully equipped and ready for a two day backpack.

There is no cell service anywhere along the Mountain Loop Highway so carpools are strongly  encouraged and solo drivers will be asked to caravan. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Leader will have an InReach for emergency communication.

More information including Gaia track will be provided to participants.

This is an early season backpack suitable for B3 students able to hike 5-8 miles with 2K gain at a 1.5 mph pace carrying a fully loaded backpack.  Leader permission is required. Preference to B3 students until April  6.

Once the site of an old mining town, Goat Lake is a popular day hike and great beginning backpack trip when the Mountain Loop Highway is open, often late May through early October.

Day 1 we'll follow the forested trail along Elliott Creek while climbing gradually, passing numerous rapids and waterfalls, before entering a mature cedar forest and the Henry M Jackson Wilderness. About 5 miles in, we'll reach the lake and set up in established camps. There are backcountry toilets and water is easily accessible both along the route and at camp. 

On a clear day, the lake is shimmering blue and mirrors the surrounding mountains and snow-capped peaks. Rocky promontories along the shore provide popular picnic and photo spots by day and places of stillness and solitude when day hikers head back and the quiet is unbroken. 

Day 2 our return completes the "lollipop" following an old logging trail through a younger forest interspersed with meadow then rejoins the spur trail back to the parking area.

Maps: Green Trails #111 Sloan Peak. Henry M Jackson Wilderness. Darrington Ranger district. Northwest Forest Pass required.


Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
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