Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)


Backpack - Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)

This is a great early season beginning B3 backpacker`s trip to a pretty sub-alpine lake with good camping beneath cliffs and waterfalls. It is a generally easy approach (a little steep at the end) done at a relaxed pace. The campsite is comfortable and has nice views and we will have plenty of time to discuss techniques and equipment and to make any adjustments.

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  • Moderate
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,280 ft

9:30 AM at Verlot Public Service Center, Mountain Loop Highway

Once the site of a mining town, Goat Lake has history and scenic views. Two trails to Goat Lake start at elevation 1,900 ft at the Elliott Creek Road No. 4080 trailhead; the upper is an old logging road, the lower follows Elliott Creek through old growth forest. The trails meet at 2650 ft after moderate elevation gains, enters a mature cedar forest, and the Henry M Jackson Wilderness. Hug Elliott Creek`s bank, stopping to admire McIntosh Falls, as the trail steepens the last half mile. The camping area is near the lake outlet (5 miles, elevation 3,161 ft, for a gain of 1,261) at the site of the old mining town hotel. Maps: Green Trails #111 Sloan Peak. Area designation: Henry M Jackson Wilderness. Land Manager: Darrington Ranger district. Northwest Forest Pass required. Access the Mountain Loop Highway from Darrington in early season as the access from Barlow Pass on Mountain Loop Highway is not cleared of snow.

I am a long-time navigation instructor, so can also discuss and practice navigation techniques if anyone likes.

This will be a dog-friendly (and friendly dog) event, with at least one mature Golden Retriever.


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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