Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)


Backpack - Goat Lake (Monte Cristo)

This is a great early season beginning 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. While open to all Mountaineers, this trip is designed to offer Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) students extra coaching and skills/gear practice.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,261 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,161 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 feet.  After moderate elevation gains, the trail enters a mature cedar forest and the Henry M Jackson Wilderness. We will hike along 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.  The trip leader is a long-time navigation instructor, so can also discuss and practice navigation techniques if anyone likes.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

Maps: Green Trails #111 Sloan Peak.
Area designation: Henry M Jackson Wilderness.
Land Manager: Darrington Ranger district.
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.



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
Trip Reports