Day Hiking: North Cascades
by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
© Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
The parking lot at the Goat Lake TH was quite full. The weather was cloudy with only a couple noted sunbreaks the entire time. The trail to Goat lake was easy and the elevation gain was relatively minimal. The waterfall below the lake was stunning and much larger than I anticipated! The lake was beautiful, but a bit crowed upon first arrival. I hiked around the lake on a narrow, overgrown trail to some rocks where I rested for almost 2 hours and ate lunch. I kept hoping for the sun to make an appearance, but it didn't. The scenery was fabulous, and other than slipping a few times, the hike back to the TH was fine. My boots were caked with mud, which made gaining traction in spots difficult. I would like to see Goat Lake again on a sunny day, but all and all it was a nice hike.
The trail was excellent. If you take upper then lower or vise versa you can have a nice change of scenery on teh way out and back. Overall the trail is quite easy with steady elevation gains/losses. The last 3/4 mile or so is up a rather steep bit as you climb out of the valley up to the lake along the falls. Once through this little nasty bit though you are rewarded with a rather pretty lake scene. The water was warm enough to swim in and provided a very refreshing mid day respite from the heat. There were several hikers along the trail but it never felt crowded as I have seen other reviews say. People were very pleasant.
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