Hike #7: Goat Lake
January 25, 2015
Mileage: ~10.5 roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1400 ft
This was definitely the best hike of the year so far. Clare picked it out and we set out from the Ranch on Sunday morning. Lily and Anna both joined us, and the puppy came along as well. We had to double back to get my camera, but we made it to the trail around 11am.
This trail has a great loop option because it splits into an upper and lower portion for over half of the trail. We took the Upper Elliot trail on the way to the lake. It was a nice path with very gradual elevation gain, and made for a pretty though fairly unremarkable first few miles.
As we carried on we began to see some of the surrounding peaks through the bare branches, and there were a few small waterfalls as well. It was a good choice for the way in.
After the trails joined up again, the path moved through some dense, mossy northwest forest. The light through the trees was particularly incredible.
I spent a sizable portion of the forested walk trying to figure out how to work the phrase “filtered light” into this post.
There were also several lovely giants along this path.
The trail steepened near the end of the forest walk and there were a lot of roots and small streams. There were also a few incredible views of the snowy peaks around.
And then we reached Goat Lake.
It was so still. Slightly iced over, with stunning reflections.
We found a nice spot to sit on the edge of the lake, where there were lots of amazing trees leaning slightly over the water and lending their roots to tired hikers.
On the way back we took the Lower Elliot trail. It was somewhat rougher, more roots and rocks and up and down. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it on the way there, but it was also a little tough on tired legs.
Overall I was glad we picked it because there were these great views of the creek (river?), which was rushing along with incredible power. One can only take so many photos of water before they all begin to look the same, but I really enjoy these.
Definitely a great hike, and the most mileage I’ve done in a day so far. The variety of landscapes along the trail made it really interesting and fun to do in a group as well.