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Goat Lake - Elliott Creek Loop Trail #647

Our Hiking Time: 5h 30m
Total Ascent: 1600ft
Highest Point: 3200ft
Total Distance: 10.5 miles
Location: N 48° 1.1040, W 121° 20.9640
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Difficulty: Moderate

Nathan's PhotoThis week found us back out on the Mountain Loop Highway trekking up the Elliott Creek Trail to Goat Lake. A sunny summer day was the perfect chance to tackle a popular hike that has something for everyone – history, waterfalls, and an alpine lake. It felt like maybe, just maybe, summer had finally arrived.

Popular with both day hikers and backpackers, Goat Lake sees some significant traffic on summer weekends. And it’s easy to see why. While the trail is on the longer side, the grade is mostly gentle and the trail is clear and well-maintained, making this hike approachable for most goat lake elliott creek hikingwithmybrotherhikers. The destination is stunning; on a sunny day the reflection of snow-covered mountaintops in the lake is an impressive sight. And, if that wasn’t enough, getting a close-up look at massive MacIntosh Falls is more than worth a four mile hike. We recommend this hike for almost everyone, though be prepared to share the views if you go on a weekend.

There's a lot more to Goat Lake and Elliot Creek, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington.  You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!

To get there, take I-5 North to Exit 194. Follow Highway 2 for about two miles. Stay in the left lane and merge onto Lake Stevens Highway 204. Follow for two miles to Highway 9. Take the left onto Highway 9 toward Lake Stevens. In just under two miles, you’ll reach Highway 92 to Granite Falls. Take a right and follow for about nine miles to the Mountain Loop Highway. Follow the MLH for a little over 30 miles to the end of the pavement. Continue another three and a half miles to FR 4080. Take a right and follow FR 4080 about a mile to the Elliott Creek Trailhead. – Nathan

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Goat Lake Elliott Creek Loop


Waterlover said...

Thank you for the thorough trip reviews. I appreciate them! It would be awesome if you could include the green trails map used for each trail alongside the other specs. I plan to bookmark your site to research future hikes as you are very thorough in your review. - waterlover

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite hike so far along the mountain loop highway. Have hiked it late spring, summer and fall and have never been disappointed. The fall foliage in October was incredible with perfect mirror image in goat lakes glassy water, and when I went in October, no one else was at the trail, so had it all to myself. Highly recommend this hike! PS. The goats are still there. rebecca

Jer said...

Rebecca, this hike is definitely one of our favorites as well. Jealous you got to see the goats!

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