With a sunny day in early March and the bikes out of commission for a few days we set off to check out Goat Lake. Located about 31mi east of Granite Falls out Mt. Loop highway, nestled between Foggy peak and Sloan peak. Approach is fairly level with a slight gain as the wide trail winds into the valley before forking giving you an option on what trail you want to take. We took the upper approach headed in and the lower river walk on the way back. There wasn’t much hiker traffic but more than I expected due to how far out it is. As you approach the lake the trail meets up with Elliot Creek, the outlet to the lake, for some pretty waterfalls.
The lake is very picturesque, as are most of the alpine lake in the region, partially frozen it was very calm. The mass of logs near the outlet makes a great picnic spot to take a load off before you start your decent.
Make sure to keep a lookout for the fork in the trail as it is easy to miss on the way down, I would suggest taking the opposite fork on the way back to get more bang for your buck. While not the hardest hike in the area its very doable with spring unconditioned legs. 1400′ feet in total ascent and 10.5mi in length. Put it out your spring list.