A pair of trails creates a nice loop trip to a spectacular low-elevation lake with Cadet Peak towering above the headwaters.
Choose between two routes leading toward Goat Lake that join 1.6 miles before reaching Goat Lake. The upper trail leaves the parking lot, following along an abandoned logging road. At 0.25 miles up this main trail a junction leads down toward Elliot Creek.
The lower, hiker-only trail along Elliot Creek passes through beautiful old-growth forest for the first two miles following the former puncheon wagon route developed in the 1890s to access mining claims. The trail climbs through alder forest to meet the upper trail at 3.6 miles.
The upper trail is straightforward from the trailhead, initially passing through young alder and hemlock on easy grades with nice views of the valley and surrounding peaks along the way. About one mile from the parking area you’ll reach a junction to the north, which is the beginning of the Chockwich Mountain Bike Trail 647.5. A half mile past the junction with the lower trail is the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness boundary amid an impressive stand of western red cedar. The trail gets steeper and switchbacks up the last half mile before reaching Goat Lake.
Campsites and a backcountry box-style toilet are available just to the left before reaching the lake.
Washington Trails Association
At a Glance
Access from Elliot Creek/Goat Lake Trailhead.
From the Darrington Ranger District office travel south along Mt. Loop Highway for 22 miles to Elliott Creek Road (Forest Service road 4080). Turn left and continue 0.8 miles to the trailhead.
From the Verlot Public Service Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls, WA), travel east on Mt. Loop for 22.8 miles to Elliot Creek Road (Forest Service road 4080). Turn right and continue 0.8 miles to the trailhead
Darrington Ranger District
Green Trails: Sloan Peak 111