I had a day to myself and decided to go on a solo hike to one my favorite local hikes. The Elliot Creek & Goat Lake Trail is situated along the Mountain Loop Highway between Granite Falls and Darrington, Wa. It’s a long 10.4 miles roundtrip with a 1400 foot elevation gain.
Not too far up Trail you will be faced with the option to follow Upper Elliot Creek or Lower. I much prefer the Lower trail, but they will both reunite after 3 miles anyway. Follow through a cottonwood grove for a ways and eventually, before switchbacking up to the lake, you will have the option to stay straight and checkout a pretty spectacular falls. Also, you will pass a campground on your left just before arriving at the lake.
Once upon a time this trail was actually a road that took you to the bluish-green waters of Goat Lake where in the late 1800s Cadet and Penn Mining Companies built a townsite. Staking claims among the towering Cadet and Foggy Peaks. You can still spot a tunnel to this day up high on the mountain side above Goat Lake.
Avalanches destroyed the townsite long ago, and the rest was burned up by the Forest Service in the 1960s. It’s a shame that it is gone, but fun to imagine a 3 story lodge, a blacksmith shop, and other buildings way out on the banks of this remote, alpine lake. Now it is purely a serene landscape speckled with impressive waterfalls and stunning views.