|Distance (both ways):||
Via Elliot Creek: 9.4 miles (15.1 km)|
via the upper trail: 10.4 miles (16.7km)
|Elevation gain:||1,300 ft (400m)|
|Green Trails Map:||111|
|Passes:||Northwest Forest Pass required to park a car near the trailhead|
This trail is accessible from the Mountain Loop Highway, just a few miles after Barlow Pass. To get to the Highway from Seattle, drive to Granite Falls -- the highway starts there.
WARNING! in the Fall of 2003, part of the Mountain Loop Highway got washed out shortly after Barlow Pass. Make sure to check the status of the repairs before you set out.
You have a choice of two trails: one that goes along the Elliot Creek and the "upper" trail, that first goes along trail # 4096 and after a mile turns into #647 leading to Goat Lake. The two trails merge 1.6 miles before the lake. A reasonable option is to take a different tail each way, thus turning it into an almost loop hike.
- Trail description from Washington Trails Association
- Official trail description and driving directions from the forest service.
Jean and I set out on our trip in mid-April of 2004 without checking the road conditions first. When we arrived at Barlow Pass, it turned out that the Mountain Loop Highway was closed there. We decided to hike the extra four miles each way to the trail head, which brought the total distance we hiked to about 19 miles. The reason for the closure became apparent about a mile or so after the Pass: the road was totally washed out for about 100 feet. The trail, on the other hand, was in a very good shape. The lake was very pretty, with the snow still covering the slopes around it. Best of all, there was nobody else there so we had the whole place to ourselves.
Below are some of our pictures from the hike. Click on any of them to see the larger version.