This hike was a real bonus! Chased out of the high country in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest by an early snowfall a few weeks before, turned out that snow did not stick around for long and before we knew it, we were hearing reports that the roads were still passable and trailheads once again accessible. This was merely a small window of opportunity, however, as we knew that a winter full of snow would be returning. We got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Mount Baker so we could and hit the Goat Mountain trail early enough with enough time to hike the entire trail – in and back – before dark.
The hike is fairly long (can be up to 11 miles in and back) and gains about 2,000′ in elevation. We passed huge stumps remaining from the old growth logging of years past.
It was a beautiful day for a hike as the sunshine filtered through the chard remains of the old-growth forest.
Views from the trail were stunning. Most of Mount Shuksan was void of snow when we hiked in the high country only a few weeks before, but today, snow covered nearly the entire mountain.
High up along the Goat Mountain trail, the top of Mount Baker came into view.
One nice thing about a trail that climbs up a mountain is that once up, it’s pretty much all down hill. Here we were heading back down to the trailhead.
While we go much faster when hiking down a mountain than up, because our daylight hours are so few this time of year, our goal was to be out of the forest by dark – and it was dark by the time we returned to log out at the trailhead registration stand.
For driving directions and more information about the Goat Mountain hike, visit the Washington Trails Association website here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/goat-mountain.