Despite being one of the more challenging lakes to access off the Sawtooth’s Iron Creek Trailhead, Goat Lake is quite the popular summer destination.

The hike starts as an easy stroll along Iron Creek’s peaceful meadows and features just two straightforward stream crossings. While this adventure looks easy on a map due to the short distance, this nature walk soon ends after the second trail cutoff - in fact, the trail completely disappears. Two steps forward and one back becomes the norm, and a good amount of loose granite scree combined with scrambling makes for a challenging workout. The views are stunning as the hardest part of the climb passes Goat Falls.

The reward is an alpine lake with blue water so clear you can see straight to the bottom. Hammocking, beer, and swimming are best enjoyed here.

I’ve visited Goat Lake since the inital post and have added new photos.

Dawn over a fog covered Sawtooth Valley near Iron Creek.
Dawn over a fog covered Sawtooth Valley near Iron Creek.
 
Morning view over Iron Creek in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Morning view over Iron Creek in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
 
Beautiful rocks and glaciers along Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Beautiful rocks and glaciers along Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
 
Morning light over the boulders that line the shore of Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Morning light over the boulders that line the shore of Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
 
Late summer fog above Iron Creek in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Late summer fog above Iron Creek in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
 

Ice Bath

Diving in – an icy reward after a hot and steep hike.
Diving in – an icy reward after a hot and steep hike.
 
Williams Peak (left) and Thompson Peak (center) are visible in the distance.
Williams Peak (left) and Thompson Peak (center) are visible in the distance.
 
A popular summer hiking destination, Goat Lake features stunningly clear blue water, waterfalls, cliff jumping, and a great spot for lunch.
A popular summer hiking destination, Goat Lake features stunningly clear blue water, waterfalls, cliff jumping, and a great spot for lunch.
 
Goat Lake outflow leading to Goat Falls.
Goat Lake outflow leading to Goat Falls.
 
Peaks seen from the trail to Goat Lake
Peaks seen from the trail to Goat Lake
 
Rocky spines line the trail to the lake.
Rocky spines line the trail to the lake.
 

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