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.

Alpine Creek, Backpacking, D800, Goat Lake, Hiking, Idaho, Nikon, Sawtooth Wilderness
Dawn over a fog covered Sawtooth Valley near Iron Creek.
Alpine Creek, Backpacking, D800, Goat Lake, Hiking, Idaho, Iron Creek, Nikon, Sawtooth Wilderness
Morning view over the Iron Creek trail.
Alpine Creek, Backpacking, D800, Goat Lake, Hiking, Idaho, Nikon, Sawtooth Wilderness
Late summer fog above Iron Creek in the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Ice Bath

swimming, Goat Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, wilderness
Diving in – an icy reward after a hot and steep hike.
Trail to Goat Lake, rock spines, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho, hiking
Rocky spines line the trail to the lake.

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