Goat Lake – Summer Hiking in the Sawtooths

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.

Goat Lake Waterfall
A popular summer hiking destination, Goat Lake features stunningly clear blue water, waterfalls, cliff jumping, and a great spot for lunch.
swimming, Goat Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, wilderness
Diving in – an icy reward after a hot and steep hike.
Goat Lake Panorama
Overlooking Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains.
Goat Lake outflow leading to Goat Falls.
Peaks seen from the trail to Goat Lake
Peaks seen from the trail to Goat Lake
Trail to Goat Lake, rock spines, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho, hiking
Rocky spines line the trail to the lake.
Goat Lake topo map from the Iron Creek Trailhead.

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