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Trip Report

Goat Lake #647 — Saturday, May. 19, 2001

The Lower Elliot Creek Trail is now open to Goat Lake. All the blown down trees have been cut out, and there were a lot of them. This is the old original trail up Elliot Creek to Goat Lake that has been closed for many years. I last went up it 15 years ago on a backpack trip, so am glad to see it is hikeable again. Sure beats hiking up the logging road. The scenery along the trail is great as it follows the creek most of the way. Lots of small water falls and many rapids. One section you hike through reminded me of the Hoh Rain Forest over in the Olympic National Park. Crews from WTA and the Forest Service have done done a lot of work on the old trail. They rerouted it in a couple of areas that use to go through boggy spots, built log crib bridges, replaced rotten puncheon with new structures and cut out fallen trees. If you have never been up the real trail, and only hiked the logging road, you are in for a treat. Along the creek you are hiking in an area that was never logged. The trail leaves the creek and connects into the old road about 1/4 mile from the rest of the old growth forest, so you only have to use the road a short distance. The road section area was clearcut back in 1960. Goat Lake looks nice with all the peaks surrounding it. The snow has melted away, so hiking along the lake is no problem. The designated camp area near the outlet of the lake was the site of the old hotel that operated from 1926 to 1937, but is no longer taking reservations! It was still standing in 1955 and is now long gone. Any way, enjoy the Lower Elliot Creek Trail. [Online Editor's note: Most of the work was done by a contractorhired by the FS. WTA and FS crew have been touching up the trailsince then with some tread and drainage work. This year the FS crewalso removed lots of newly fallen trees from the trail.]