Goat Mountain


Goat Mountain is a remote peak in the Boise Mountains- a beautiful and seldom-visited area.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

After some quick preparations in the morning, we were on the road. As usual, driving FS312 was a thrill, and it was worse this time than when I drove it last October. Be ready for lots of loose rock, ravines, and steep terrain.

But in about 2 1/2 hours, we were at the saddle and shortly thereafter making the flat traverse into the high basin leading to Goat Mountain. Sorry, no trail. On this hike, none.

It's about a mile to the first saddle, and then the flat traverse continues. That's not Goat Mountain in the picture, but the summit is right behind that. Just stay on a flat contour from the car, moving up and down perhaps 200' from the elevation of the car.

As you cruise across the steep hillsides, you start to run into some flat areas and meadows. Once you are in the right drainage, follow the creek (yes, there is running water here in August).

The creeks lead to several small lakes. Very pretty, with excellent campsites. However, there is no sight of previous camping.

From here, it's a short hike to the upper, big lake, shown below.

The big lake in the Goat drainage
From the big lake, we followed a grassy valley, full of wild flowers.

Then an easy talus field.

That's Julie near the top of the talus (as with all the pics, click for a bigger view).

Climing up the gully above the upper lake

At the top of the talus field, you can finally see the actual summit (which is not the point shown as Goat Mountain on the topo, but about a 1/2 mile south of there).

We dropped down onto a bench and traversed across on an old trail tread, which lead us up to the ridge to the right (north) of the peak. That tread then drops down into Hunter Creek... which demands to be investigated at a future date.

Lopez rates this climb as Class 3- apparently this gendarme is why.

But following our route, there is really only one move that requires more than simple hiking... and this move could be circumvented.

Class 3 move on the gendarme

And then we were on top. It took us a little less than 3 hours, including a lunch stop. We were the second party to sign the register this year, then the previous entry was in 2004.

This was a wonderful hike, and not too terribly difficult. See? Julie is still smiling!

I was trying not to push her, but she offered to chase the ridge on the way back. Who am I to turn down such a request?

The red line shows our northward traverse on the ridge, which included the point marked on the map as Goat Mountain. This ridge is not too hard, and highly recommended. However, Julie's knees were starting to hurt so we did not follow the ridge to its conclusion, instead dropping off after about four summits, on an obvious shortcut.

We then reconnected with our path from the morning, more or less, back to the car.

Mr. Natural Home | 2006 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski