Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Washington - North cascades trails (Goat Lake and others) okay in winter? (

Shraddha Nov 14th, 2014 03:40 PM

Washington - North cascades trails (Goat Lake and others) okay in winter?
Hello fellow travelers..

Looking for advice from those who have hiked trails in the north cascades. I'm looking specifically for advice on the Goat Lake trail and whether it's a trail that can be done in Winter? (24 Nov - 27 Nov)

Couldn't find conclusive info on the WTA website.

Having recently moved to USA, this is my first time to Washington state and I'm not very cluey about weather conditions in winter.

Appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks in advance!

tomfuller Nov 14th, 2014 11:11 PM

Inquire about conditions at the Verlot Ranger Station. There could be snow. A geocacher went up there on November 7.
Check the pictures filed by finders of the geocache.
Be very careful not to get your feet wet when crossing Elliot Creek.

Shraddha Nov 15th, 2014 03:46 PM

Wow thanks tomfuller for the tip. Had no idea about geocaching until today. Signed up already!

No conclusive photos on the latest log though.

I've noted the public service phone number for Verlot station. I'll give them a call on Monday.

Thanks again.

mms Nov 15th, 2014 06:15 PM

Shraddha--Yes, it is doable this time of year. That said, it can snow at any time there now and so I would definitely take snow shoes with you. Also, the road is pretty rough even in good conditions, so you definitely would want a 4WD. We hike a lot in that area, so know it pretty well:) Enjoy, it is a beautiful area!!!

Nelson Nov 16th, 2014 07:42 AM

I <i>think</i> Lyman Lake has the nearest Snotel site to Goat Lakes, but there may be others.

That gives you current snow depth and lots of other real-time information, including temperature. For example if you click on "Last 7 Days" for snow depth you can see it's gone from 5 to 11 inches, then back down to 10 inches this week. Lots of data to be seen there.

I used that site when planning the Spider Gap loop backpack trip in 2012, which passes Lyman Lake, so we could guess how much snow might still be on the trail. Very useful.

When we did the Spider Gap loop trip we crossed 2 or 3 large avalanche debris fields. Sometime in the winter or spring huge avalanches had swept across the valley trail. Having some idea of what an avalanche slope looks like and current conditions would be important.

Have fun!

Shraddha Nov 25th, 2014 09:24 PM

mms and Nelson thanks for taking time out to respond. Unfortunately we dropped the idea of hiking there as I was nervous about the prospect of snow and it has been raining ever since we entered Washington. The snoqualmie pass was also closed to clear unexpected snow during the weekend.

Further to the points noted here .. for future travelers:
- Velor ranger station is open only on weekends
- Stop by the town of Issaquah en route for a visit to the salmon hatchery. The visitor center here also has some good maps of the north cascades region.

Thanks all again!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:46 PM.