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Washington - North cascades trails (Goat Lake and others) okay in winter?

Washington - North cascades trails (Goat Lake and others) okay in winter?

Old Nov 14th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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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)
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/goat-lake

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!
Shraddha is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Inquire about conditions at the Verlot Ranger Station. There could be snow. A geocacher went up there on November 7.
http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/G...ries-big-gruff
Check the pictures filed by finders of the geocache.
Be very careful not to get your feet wet when crossing Elliot Creek.
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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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.
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Old Nov 15th, 2014, 05:15 PM
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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!!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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I think Lyman Lake has the nearest Snotel site to Goat Lakes, but there may be others.
http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=606

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!
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Old Nov 25th, 2014, 08:24 PM
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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!
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