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Best time to travel to Idaho

Goat Lake

Discover Idaho’s best-kept secret


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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The Sawtooth National Forest in Central Idaho is home to many beautiful lakes. However, Goat Lake is definitely a gem in the crown. Due to its stunning natural beauty, it has become one of the most photographed spots in the Sawtooth. However, the area is generally not crowded and frequented by tourists.

Goat Lake can be reached by a moderate hike that starts at Iron Creek Trailhead, outside Stanley, Idaho. It's 6.8 mi (10.9 km) both ways. The trail goes through the forest alongside Iron Creek. Enjoy your time at the Sawtooth Wilderness with beautiful nature all around you. Follow Alpine Way Trail, cross a bridge and then begin a steep climb that will get you to spectacular Goat Falls, the largest in the area.

From the falls, you can find an unmarked path to Goat Lake, located west of the falls. You will have to overcome another small climb but will be rewarded with a beautiful view. This is a popular place for campers, but make sure to get an overnight (free) permit at the trailhead.

Since the lake is usually frozen until mid-July, the best time to go is late July, August and also early autumn, but if you wish to see wildflower show, summer is better.

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